As a resident of the Kernan area of Portadown (a mixed community), I was saddened to find around 20 youths erecting flags on every lamppost along the Kernan Road.
The most upsetting part of this situation is the deliberate targeting of the local integrated primary school, which has had two flags erected on each of the five lampposts surrounding the school. A previous agreement to fly flags only for the month of July (when the school is closed) has been completely violated.
On a personal note, I flew the Union flag with pride when I was lucky enough to attend London 2012 and gave my support to Team GB and the likes of Jess Ennis and the Campbell brothers from Coleraine. For me, this was the Union flag being used for positive reasons. However, I feel, in the case of Kernan Road, that the Union flag has been hijacked and used in a negative manner to assert territorial dominance.
My questions to these people would be: What mandate do they have to erect these flags? Why are they being erected in March? And why is the local integrated primary school being targeted like this? I implore the people behind these flags and the youths that erected them to consider the views of Kernan residents.
Removal of the flags around the integrated primary school would be a positive first step.
Portadown, Co Armagh
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