Flag etiquette should be reciprocated - Ní Shiadhail

A MAGHERAFELT Sinn Fein councillor has called on loyalists to observe ‘flag etiquette’ and take down decorations in the town centre after the 12th celebrations.

“It’s easy to see that a great deal of work has gone into decorating the town centre to mark the celebrations this week and I have no desire to prevent any of our constituents from celebrating their culture and marking events that they feel are important to them,” she said.

“However, I do hope that it will be carried off with respect for the great number of people from the area who do not share those views.

“I would highlight and applaud the good etiquette that was followed by members of our Nationalist community when flying flags over the Easter period.

“These were erected on the Saturday morning and removed the following Tuesday showing their respect for the event, their flags and those in our community of other traditions.

“The recent arrival of the Olympic torch in our town was an opportunity for cross community celebrations which would have garnered a high profile given the regional media coverage of the event.

“Unfortunately this was undermined as flags marking the English Queen’s Jubilee had not been removed and consequently it was not possible to create a welcoming shared space in the town centre. This should have been an entirely positive event but the flag situation resulted in complaints being made to the council.

“I hope on this latest occasion they will be brought down in a timely and respectful fashion over the weekend.

“I think it’s important that as we go forward and following the example of our senior politicians on building a shared future that we all play our part at a local level to create the best future for all our communities.”