Carrickfergus Nazi flags ‘will be burned on bonfire’

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Nazi flags erected near a bonfire site in a loyalist estate in Carrickfergus “will be burned in their Eleventh night bonfire”.

The flags were attached to lampposts on the Glenfield estate in Carrickfergus on Tuesday, ahead of the Twelfth celebrations, alongside the Condeferate flag, paramilitary flags and the Union Flag.

PUP spokesman Gareth Cole said the flags “were flying for less than an hour before residents removed them”.

Mr Cole said he did not know who had erected the flags “or the reason why they did so”. “I have been told since that the flags will be burned on the Eleventh night,” he said. “The people of Glenfield estate did not want this flag in their community,” he added, and he commended them for “their swift actions in having them taken down and taking a stand against this sinister and disturbing action”.

He added that the flying of Nazi flags “is not representative of loyalism”.

Stormont’s First Minister and Deputy First Minister yesterday added their voices to the widespread condemnation of the flags.

Mr Robinson tweeted: “Nazi flags have nothing to do with unionism. I commend the residents who removed them. Shameful that such flags were ever erected.” And Mr McGuinness tweeted: “The overwhelming majority of the unionist people will be as disgusted as the rest of us at these displays of hatred.”

A spokesman for the Orange Order said: “Such flags are utterly reprehensible and bring shame on loyalist communities.”

PSNI Superintendent Ryan Henderson said police had received calls from the public “reporting their distress and concern at the erection of swastika and Confederate flags”. He said the Nazi flags were removed and “one Confederate flag remains”.

Meanwhile, Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson, who was one of the first to criticise the swastika flags on Tuesday evening, said graffiti “discovered overnight in Carrick aimed at intimidating him will not succeed”.

“I will always speak up for what is right,” he added.