Northern Ireland

Faroe Islands receives mild lesson on Irish flags and allegiances ahead of Derry City game

Northern Ireland flag replaced by Irish tricolour before Derry City game in the Faroe Islands
Northern Ireland flag replaced by Irish tricolour before Derry City game in the Faroe Islands Northern Ireland flag replaced by Irish tricolour before Derry City game in the Faroe Islands

Officials of a club in the Faroe Islands received a mild lesson on the intricacies of flags and the allegiances within Ireland ahead of a soccer game involving League of Ireland side Derry City.

HB Horshavn, ahead of playing the Candystripes in a first round Europa Conference League tie, had run up the unofficial flag used by Northern Ireland, and many of its club teams, at home and on their travels.

It was not clear on Friday who exactly pointed out the error, whether it was someone from the visiting Derry party or locally, but it was soon changed and replaced by the Irish tricolour, the correct flag because City play in the League of Ireland.

Footage of a HB Horshavn official calmly removing the Northern Irish flag was duly recorded and posted, with one Tweet attracting hundreds of thousands of views.

The Faroe Islands, a self governing Danish dependency, has hosted Northern Ireland several times at the national stadium, the venue for the European club game.

It is speculated the local club officials, or grounds people,  may have heard a team based from the north was on the way before dusting down and running up the red hand. 

Some in the Derry party did not even know the potentially diplomatic incident had happened until the flight home. They picked up the news after checking Whatsapp messages and social media.

On the field, it was frustrating evening for the team as they were held to a scoreless draw. The second leg takes place next Thursday at the Brandywell.