Aside from all contentions as to the right or wrong of the Sinn Fein movement and "free Ireland", the group of Irish sympathisers who attacked the New York Union Club, demanding that the British flag which was flying in celebration of the Pilgrim Tercentenary, be furled, made a grave mistake. While such an act cannot possibly hurt England, or England's honor, it may, however, easily bring harm to the Irish themselves. Such a demonstration of mob violence is only too likely to prove a boomerang. A people which loses its head and charges at an unprovocative flag like a bull in the arena, is not apt to be considered in the eyes of the rest of the world, as fit to have its freedom. Besides, if the Irish were whole-hearted in their cause, working earnestly for liberty, they would not give way to abortive outbursts which can have no real effect on their ultimate desire, but would aim steadily at their main objective, refusing to be turned aside by the floutings of a thousand flags. This outbreak in New York has the aspect of surface fanaticism, rather than deep-seated determination.
The citizens of this country may or may not be in sympathy with the Irish. But this much is sure: they will not for one minute endure the transplanting of mob violence and revolutionary tactics from Ireland to America. The Union Club was within its absolute legal and moral rights in hanging out the French, English and American flags; yet the Irish, who are fighting for rights of their own, would subordinate American privileges to their own impulsive whims. No, if the Sinn Fein is to succeed in enlisting the support of our citizens it must prove in a more orderly and reasonable fashion the righteousness of its cause and the strength of its morale.