The Union flag flies at half mast over Belfast City Hall to mark the funeral of Baroness Thatcher

The Union flag flies at half mast over Belfast City Hall to mark the funeral of Baroness Thatcher

THE Union flag is back on the agenda at Belfast City Council next month.

And this time it is over a proposal to fly the Union flag over the cenotaph in the grounds of Belfast City Hall.

However, insiders say is set to be rejected as it does not have cross-party support.

DUP councillor Lee Reynolds made the proposal last December which has the support of his party and the UUP.

However, Cllr’s Reynolds proposal needs the support of the Alliance Party at next month’s monthly meeting on Monday, May 6.

The party has indicated it is awaiting advice on the equality implications before making a decision.

It is understood the advice is that there would be equality issues if the flag flew every day over the cenotaph.

That is the same advice that was given over flying the union flag every day at city hall.

The Northern Ireland Conservative Party has previously expressed concern that putting a union flag 356 days a year on the Belfast war memorial could “diminish the flag and debase and politicise a place of remembrance”.

One source indicated that there are proposals, including an Alliance request to the Department of Culture, that the union flag fly on 1 July to mark the Battle of the Somme.

Belfast councillors voted by 29-21 on December 3 to limit the days the union flag flies over Belfast City Hall.

The decision led to a campaign of street demonstrations by those opposed to the move, with some resulting in serious street violence.

A number of police officers were hurt during disturbances, several politicians received death threats and homes and property were damaged.

Following the city hall decision, unionists attempted to push through a similar review extending the number of days the union flag is flown over Stormont’s parliament building.

But the plan was blocked by nationalists and Alliance, who boycotted a meeting to discuss the proposal.


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