Belfast Telegraph

Poll: Eamonn Holmes wants new Northern Ireland flag, anthem and president - what do you think?

By Jonny Bell

Eamonn Holmes has said Northern Ireland needs a new flag, its own anthem and even a president.

The broadcaster said one non-political figurehead could unite the people of Northern Ireland.

"It should be a non-political focus, someone who can create a feel-good factor,  someone for high days and holidays, if that makes sense," he said.

The former Sky News anchor, who spoke to the BBC, laughed off suggestions he could do the job.

He said: "It has to be someone people could trust, that could bring us altogether, sports people would be good, business people, scientists, anybody who would do it but they would have to love us and be from here and believe in what we do and do the best for us and genuinely put hands across the divide."

He added: "We have so much more in common than divides us.

"I genuinely respect people's political allegiances. If you are Sinn Fein, you are Sinn Fein, if you are DUP, you are DUP.... you are either far apart or close together.

"How do you get more people on a one-off basis to say 'look I may be DUP or Sinn Fein, but you know what our president we can all stand behind that'.

"Whereas you might not necessarily be able to stand behind the first minister or the deputy first minister and I think that creates a problem we don't necessarily have to have and it could be a good solution."

Asked about a flag and an anthem he added: "You look at England, Scotland, Wales and ask why we don't have one? Why not have something we all love?

"Just keep it positive, I am not trying to be controversial - I just see us all as one collective."

>>Got an idea for a new Northern Ireland flag?- send us your suggestion<<

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