Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Protestants back Union flag restrictions: poll

Union flags flying in the Tigers Bay area of Belfast
Union flags flying in the Tigers Bay area of Belfast

More Protestants prefer the Union flag to be flown on public buildings only on designated days rather than all-year round, according to new research.

The Life and Times Survey, carried out by Northern Ireland's two universities, also found that community relations have plummeted in the wake of loyalist flag protests and related violence.

Only 45% of people questioned last year thought relations between Protestants and Catholics are better than five years ago – a fall of 17% from the 2010 survey.

Hundreds of people were convicted following loyalist rioting against the decision of Belfast City Council in December 2012 to restrict the number of days on which the Union flag is flown at the City Hall.

But the survey found that while 44% of Protestants believe the flag should be hoisted all-year round, 48% actually prefer it to be restricted to designated days.

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