TUV Craigavon spokesman David Calvert has called on Craigavon Borough Council to restore the Union flag from civic buildings.
He said, “TUV can’t accept that Banbridge Council can legally fly the flag 365 days a year but Craigavon Council can’t. Obviously it was weak Unionists on Craigavon Council who agreed to limit the flying of the Union flag to designated days despite Council buildings being exempt from The Flags Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000 legislation.
“It is only due to these protests that the Council after 10 years has decided to review their decision. The reality is that if there were no protests there would be no talk of a review by both the DUP or UUP – they were both content with the status quo and simply followed the example at Stormont where Unionists were more interested in appeasing Sinn Fein/IRA than flying the flag 365 days.”
“Sinn Fein/IRA and the SDLP are happy to accept majority rule in Belfast Council so there is no reason why they should not accept a democratic lawful vote in Craigavon Council. The Union flag is the flag of our country and should be above politics and not subject to a vote in any Council chamber.
“Sinn Fein/IRA and the SDLP are very good at trotting out the phrase “parity of esteem” to justify their call to reject the flying of the Union flag. There can be no parity of esteem between the Union flag and the Irish tricolour because they represent two different nations.”
Mr Calvert said the TUV congratulated unionists who had protested peacefully in recent weeks but condemned those who resorted to violence which he said “does nothing to enhance the legitimacy of the protest and therefore must be condemned”.
He added, “The way forward is to immediately restore the Union flag to both Belfast City hall where Alliance should reverse their shameful decision and vote with the unionists rather than with republicanism, and at Stormont where the unionists are in a majority in a British Assembly.”