Flags, flags, flags. So many people, burning with the need to tell the world where their loyalties lie. And not just those in their own area. These modern globetrotters sally forth, like contemporary conquistadores, to find new worlds where they can tell other communities how fulfilling it is to wear your heart on your lamp-post.
The latest rash of this red-hot zeal is to be found in Cantrell Close in South Belfast. There, showing great imagination, persons unknown have run up professional banners showing bombings and killings from the past, but in every case detailing republican attacks on unionist people.
Who produced and placed these banners? Which particular group of contemporary conquistadores? Mysteriously, no one knows. Jamie Bryson knows it wasn’t the UVF but apart from that he’s a bit vague.
So will the arrival of these banners result in greater harmony in this mixed area, or greater division? The obvious answer, and intention, is greater division. So since the job of the police is to avoid sectarianism, they should take their courage – and a ladder – in their hands and remove them. If the banner boys strike again, it’s scarcely beyond the wit of the PSNI to mount cameras to establish who’s putting these up, identify them and charge them with attempts to breach the peace and encourage sectarianism.
Do what you want to do, guys, in an area that applauds your insecurities. But please stop trying to export these insecurities; keep them at home where they can rest and fester, blighting the thinking of those with kindred minds.