Lingering Loyalist flags left on lampposts after last month’s commemorative events in Omagh have prompted calls for their removal.
Loyalist flags and bunting are traditionally erected throughout the town at the end of June in time for the peak of the parading season. However, while the majority of “official” flags and bunting have already been removed, a series of large flags are still flying in some of the most prominent areas of Omagh, including the main roundabout at the Crevenagh Road/A5 junction.
Despite not being part of any parading route, a number of massive Northern Ireland and Union flags have flown from lampposts at the major junction for almost two months. Sinn Fein MLA Barry McElduff, who described the roundabout as the gateway to Omagh for the majority of traffic, has called for the removal of the flags.
“The people of Omagh are very tolerant about the domination of unionist and British symbols and flags. We exercise great tolerance in this community, but it’s not infinite. It paints the wrong picture of Omagh,” McElduff said.
“It’s a form of cultural bullying by a small group of people.”
Ulster Unionist MLA Ross Hussey described the practice of leaving flags up on lampposts to become rags as “disrespectful.”
“There has always been an unwritten agreement that the flags will go up at the start of July and come down at the end of August and that to me is fair,” he said.
“I personally would appeal to those who put them up to ensure they are down by the end of August,” he added.