Northern Ireland

Portadown: Community deal to remove tattered union and loyalist flags

A union flag tattered by prolonged exposure to the weather
Image caption Union flags are erected in many parts of Northern Ireland every year, but some are left exposed to the weather for months, becoming ripped and tattered

An agreement to take down old, tattered flags in a County Armagh town has led to the removal of up to 150 union and loyalist flags within a two-day period.

The flags, which were erected some time ago across Portadown, have been removed by loyalists after a meeting involving community groups and politicians.

The Portadown Times said the initiative was led by a community development group in the area called Regenerate.

The group told the newspaper the deal was "unique and highly significant".

'Flag protocol'

Loyalists traditionally erect flags in many parts of Northern Ireland during the summer months, to mark the Orange Order's marching season.

However, many of the flags are left exposed to the weather for months, and become ripped and tattered by the wind.

Those behind the initiative said the aim was to ensure union flags were treated with respect.

The matter was discussed by community representatives from the Killicomaine, Edgarstown, Rectory, Brownstown, Corcrain and Redmanville areas of Portadown.

A representative of Regenerate told the newspaper that during the meeting, an agreement had been reached in principle to create a flag protocol for the town.

He said the protocol may include agreed dates for the erection and removal of flags from public areas.

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