The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland have condemned the recent flying of an Irish tricolour at Stormont.
In a statement following a meeting of the Institution’s ruling body in Belfast on Wednesday, the Loyal Order said its members, including those in the Republic, were “particularly unhappy” about last week’s incident.
“While such rogue and nonsensical action may appease a flawed republican ideology, it clearly went against the democratic wishes of the majority pro-Union community in this Province,” the Grand Lodge said.
“It also indirectly offended members of the Orange and Protestant community in the Republic who felt aggrieved their national flag was used in a very political, and wholly inappropriate, manner.”
Highlighting the duplicity of republicans, the statement continued: “Cheerleaders for this stunt, included Sinn Fein’s Gerry Kelly, who downplayed the tricolour incident as being over in 10 minutes. Yet, the same senior republican refuses to tolerate a six minute Orange parade along the Crumlin Road in his own constituency. Hypocrisy in the extreme!”
It added: “The Orange Institution is resolute in its view the Union Flag represents the sovereignty of the United Kingdom, of which Northern Ireland is, and will remain, an integral part of.”