Describing the meeting as ‘frustrating’ due to the lack of progress on the issue, the South Belfast representative said the onus was on those erecting the flags to prove the community wanted them, and if they couldn’t, to desist.
Councillor Emmet McDonough Brown said: “South Belfast is open, vibrant and inclusive. I want to see a city where all cultures enjoy free and fair expression. Sadly, the proliferation of flags is contentious and I challenge those who wish to carry this activity out to engage with the local community.
“There is no evidence that people want flags erected along the Ormeau Road. As far as I can see no surveys are ever conducted, no consultations are ever undertaken and no polls indicate support.
“There is a genuine feeling that police are not protecting shared space by refusing to challenge those erecting flags. This behaviour is designed to mark territory and undoubtedly creates tension.”
“We cannot continue to see this practice occurring on an ad hoc basis and it’s clear the PSNI share the frustrations of many in lieu of any legislation being in place.”