On Saturday I went on an 'off duty' visit to the Ulster Museum, along with my wife, and we had a very pleasant afternoon. There were not the very large crowds of the early days after the reopening but there was a steady flow of visitors. During the visit I took some photographs and they form the basis of this short series of posts.
As regards Orange and Hibernian banners, which are part of the colourful culture of Northern Ireland, there are none at all on display. There is a trade union banner and there is space immediately beside it for another, as well as wall space elsewhere, so why avoid these other colourful examples of local folk art?
Some years ago the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum had an excellent exhibition on The Brotherhoods of Ireland. Alongside the exhibition there was also an excellent booklet and both the exhibition and the booklet were produced by Dr Tony Buckley. The exhibition had a wealth of regalia and banners and other materials associated with fraternal organisations, including Protestant organisations, Roman Catholic organisations and friendly societies. The most striking thing for me was the similarities between the organisations in terms of icons, symbols and ritual. King William on an Orange banner was very similar, albeit with different colours, to Patrick Sarsfield on a Hibernian banner!
I have seen Orange and green banners in museums in Scotland, England and Eire and it seems utterly bizarre that the Ulster Museum has no Orange or green banners or regalia at all on display.