Flag row divides opinion

The debate over whether Banbridge town centre should remain a flag-free zone provoked reaction on our Facebook page.

Councillor Brendan Curran argued in last week’s Leader that the town centre should be ‘neutral’ all year round.

Here are a selection of comments:

All towns should be flag free, it’s just common sense in this country.

People go to Rushmere because there are better shops in Rushmere.

If the flag of the country he lives in offends him so much maybe he should live in a different country! There’s more important things policticians should be worrying about than flags on lamp posts.

People go to Rushmere because there are no good shops in Banbridge anymore. It’s not because there are flags up. If anything it makes the town look good. The flags have been going up for many years now and dont see why now you are calling for them to be taken down.

There has been no bunting up in Banbridge in a number of years. There is this year as the mini-Twelfth will take place in Banbridge along with the main July 12 celebration in Loughbrickland. Also the Black Saturday parade in Banbridge. So I think the town is looking well for it. In reference to flags flown with respect; all damaged flags be replaced along with stolen flags and they are not flown in Banbridge 365 days a year in the town.

I couldn’t give a fig if they flew every flag from Argentina to Zambia, the fact remains the people don’t shop in Banbridge, because there’s very little choice, and what there is, is not affordable to most families. I don’t agree that the petty arguments going on about flags is enough to put off multi- national stores setting up shop in Banbridge.

This is just another attempt of local and indeed national media to reignite the issues that are relating to the flags issues and such a shame at a time when marching season is to begin. The flags issue is about more than Banbridge. It’s a national issue that has not been fully explored and indeed communications and dialogue are still on going. To be pragmatic, the issues of green and orange need to be explored as well as at the realisation that we live in a multicultural and ever-evolving society, with many flourishing and inquisitive young people. If we are to move on and learn to live with respect and tolerance we should be exploring in the local media how these success stories are happening and not in fact trying to ignite and reform divisions.

Yeah you’re right if people don’t like it move on as they have been doing it for a long time (putting their flags up). They only do it for a few months of the year. I don’t see why people have to get on the way they do.

What a joke; what harm is it doing up?