Alliance Group Leader on Belfast City Council Naomi Long has said that flags taken down as a mark of respect to George Best should stay down as a mark of respect to the community in general.
The East Belfast MLA stated: “If it is good enough for groups to take down flags for Saturday’s funeral because they do not want Belfast to look bad in the eyes of the outside world, then it should be good enough to take them down for good.
“Flying exclusive flags does nothing for the local community. It drives away investment, it drives away infrastructure, and it drives away those who wish to deal with the very real problems faced by those in deprived areas in Belfast and elsewhere.
“Wisely, it has been recognized that flag flying has no place when the eyes of the outside world are upon us. But people have to realize the eyes of the outside world are always upon us.
“Money has streamed into Northern Ireland since the Agreement, but precious little of it has reached those who truly needed it. This is because too many people want to be seen as ‘defending’ their community through symbols, and too few are willing to promote it through action.”