'Londonderry 1972 No Surrender' Parachute Regiment flags erected in Cookstown
A Sinn Fein councillor has condemned the erection of "sinister" Parachute Regiment flags in Cookstown town centre.
The flags carry the message 'Londonderry 1972 No Surrender' on them alongside the Parachute Regiment ensignia.
Sinn Fein Councillor for Cookstown John McNamee condemned the erection of the flags and said that they glorify the Bloody Sunday killings.
Parachute Regiment flags have also been erected in north Belfast, after it was announced that a 'Soldier F' will be prosecuted for his role in the deaths of two people on Bloody Sunday, and the attempted murder of four others.
Thirteen people were killed and 15 wounded after members of the Army's Parachute Regiment opened fire on civil rights demonstrators in Derry's Bogside on January 30, 1972. A 14th person died in hospital.
The flying of the flags is in direct contravention of the flags protocol put forward by the Loyalist Communities Council which states that flags should only be flown between June and September, should be flown in a "respectful" manner and not in a way to be used for provocative purposes.
“I have received a large number of complaints since these flags went up over the weekend. While I’m aware that similar flags have been erected elsewhere those erected in Cookstown have a more sinister message on them," Councillor McNamee said.
“The flags I have seen have the message ‘Londonderry 1972 No Surrender’ emblazoned on them which is an obvious reference to the Bloody Sunday Massacre carried out by the Parachute regiment in Derry on 30th January 1972.
“This is a deliberate act to cause further trauma and distress to the families of those murdered on that day.
Councillor McNamee called on the PSNI to investigate the flying of the flags as a hate crime.
“In my opinion the erection of these flags is a hate crime and I am calling for their immediate removal," he said.
“I am also calling on the PSNI to investigate those responsible for this hate crime as these flags were erected in full view of the town’s CCTV cameras.”
Belfast Telegraph Digital