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Some mistakes in claims about Union flag issue

In response to Cathy Corbett (Write Back, October 26), while I respect her desire to see the Union flag flown 365 days-a-year from Belfast City Hall, she is somewhat misrepresenting the situation.

Firstly, the proposal coming before the council is based on legal advice which includes a recommendation that, in the interests of good relations, the Union flag should continue to be flown, but only on designated days. This has long been the Alliance Party's stated position.

Secondly, it was unionists who opted to go out and raise 15,000 signatures to make an issue of the whole thing.

Perhaps Miss Corbett could explain, if she is so concerned about the Union flag, why unionists have not prioritised outrage at the Union flag flying alongside paramilitary flags just two streets away from City Hall?

Thirdly, Miss Corbett may, or may not, have noticed that the nationalist policy is not to fly the Union flag on civic buildings at all. She should go to Limavady to see how that has worked out, now there is a nationalist majority?

What is to be implemented in Belfast is the Alliance policy of maintaining the Union flag to show respect for Northern Ireland's constitutional position, while restricting that display to designated days, in line with comparable cities elsewhere in the UK. In a city which elects more nationalists than unionists, that strikes me as a perfectly reasonable compromise.

IAN JAMES PARSLEY

Alliance Party

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