A few Confederate flags that have been spotted around Belfast are being called upon by residents and politicians alike to be removed because of the symbol’s negative connotations.
Some of the flags were found in the loyalist Sandy Row area of Belfast, at a bar, and at a private residence in east Belfast.
Confederate flags flying in East Belfast. pic.twitter.com/0qHFNcs3FE— Jack O'Dwyer-Henry (@JackODwyerHenry) June 30, 2018
This comes amid the last year or so when there were calls in the United States for Confederate flags and monuments to be taken down because of the association of the Confederate states with racism, slavery and white supremacy.
One SDLP councilor, Donal Lyons, said that these flags must be taken down right away.
“It is pathetic that the Confederate flag is being flown in Belfast and those behind it should have the decency to remove it immediately,” Lyons stated.
“Since its creation it had been the flag of those who fought to deny people their basic humanity. That is what it stands for and that’s the message it sends out. There’s no context that can separate the Confederate flag from that pro-slavery, white supremacist history.”
In the past, local residents in these areas of the city have attempted to take the flags down, but have not been successful as of late. The bar in Sandy Row had been contacted, but Lyons believes that since they have not yet removed the flag, they do not care about its connotations.
“The bar would be better off celebrating Mary Ann McCracken who lived just down the road in the Donegall Pass; as well as her work on behalf of Belfast’s orphans and poor, Mary Ann was a leading member of the anti-slavery movement in Belfast.
“She lived to see that flag defeated at the end of the American civil war and no doubt would be disgusted to see it flying again in her home city.”