Condemnation of flag placed on bonfire

The Union Flag tops the bonfire at Drumbeg.
The Union Flag tops the bonfire at Drumbeg.

Politicians on both sides of the divide have hit out at the placing of a Union Flag on the anti-internment bonfire at Drumbeg in Craigavon.

Ulster Unionist MLA Doug Beattie said: “Every year we hear nationalists, from both sides of the border, complain about the burning of the Irish nationalist flag and I have also raised this issue myself.

“Yet here we have a bonfire in Drumbeg topped with a Union Flag the national flag of the United Kingdom and those same nationalists are quiet.

“This bonfire is built by individuals who have no concept of why they are building it, for them it is just a case of being antagonistic for the very sake of being antagonistic.

“It is time this disrespectful behaviour ended and the hypocrisy of those who are most vocal every 11th Night is highlighted. There is absolutely no need to burn the national flag of anyone’s country and this bonfire in Drumbeg must be condemned by all right minded people.”

Local Councillor Catherine Nelson also hit out: “The vast majority of the Nationalist and Republican community have rightly rejected bonfires and the burning of flags and emblems.

“The bonfire in Drumbeg - just like the bonfires in Newry and the New Lodge - are the very antithesis of Republicanism. Those responsible are not acting on behalf of the community at large and should get with the times.”

An image of the bonfire was carried on a Facebook page called “Republican Bonfires’ with the message “Drumbeg lads finished now that’s a true bonfire! None of this modern stacking business, up the Drumbeg lads.”