Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Let's put bickering over emblems behind us

I am proud to be Catholic and Irish by culture, but I also have respect for many of the upstanding qualities of British and Protestant culture.

I acknowledge the steps that the Protestant community feel they have made to accept legitimate nationalist rights. That is only as it should be, after the damaging inequalities of the past.

Jamie Bryson asks, "When is the appeasement going to be completed?" Perhaps that is a fair question.

Perhaps there should be a schedule and timescale for realising equality on many issues. Surely that is fair?

Let's reduce the discourse over contentious issues, like the flag on the City Hall, and focus on realising what is best in both our cultures.

Perhaps we should develop an emblem which contains all the colours of all the flags in a subtle way, with an aspirational, hopeful theme.

If the status of Northern Ireland is to change, then, of course, the tricolour could become the national flag. But perhaps addressing that issue is not the most pressing, or urgent, matter for our people at this time. Perhaps it would be better to win our Protestant neighbours over.

We should spend more time bettering the relations between us.

Let's put our bickering behind us and stand together with the best in both Irish and British culture. No one will lose. We all stand to gain.

TMcK

Co Antrim

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