Although Rory has always sought to please everyone, he has always embraced his Northern identity, and has his nationality as NIR beside his name rather than IRE. He's not shy flags either.
However NI's golf fans (and players) are not the only flag weavers this Summer. Following N.Irish success at Delhi in 2010 with an impressive collection of 10 medals, and the largest team ever of 117 athletes, many are hoping for scenes like this in Glasgow:
Even the Radio Times is getting into this Northern Ireland flag trend:
The problem is the flags in these pictures and video are not currently Northern Ireland flags. Now I have nothing against the Ulster Banner, I have one at home and occasionally fly it, and I have even carried it in parades. But the fact is, it has no official status as the NI flag. It was a banner of the NI Parliament's coat of arms:
So when direct rule was introduced in 1973 this coat of arms and the banner, used as a flag, ceased having any official status. The political blogger; Am Ghobsmacht! even wrote to the NI Office (UK government department responsible for NI) asking to prove this. His response was:
"The Official flag of Northern Ireland is the Union Flag, this is the only official flag used.
NI has not had it's own unique flag since 1972 when the NI Government and Parliament were prorogued.
NIO Web Team "
He also wrote to the NI Executive, who's response echoed this:
"Guidance and regulations surrounding the flag of Northern Ireland does indeed come from the NI Office and not from the NI Assembly."
I think most people don't seem to realize this and need to be aware of this when using the flag, talking about it, or writing about it. So Northern Ireland is the only region of the United Kingdom without its own official emblem
For related posts see below