THE flags in the Gaol Square area of Enniskillen town centre are now gone and both sides of the community are happy with the recent development.
The flags which had previously been the subject of criticism from local nationalists were removed late last Monday night September 9. They had been up for at least six months, with consternation first expressed back before the G8 came to town in June.
Speaking to the Herald, UUP local MLA Tom Elliott had not been aware the flags had been removed, but when told was pleased to hear the news.
“Obviously I’m pleased they have taken them down before they got tattered and run down,” said Mr Elliott.
When asked whether he felt the flags had become tattered before they were removed, Mr Elliott said he ‘hadn’t passed much notice on them’, but conceded it was ‘probably time they came down’.
“I like to see the flag of our nation flown, but flown with respect, I don’t like to see the flag of any nation in a bad state, it does no justice to the flag and those who support it.”
He added: “I’m not so sure it had a major impact, I wouldn’t say the town was littered with them. I wouldn’t have thought it had any effect to be honest.”
Local Sinn Fein MLA Phil Flanagan was similarly pleased the flags had been removed, but for very different reasons.
“It is a long overdue move, but one that should be welcomed. The state these flags were in when they were taken down was ridiculous. It is disrespectful to the flag of any nation, no flag should be treated in such a manner.
“These flags presented a very bad image on arrival into Enniskillen. If people are insistent on erecting flags in the centre of town it should only be done immediately before an event and then removed as soon as possible afterwards.”
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