Northern Ireland could get new flag after Stormont report
Northern Ireland could get a new flag that “incorporates representations of Britishness, Irishness and our collective diversity” a Stormont committee has said.
A Commission on Flags, Identity, Culture and Tradition was originally set up at the Northern Ireland Assembly in 2016, but devolution collapsed before it could deliver a report.
Its findings were finally submitted to the First and deputy First Ministers last July, and published on Wednesday.
“The commission also discussed the possibility of developing a new civic flag,” the report said.
“This would not be a regional flag or a national flag, but rather a civic flag that would be designed to be representative of the diversity of our society, including our new communities.
“Such a civic flag would therefore incorporate representations of Britishness, Irishness and our collective diversity.
“If this option were developed, it could add to the wider debate around the official flying of flags on public buildings.”
The flying of flags in Northern Ireland is currently a significant sectarian issue, with different communities identifying with different flags. The Ulster Banner is used as the flag of Northern Ireland by loyalists and unionists and to represent the region at some sporting occasions.
The report however failed to find consensus on changing legislation around the flying of flags from lampposts.
It said there had been “no meeting point” reached on the flying of flags at public buildings.
“The commission could not agree on whether changes should be made to current legislation in order to create a similar exemption to that which exists for election posters,” it says.
“Consequently, without any legislative changes, the commission is not in a position to recommend a code of practice that would accompany any such legislative change.”
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