What strikes me as rather odd about Northern Ireland politically is whenever the term "nationalism" is used, its almost always Irish nationalism. This, IMO, is misleading. The constitutional issue in Northern Ireland clearly features two opposing forms of nationalism: Irish nationalism (the belief that Ireland as a whole is a nation, and in this case needs it be unified) and British of Ulster nationalism (usually, but not always, a combined form of nationalism in which Ulster loyalists are considered to be a nation, and that they are a part of a greater British nation). The latter form of dual-nationalism is usually, but not always, linked to unionism and loyalism.
I consider myself to be, on the whole, anti-nationalist, and I freely admit it. This doesn't mean I am opposed to Irish unity (I would like to see it eventually, whether it be under an independent Irish state or within a European federation) or that I am a unionist or a "West Brit". I am anti-nationalist towards all forms of nationalism, particularly the two mentioned above, not just Irish nationalism. I don't think there is anything wrong with feeling pride in your country, but I dislike the notion of arbitrary nations in which certain people are considered true members of that nation and some are not. I also feel that, aside from religion, it has been the root cause of an endless number of conflicts across the world, and particularly here in Ireland. I am not opposed to nationalists as individuals, I am simply opposed to nationalism as a concept.
Its often said that unionism isn't nationalism, but I don't think this is true. While as a concept it simply means wishing to maintain a Union with Britain, in the Northern Irish context it usually means highlighting a British national identity, more specifically an Ulster British one. For "God and Ulster" and "No Surrender" are slogans which are just as nationalist as "Tiocfaidh ár lá", just in another, opposing form. Identification with flags, anthems and historical events are clear signs of nationalist sentiment. Unionism in Northern Ireland, more often than not, doesn't discuss the economic and political advantages of remaining within the UK as much it does national identity and cultural reasons.
These are my thoughts on it. I simply find it puzzling that nationalism in NI nearly always translates as Irish nationalism when nationalism is clearly evident on both sides. Your thoughts?