Alliance criticise placing of flags on bonfire

Alliance representatives have criticised those who placed a Union and other flags on a bonfire in East Belfast.

Councillor Michael Long and Chris Lyttle MLA were speaking after an image appeared showing Union flags on the anti-internment bonfire on Mountpottinger Road. The bonfire also had a flag honouring war dead placed on it.

East Belfast Councillor Mr Long said he condemned the appearance of the flags.

“It is utterly disrespectful to burn any national flag on a bonfire. It is a hate-filled crime which does nothing but seek to promote division. Alliance believes people should be free to celebrate their culture in a respectful manner but placing Union and other flags on a bonfire is clearly not respectful.”

OFMDFM spokesperson Mr Lyttle said the placing of flags on a bonfire was a clear attempt at incitement to hate.

“People must show respect for all national flags. There should be no flags and emblems on any bonfires in a shared society and everyone with a leadership role must work to end this disgraceful practice.

“The First and deputy first Minister, who have chief responsibility for community relations and flags, must show clear and effective leadership on these issues.”

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