Portadown and Banbridge flags protocol renewed

The new Somme commemorative flag will be among those flown this summer

The new Somme commemorative flag will be among those flown this summer

A flags protocol in Banbridge and Portadown to respect and maintain flags in the summer months and during the Twelfth celebrations has been renewed for 2016.

Last year saw the launch of a protocol which, say those behind the scheme, created “a more mature and stabilised approach to the flying of flags and the maintenance of flags” in the two towns.

“All who agreed to take part in the protocols recognise that mutual respect and tolerance are the foundation of creating and maintaining harmonious relationships in the towns and it was gratifying to see the protocols receive positive feedback,” said Action for Community Transformation, a group which supports “former combatants” provincewide.

Now the protocols have been ratified once again.

Those who put up flags have been encouraged to place them away from schools and places of worship – and to replace torn or tatty flags immediately.

The flags will be taken down as agreed towards the end of August and during September.

Action for Community Transformation said there were “no reported problems in 2015 and all signatories to the protocols have been praised for their attempts to assist in promoting a positive outlook of the towns and surrounding areas”.

Among the flags set to appear over the coming days will be the Somme commemorative flag (pictured left), designed and launched recently by the the Loyalist Communities Council (LCC).

Action for Community Transformation said that ‘flags protocol committees’ will meet to ensure the smooth running of the protocols.

The group also stressed that the erection of flags is designed not to intimidate or mark out territory “but celebrate a culture and tradition in a fair and balanced manner”.