I noticed recently that there are three flagpoles on Belfast City Hall. As well as the central pole on which the Union flag is flown, there are two poles, one each side of centre and slightly lower down.
I therefore put forward this proposal as a compromise solution to the current difficulties.
1. The centre pole should continue to fly the Union flag on the designated dates as at present.
2. One of the other poles should fly the Northern Ireland flag (white background, red cross, red hand symbol with royal crown above). This flag should be flown every day and represent the fact that Northern Ireland remains an integral part of the United Kingdom and reflects the views of the unionist and loyalist sections of the community.
3. The third pole should fly the Ulster flag (yellow background, red cross, red hand symbol with no crown). This flag should also be flown every day and represent that the six counties of Northern Ireland are within the ancient Irish province of Ulster. This reflects the views and aspirations of the nationalist and republican sections of the community.
I have spoken to many of my friends and acquaintances and all agree that this is a good compromise – but as "compromise" is considered a dirty word in this province, I have no great expectation of this idea being adopted.
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