A proposal to ban the national flag from the St. Patrick Day's celebrations in Derry and Strabane has been branded 'repressive' by Saoradh, which has said it will resist the embargo.
Lorna Brady, a Strabane-based spokeswoman for the republican group, has condemned the decision not to include tricolour flags and emblems in the official Council St. Patrick's Day parades across the Derry City and Strabane District Council area.
“The unionist appeasement agenda has reached its peak. Again we are seeing the erosion of anything relating to the Irish national identity and heritage. This must be challenged,” she said.
Ms. Brady asked if the ban meant the "British Union flag will be banned from future triumphalist Orange Order marches based on funding"?
She stated: "The decision to suppress our national flag, on a national holiday renowned the world over for promoting Ireland’s national identity is an act of political and cultural repression. Such repression always meets with resistance."
However, the Council has stated: “While no action is planned to prevent the use of flags or emblems, their display could have an adverse impact on Council’s ability to deliver the event effectively in the future.
“Council is working closely with all the groups involved to ensure the cross community principles of the event are reflected in the parade.”
Sinn Féin is due to raise the matter at a special meeting of Derry City and Strabane District Council this afternoon.
Colr. Karina Carlin has said the party will seek the inclusion of the national flag in the St. Patrick's Day parades, saying she believes it can be incorporated into the celebrations without controversy.