Save the ‘British flag’ petition gains support

GROWING numbers are signing an online petition calling on Magherafelt District Council not to remove the ‘British flag’ from the town centre.

The petition, created by a William Parker, Magherafelt, has attracted signatures and comments from throughout the United Kingdom and overseas.

The Sinn Fein controlled council wants Magherafelt town centre to become a ‘shared, neutral space’ which would entail the removal of all flags, including the Union flag.

The Union flag was erected by the District Orange Lodge and has been a source of contention on the council over the past 15 years.

However the £1 million regeneration scheme planned for The Diamond area will bring a radical change to the layout of the town including a reduction in the size of the main roundabout.

The online petition claims it’s important to “stop the threats to British culture in the UK.”

One petitioner wrote: “The ‘Union Jack’ is the official flag of our country and we are very proud to have the flag flying all year round and especially with this being the Queen’s Jubilee Year and also the Olympics. Furthermore this flag signifies so much history, celebrations and cultural ways which should not be taken away. Save the ‘Union Jack.’”

Another commented: “This is not a sectarian, racist flag. This is our Union flag.”

TUV leader Jim Allister recently waded into the row accusing Sinn Fein of attempting to “cleanse” Magherafelt of loyalist arches and the Union flag.

Mr Allister was of the opinion that issues stemming from the proposals surrounding the Public Realm Scheme were not being addressed.

DUP Councillor Paul McLean rejected his comments saying that his party had addressed the flags issue with Sinn Fein at various meetings over a period of months.