Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Don't give in to the bully boys over flag issue

As a Protestant and a unionist, I should be pleased at John Nixon's letter encouraging a U-turn over flags, but I was horrified (Write Back, January 31).

I had no strong opinion about the Union flag flying on the City Hall until the DUP leaflets were dropped through the doors of east Belfast and the chaos and violence erupted.

For two months, ordinary unionists have endured disruption as we head home from work.

We see our police attacked and democratically elected politicians being forced out of their homes.

Now John suggests our reaction should be to give those using violence for political ends exactly what they want. I loathed the way the IRA felt they could take control of this country through violence. But I will always accept change as a result of democratic votes. Surely we went through the pain of the peace process to teach everyone that change happens through elections – not as a result of bully-boy violence.

I didn't care much one way or the other about the Union flag flying over the City Hall before, but I do now. Designated days is a fair solution. No giving in to the violence of the flag protesters.

EAST BELFAST UNIONIST

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