Should the anthem be played in a cinema? 1946 | Post 1922

Cinema Audience 1940's
Cinema Audience 1940's

A Dispute in Loughrea in 1946 showed how opinions differed on when the Flag should be shown, and when the national anthem should be played. Cinema goers left the town hall cinema while the national anthem was being played and the national flag showing on the screen.

Roddy the Rover, the pen name of the columnist, reported on the local issue, and then gave his own opinion on the matter. A speaker just said the town would be shamed if visitors were present, and saw the national symbols slighted in this manner. Someone else suggested: “Shut the doors till the Anthem is over

“This won’t do. It is against the law … to imprison an audience, even for a good purpose – you may not lock up the people, even if they did sit through some shows. No; public opinion, and no other constraint, must be brought to bear.

"The only time that I was at a cinema in recent years, the national Anthem was not played, but just a piece of jolly music … and I must say I was glad. ..The music cheered us up a little. I could see no reason for the National Anthem then. Surely, the national Anthem should be played only when we want to rejoice together over something we are proud of; not just for the fact that two hours of nonsense have come to an end.

Would it be not be better to reserve the Anthem to serious occasions? Such a restriction would bring us into line with Continental and American practice, and would save the Anthem and the Flag from cheapening".

In Your Opinion

  1. Two councilors gave their own views on the issue. How did they differ?
  2. Which view did Roddy the Rover, the columnist, disagree with? What reason did he give for his opinion?
  3. When did Roddy the Rover believe that the anthem should be played?
  4. How did he hope to save the flag from being disrespected, or cheapened?

Supporting Material

The Irish Press, 20 June 1946, p 4

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