Bowler hats, tilted back, looking not quite right; making the men wearing them seem Stan Laurel-gauche. Headgear not often worn: only hired for the day; or dislodged from the attic and dusted off, the hats their fathers wore. Marching to ‘The Sash’, on Saturday 29th September 2012, thirty thousand Loyalists commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Ulster Covenant, when the province’s Protestants announced their intention to remain in perpetual Union with Britain. A century on, renewing their vows? The ceremony was more of a ‘heritage event’, complete with bouncy castle in the grounds of Stormont. Most Orangemen dressed as their fathers did, emphasising continuity with the role their fathers played. Then as now, to the sound of fife and drum. But Britain’s integrity is no longer threatened by militant Republicanism, which means that Unionism today is more of a costume drama. Accordingly, if today’s stout-defender-wannabes are going to act their traditional role, they really ought to pay attention to their wardrobe. ‘No Surrender’ is only watchable with bowlers worn at the correct angle. On the day, some Loyalists had clearly realised the importance of historical detail. With Indian Army-style puttees wrapped round their calves, and even the twirl of a false moustache, they recalled their forebears by performing an affectionate parody of them. Camping it up even more, the parade was led by a Unionist peer in a horse-drawn carriage: name of Lord Laird; in other words, ‘Lord Lord’. Even Downton Abbey’s scriptwriters would have rejected this as too fanciful.