Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Colour, flags and sensitivity

Working recently for a government department whose corporate colour is green (a kind of greyish, dark green, not exactly emerald or shamrock), we proposed a colour-coding system where orange was among the colours used for navigation.

When someone suggested that this would render the document unacceptable in Northern Ireland, my pedantry alarm went off - surely the juxtaposition of two colours in a coding system does not amount to a flag. But I followed up with a call to the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure in Northern Ireland. After some consultation we turned the orange into orangey-brown.

The DCAL website is in English, Irish and Ulster-Scots. I had no idea that there was an Ulster-Scots language that is still used, but it seems there is, and I followed up the link to the Ulster-Scots Agency (Tha Boord o Ulstèr-Scotch). Predominant colour: orange, so no surprise there.