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Flagging up flaws in DUP standard row

Re COUNCILLOR Hussey, DUP and flags: Mr Hussey, I take exception to you, and your party colleagues, peddling absolute nonsense in the issue of flying the union flag. Your party's constant slurs against Alliance are, quite frankly, wholly distasteful.

The DUP's recent obsession isn't appreciated by those of us who care about the reputation of Belfast as this is now being picked up in the national press with largely negative consequences.

I have spent most of my career in England working for, and with, local authorities, having only recently returned to Northern Ireland. For several years I worked for Surrey County Council, perhaps the most true-blue Tory council in England. The flag policy in the county was that the Union flag would be flown on a prescribed number of days a year on all council office sites.

These days totalled 16 a year. They included Armistice Day, the Queen's Birthday, the Queen's Official Birthday, and 13 other days.

On all other days the county standard would ordinarily be raised unless there was a special event that required the hoisting of a unique flag for that cause.

I know from my own working experience, that the flag flying policy of Surrey County Council is broadly similar to many other 'home counties' authorities of a very Tory persuasion.

C Stewart

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