Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

City council wrong to remove national flag

I am neither a unionist nor a nationalist. My reason in writing is from the position of political theory in so far as it is questionable if a local city council can vote legitimately on the removal of a national flag from flying from the 'Capitol Hall' of that nation's capital city.

Surely the City Hall of the nation's capital city represents more than the individual constituencies of a local council and whether the national flag is flown or not should be considered in this context?

I cannot imagine Hillary Clinton supporting the supposition that the Stars and Stripes ought not to be flown from Washington DC on the basis of a local government decision.

The Belfast City Council's decision is an abuse of the city's national role and identity as the capital of a nation, and nothing short of an abuse of power.

I would ask the Council to rescind their decision on the basis of its larger national role as custodians of the nation's capital. If not, then perhaps another city needs to become representative of the nation's current vote. This is the worst form of irresponsible decision-making: that with a smidgen of respectability and integrity, all the while belying the reality of old, party political power mongering. It is not in the interests of the welfare of the city.

Finally, I implore those engaged in violence to stop. Remember the reason for Christmas - because we all need a Saviour.

Rev James Burnett

Minister, Lowe Memorial Presbyterian Church

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