AS we all come to terms with the reality that Northern Ireland is going to exist as a constitutional entity for the foreseeable future, we should also remember that it belongs to all of us who live here.
We need to build a peaceful and stable society together by making sure all the right buttons keep getting pressed. As one contribution towards that goal it is surely time we developed some shared symbols.
Under the terms of the 1998 Agreement, proper respect logically should be given to the constitutional position so that the national anthem of Northern Ireland and its flag will remain God Save The Queen and the Union flag respectively, to be sung, or flown, on appropriate occasions.
However, a new flag to represent Northern Ireland as a separate region, such as those which exist in Scotland, Wales and England, and a new song, to be used by our sports teams and others, would be entirely appropriate.
It is time we grasped the opportunities of the future. After all, leaving constitutional arrangement aside, the unity of people, whether it is inside Northern Ireland, on the island of Ireland, or across these islands, is a laudable and achievable goal.
Holywood, Co Down