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Our 'Flagland' is an embarrassment for Britain

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I believe we should stop referring to 'Northern Ireland' and instead introduce the term 'Flagland'.

Other countries may have majestic cities, impressive landscapes and a pride in their achievements - we have flags.

A democratic decision is made to have one (of the thousands on permanent display) only flying on certain days of the year and, suddenly, people who consider themselves 100% British feel only perhaps 99% British.

A brilliant idea slowly arises in their heads. If we gather as a threatening mob, we will feel 100% British again. Perhaps throwing a few stones, bottles and fireworks will ease our insecurity.

Unionist politicians have been playing this percentage game for years. This time is simply an attempt to swing East Belfast voters away from Alliance, or jump on a bandwagon to raise personal profiles. The restriction of flag-flying at various council buildings and Stormont has barely been noticed before. Why all the fuss now?

The real issue is that most people 'over the water' do not consider people here as 100% British at all. Indeed, a lot don't even know that Flagland is part of the UK.

Do you think the Queen has been watching the news recently, seen her flag dragged through Belfast streets by hooded thugs and thought 'How proud I am of my people'? Or is she feeling 100% embarrassed by them?

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Nobody wants us. And is it a surprise?

MARK EDWARDS

Belfast

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