Posted by: 7zl1n38ksbn3 | July 9, 2010

2012: The Centenary of the Ulster Covenant !

The year 2012 will mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Ulster Solemn League and Covenant.  Sadly, very few unionists know anything at all about this vitally important document or ‘Ulster Day’ (28th September), the occasion on which it was signed.  On the 28th September 1912, every unionist politician signed the Covenant along with nearly 500,000 supporters.  How many modern day unionist politicians, well known for putting their own careers first, would have the courage and dedication to sign such a Covenant?

The men’s covenant read as follows: “Being convinced in our consciences that Home Rule would be disastrous to the material well-being of Ulster as well as of the whole of Ireland, subversive of our civil and religious freedom, destructive of our citizenship, and perilous to the unity of the Empire, we, whose names are underwritten, men of Ulster, loyal subjects of His Gracious Majesty King George V., humbly relying on the God whom our fathers in days of stress and trial confidently trusted, do hereby pledge ourselves in solemn Covenant, throughout this our time of threatened calamity, to stand by one another in defending, for ourselves and our children, our cherished position of equal citizenship in the United Kingdom, and in using all means which may be found necessary to defeat the present conspiracy to set up a Home Rule Parliament in Ireland. And in the event of such a Parliament being forced upon us, we further solemnly and mutually pledge ourselves to refuse to recognize its authority. In sure confidence that God will defend the right, we hereto subscribe our names.  And further, we individually declare that we have not already signed this Covenant.”

The women’s declaration read: “We, whose names are underwritten, women of Ulster, and loyal subjects of our gracious King, being firmly persuaded that Home Rule would be disastrous to our Country, desire to associate ourselves with the men of Ulster in their uncompromising opposition to the Home Rule Bill now before Parliament, whereby it is proposed to drive Ulster out of her cherished place in the Constitution of the United Kingdom, and to place her under the domination and control of a Parliament in Ireland.  Praying that from this calamity God will save Ireland, we here to subscribe our names.”

The famous poet, Kipling, was a keen supporter of the unionist cause.  Moved by what he saw on Ulster Day, Kipling penned one his finest poems – ‘Ulster 1912’:

1.The dark eleventh hour
Draws on and sees us sold
To every evil power
We fought against of old.
Rebellion, rapine, hate,
Oppression, wrong and greed
Are loosed to rule our fate,
By England’s act and deed.

2.The Faith in which we stand,
The laws we made and guard,
Our honour, lives, and land
Are given for reward
To Murder done by night,
To Treason taught by day,
To folly, sloth, and spite,
And we are thrust away.

3.The blood our fathers spilt,
Our love, our toils, our pains,
Are counted us for guilt,
And only bind our chains.
Before an Empire’s eyes
The traitor claims his price.
What need of further lies?
We are the sacrifice.

4.We asked no more than leave
To reap where we had sown,
Through good and ill to cleave
To our own flag and throne.
Now England’s shot and steel
Beneath that flag must show
How loyal hearts should kneel
To England’s oldest foe.

5. We know the war prepared
On every peaceful home,
We know the hells declared
For such as serve not Rome—
The terror, threats, and dread
In market, hearth, and field—
We know, when all is said.
We perish if we yield.

6. Believe, we dare not boast,
Believe, we do not fear
We stand to pay the cost
In all that men hold dear.
What answer from the North?
One Law, one Land, one Throne
If England drive us forth
We shall not fall alone!

Unionism won in 1912 against the odds.  The Ulster Defence League believes that it can win again.  Let the 100th anniversary of Ulster Day be a rallying point, a time of unionist rebirth and renewal.  If, like us, you believe that the entire unionist community should unite to celebrate Ulster Day every year (not just 2012), please support the Ulster Defence League.


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