Games of Thrones is Orange red flag

Dr John Coulter with a piece on the Orange Order that initially featured in the Irish Daily Star on 29 July 2013.

While new-born English prince Geordie has secured the British Throne for another century, will the Orange Order still be around in 100 years?

By the way, thanks to the royals for naming the new prince after me – my second name is also Alexander, as is prince Geordie's.

The Order's loyalty to the Throne has always been conditional on the monarch being a Prod.

Orange leaders have been tripping over themselves to congratulate the duke and duchess on their son, but future generations of leaderships could come to deeply regret the birth of this royal Geordie.

The current Queen Bess sees herself as Defender of the Faith, in this case the Prod Church of England.

But her heir, prince Charlie, wants simply to be known as a Defender of Faith – and that includes Catholicism and Islam.

The visit of queen Bess to the South, laying a wreath at Dublin's Garden of Remembrance to those who fought the Brits, and going for a dander at the Croker have all served to boost the Catholic royalist tradition in Ireland as well as the Catholic monarchist movement in Britain.

With the theological civil war over gay marriage and women priests raging in the Church of England, it would be a real kick in the teeth to the Orange Order if a future king Billy and queen Kate converted to Catholicism.

And what would the so-called Loyal Orders do if the new prince Geordie decided to become a Catholic and became the first Papist bum on the English throne since king James, the monarch which Orangeism
deposed in the late 17th century?

Ironically, the current Ardoyne Shops parade debacle which the Order now finds itself in has more to do with who speaks for republicans than where Orange feet do the tramping.

Electorally, Sinn Féin still rules the hearts and minds of Northern nationalism. In successive Stormont polls, the Shinners have resoundingly seen off the threats from so-called dissident candidates, especially the Concerned Republican alliance.

If you are not a Shinner, who do you vote for? Certainly not a protest vote for the rapidly dwindling Stoops.

Republicans who disagree with the Adams/McGuinness peace process seem to be building again from the grassroots with nationalist residents groups the preferred vehicle.

In Ardoyne, there are now two rival camps. Supporting the Shinners is the Crumlin Ardoyne Residents Association (CARA). In the opposite corner is the non-Sinn Féin Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective (GARC).

Once again, the Orange Order is piggy in the middle. Yes, it needs to talk directly to nationalists – the Derry model proved the value of such talks.

But who does the Order meet with in Ardoyne – CARA or GARC? Which republican faction has the greater numbers on the ground?

The crisis facing the Order was best summed up by a quote from an email reaction to my column from an Andersonstown resident: "As you well know it's only a matter of time that marches in the North will
be banned by the very crowd the Orange tell us they are loyal to, the Brits!"

The Orange Order needs to rebrand itself as a political movement and forget all this cultural heritage and Diamond Dan cartoon crap. It will never win the cultural battle with republicans with a North
Antrim accent Orangemen spin as an Ulster Scots lingo!

Royalists may be delighted at the prince's birth, but could July 22, 2013 go down in history as the start of the end of the Orange Order?

Survival for Orangeism is simple – become a Right-wing pressure group like the old Vanguard movement or Ulster Monday Club.


  1. The Orange Order should simply 'go away you know'.

    As for the royals, poor old Cromwell got a very unfair bad press you know.

  2. Cromwell is heads in front!.
    After he died of course.

    Now we bonny prince charlie wants to be defender of all faiths , Why?, did he have a vision one of the royals becoming a Catholic.?.

    Aptly named though since cromwell was one of those who signed King Charles death warrant.

    If a member of the royals was to become king/queen and converted to the Catholic faith, would Loyalist in the wee 6 become Royalists?.

  3. So Dr. John, you're a JAC then, pity those of us beyond the Pale.
    Sorry could not resist that one.
    Was in Ardyone on Wed. night and sprayed on one wall, 'CARA does not represent us' which I think shows the internal divisions you hint at, the Ardoyne needs to be together before they speak to recalcitrant unionism, hopefully with the fullest representation from those who won't abandon them.

  4. Who will defend those without faith? The fastest growing group in the area Charles and his family claim dominion?

    Statistics would suggest the faithless will be a majority within 20 years.

    Hopefully the faithless will defend themselves and send the genetically imposed defenders of faith packing.

  5. Kev

    I'd hazard a guess the 'faithless' are in the majority now and have been for quite some time. The only thing I see on Sunday are a handful of 'blue-rinses' coming out of chapels.

  6. Larry,

    I think that regardless of how much secularism there is, there will always be plenty with faith. The numbers willing to ram it down the throats of others is on the decrease but faith will survive much longer.


    I think the faithless have made it harder for the faithful to corral them. I guess the genitically imposed will be around as some form of secular religion or social cement for as long as it is useful.