This Hampden flag thing is getting out of control, and it’s getting out of control in part because of some of the nonsense on social media, the most ridiculous manifestation of which is comparing the imposition of minor restrictions on what people can take to the game this weekend with the events of 1952 when Celtic’s very existence was under threat from the SFA after they demanded – and we refused – to take the tricolour down at Parkhead.
For God’s sake, some people need to stop behaving so hysterically to a simple stadium security requirement.
That’s all this is. There’s no need for folk leaping off the deep end.
At no time has anyone from Hampden suggested that the tri-colour would be banned from this fixture and anyone suggesting such a thing is flat-out lying about it … and I’m not talking here about The Green Brigade who have said no such thing.
For Christ sakes, if anyone at Hampden was making such a suggestion, do you think anyone would be defending it? Do you think anyone would find that acceptable? There would be outrage, and justifiably so.
Those who are saying that this is an evil, craven SFA forcing a showdown are completely misrepresenting this situation and fanning the flames over nothing at all.
Manufactured grievance is the tool of the club across the city.
Since when do we follow them down that road?
All that’s happened here is that a supporter’s group was refused a tifo, and after they suggested that fans all bring flags the security team at Hampden eminded them what the rules are on that. They have restrictions on the number of flags that fans can take in, and on the size of the flags that fans can take in. That’s the extent of it.
A one flag per person rule.
That’s what folk who aren’t even taking a flag to the game are moaning about.
Who the Hell was planning on taking multiple flags with them anyway?
Unless you’re Doc Octopus one is all you can fly at one time, right?
Or am I missing something here?
This stuff happens, and there are always people who complain when it does.
The Ibrox fans were refused a tifo display against Celtic for the 2019 League Cup Final even as The Green Brigade planned, and put on, their own show, much to the wailing and gnashing of teeth across town.
You can Google this, it’s all there online.
At the time, their fan groups accused the SFA’s head of security Brian Muir of “trying to destroy both visual and vocal atmosphere inside football stadiums with his ex-police tactics and dictator agenda.”
Hyperbolic and lunatic, and a lot of us said so at the time.
It is equally hyperbolic and lunatic to suggest that this is some sort of conflict between the SFA, on one hand, and the Irish community in Scotland on the other.
Take a deep breath, folks, and let it out again.
Nothing of the sort is going on here and I write that as a frequent and vocal critic of our governing bodies. I write it as a guy who doesn’t trust them on anything.
Amazingly, some folk are going even further with this though and making a moon-howling comparison between this moment and the SFA’s demand in 1952 that Celtic take the tricolour down from Celtic Park, a genuine fork-in-the-road moment for our club and one of the most dangerous confrontations it has ever been involved in.
How people get from a simple request to fans to comparisons with a point in our history where our club faced a genuine existential threat from its enemies I do not know.
But those pushing that need to go away and have a lie down in a dark room for a spell.
I don’t mind that they don’t appear to know the full measure of our own history; I do mind when they plough on regardless and weaponise that history in service of a mad, paranoid fantasy.
It is irresponsible and dangerous, and the last thing this fixture, this city, this game or this country needs right now.
Some people need to calm down here … and get a grip.