Order’s Union Flag tribute to those who fell at 1916 battle

Edward Stevenson

Edward Stevenson

Union Flags at many Orange halls across Northern Ireland will be flown at half-mast today as a mark of respect on the centenary of the Battle of the Somme.

The symbolic gesture comes as lodges across the Province hold special commemoration parades and religious services to acknowledge the sacrifice of thousands of Orangemen on the front line a century ago.

Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland Edward Stevenson said: “The symbolic lowering of flags at Orange halls is just one way of recognising the supreme sacrifice of our forefathers at the Somme.”

Later this month, on the Twelfth of July, all parade participants are being encouraged to wear a poppy on their collarette as a mark of respect.