Confronting the Elephant- Part 2

Following on from the initial post highlighting the practice of some loyalist bands/ Loyal Orders in planning controversial marches, the focus of this post is on the practice of erecting flags and bunting in mixed residential/ commercial areas- a practice which, like clockwork, rears its head round about this time of year and leads to floods of complaints to news desks, PSNI stations and the Talkback switchboard- traditionally to no avail. Only this year, there’s a positive episode (above link) which could be the first indication that some are beginning to appreciate how detrimental the practice is to community relations during the Summer period.Finaghy, like so many other areas of the six counties, is a demographically mixed community, which has had its share of sectarian incidents in the past. However, the establishment of a local cross-community group, the Finaghy Crossroads Group, has created the channel through which nationalist and unionist political representatives have engaged to defuse tensions arising from the siting of flags in the area in the past week.
Of course, some will maintain that objecting to the display of flags and banners reveals an intolerance in itself, though maintaining that view might become more difficult if it meant having to endure the display of flags from ‘the other tradition’ outside your own door on an annual basis.
But what do you think?

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