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Alliance Party neither unionist or nationalist

David Collins rehearses the old canard that Alliance voted to remove the Union flag from Belfast City Hall.

In November 2012, the council’s strategic and policy resources committee, which had a nationalist majority, voted to remove the Union flag from City Hall and from other council buildings. The intention was to stop flying the Union flag over City Hall altogether.

Earlier in the meeting, the Alliance Party’s alternative proposal to fly the flag on designated days (as at Stormont and recommended by the Equality Commission) and the DUP’s proposal to continue flying the flag every day were both rejected.

At the full council meeting in early December, it required the Alliance Party to either vote with the majority nationalist parties to remove the Union flag, or side with unionists, who wanted to retain it.

The Alliance Party held to their position of flying the flag on designated days. This compromise was passed.

In holding to their principles, the Alliance Party and its members in east Belfast were subjected to a unionist smear campaign before and after the council vote, with physical attacks on Alliance offices and on police providing a security presence.

Let’s be clear: Alliance is not nationalist, nor is it unionist. It treads its own path and I am pleased that it has the backbone to do so. Long may it continue.

NAME AND ADDRESS WITH EDITOR

Belfast Telegraph

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