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By-laws could end flag flying on our streets

 

Alliance MLA Paula Bradshaw (Write Back, June 29) suggests that flags flown on street furniture need to be properly regulated. I quite agree. I should add they would not be tolerated anywhere else in the UK.

Last week I visited London and stayed for three nights at my club, Royal Overseas League, St James.

During my stay there was a talk on heraldry given by the Richmond Herald of the College of Arms, Dr Clive Cheesman. Afterwards, for a general discussion, I raised the thorny issue of the flying of flags in Northern Ireland on street furniture, which attracted both amusement and eyes to heaven among members, guests and the Herald.

In England there are council planning and by-laws banning such displays. The proper means of flying flags has been established by the UK Flag Institute, which recommends using only flag-poles and never from residential properties or street furniture.

In order to bring in the same regulation in Northern Ireland, the Assembly would have to enact similar local government legislation to enable the councils here to prohibit their erection.

As we are currently permanently stuck with the DUP-Sinn Fein coalition of chaos, it is unlikely any progress will be made.

However, my brother, a QC in London, informs me that concerned residents in NI can have flags removed by a court order.

Under this, anyone found re-erecting a flag will be subject to contempt of court and can be prosecuted.

CADOGAN WEST

Strangford, Co Down

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