Belfast Telegraph

Police confront loyalists over erection of flags in south Belfast

By Rebecca Black

Loyalists were confronted by police in south Belfast after a local restaurant objected to a perceived paramilitary flag being erected.

A group of people had been putting flags on lampposts outside the PSNI station on Lisburn Road around 7pm yesterday when police were called.

One man, believed to be aged 24, was arrested during the confrontation but later released.

Ulster Political Research Group representative Billy McBride negotiated with police over the flags.

It is understood that after negotiation it was agreed the loyalists could erect Ulster flags and Union flags but not a pale blue Ulster Defence Union one.

Mr McBride stressed the UDU flag was historical.

The Ulster Defence Union was a unionist organisation formed in 1893 to oppose the Irish Home Rule movement.

Shortly after its creation, it adopted the motto Quis Separabit?, which is also the motto of the terrorist UDA.

Mr McBride said: "They talk about a shared future but where is that when we go to put up flags?"

"This is an arterial route that the Twelfth parade goes along. Restaurants make money out of that.

"We reached agreement that Ulster flags and Union flags could be put up.

"There was three police Land Rovers came along for this (incident).

"But you can never find a police officer when you need one."

Belfast Telegraph

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