Anna Lo MLA said: “The flying of the Union Flag on designated days is the compromise agreement that recognises Northern Ireland’s position within the UK, while acknowledging that we live in a shared society.
“It allows for the Union Flag to be flown with dignity and respect, and is in line with British tradition as stated by the College of Arms. Designated days is the recommendation of equality guidance and is the policy at Stormont and Councils such as Lisburn. It is the only policy that will help deliver a shared future.
“It is important that these new Councils are able to concentrate on delivering better public services, rather than spending their first meetings debating how often the Union Flag is flown. We must agree to a common policy of designated days in this legislation rather than leave it up to individual Councils.
“After their recent support for the policy of designated days at Down Council, I hope the DUP will back my amendment. I also hope that the SDLP and Sinn Fein, who voted for designated days at Belfast, will support this policy across all Councils.
“I will also be proposing amendments to increase the openness and transparency of the new Councils. I think it is important for ratepayers to be able to access information about what Councillors are deciding. Councillors should not be making decisions behind closed doors and away from the scrutiny of the people who elected them.”