Offensive flags and emblem burning ‘unacceptable’

Councillor Sandra Duffy.
Councillor Sandra Duffy.

The local Policing and Community Safety Partnership has warned of the potential impact of heightened tensions in the city and district during the summer months.

The provocative display of flags, emblems and posters was debated by members, specifically those items which are displayed or destroyed with the sole purpose of causing offence, at its recent meeting.

Members agreed to condemn the “inflammatory actions” of a minority within the local community.

Those gathered discussed what authority Police have to address these issues, and committed that all members would make every effort to promote respect and sensitivity, and would continue to work with communities to support the removal of offensive items.

In a joint statement issued afterwards, Councillor Sandra Duffy, Derry & Strabane PCSP Chair, and Patsy McGonagle, PCSP Vice-Chair, stated that such offensive actions were “aimed at provoking a reaction and causing distress”.

“The PCSP agreed that the flying of Parachute Regiment flags and the burning of flags, emblems and poppy wreaths on bonfires is unacceptable.

“Our members, elected, independent and statutory, will continue to work toward the removal of this material from communities to create a shared and welcoming space for all.

“The PCSP also expressed recognition and support for the good work that many people are delivering to move our communities forward to address these issues.”