Belfast Telegraph

Belfast City Hall's Union flag to fly at half mast on day of Margaret Thatcher's funeral

By Adrian Rutherford

The Union flag will be flown at half mast from Belfast City Hall next Wednesday to mark the funeral of Margaret Thatcher, it has been revealed.

A decision not to display the flag permanently was taken by the city council last December, sparking weeks of angry protests.

Instead, it is now flown only on a handful of days.

While April 17 is not among them, the flag will still be displayed as a mark of respect to the former Prime Minister.

It follows talks involving DUP councillor William Humphrey, Lord Mayor Gavin Robinson and the council's chief executive.

The full council did not have to be consulted.

Mr Humphrey welcomed the news that the flag would fly next Wednesday.

"It is entirely fitting and appropriate for our national flag to be flown as a sign of respect for a woman widely regarded as the greatest peacetime Prime Minister of our country over the past century," he said.

"Whilst views of her premiership will continue to be debated there is no doubt that the vast majority of our citizens would wish that due recognition and respect should be paid to mark her passing." A council spokesperson said: "We can confirm that the Union flag will be flown at half mast from City Hall on the day of Margaret Thatcher's funeral.

"As this is in line with the provisions of the Flags Regulations (NI) 2000 as followed by Parliament Buildings, and as it also falls within the council's agreed policy on the flying of the Union flag, this decision does not require a full meeting of council."

Meanwhile, Buckingham Palace has announced that the Queen is to show her respect for Baroness Thatcher by attending the former prime minister's funeral.

The service on Wednesday will be held at St Paul's Cathedral, and is expected to be attended by a number of dignitaries from around the world.

It will be the first time the Queen has attended the funeral of one of her prime ministers since Sir Winston Churchill died in 1965.

Lady Thatcher indicated she did not want the state event Churchill was granted, but will receive full military honours – the same status accorded the Queen Mother and Diana, Princess of Wales.



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