According to the Queen’s University Belfast academic Dominic Bryan we are now flying more flags here than ever before. Union flags and Irish Tricolours seem to still be the old favourites depending on where you live. But Israeli flags are also popular as are Palestinian flags. The Basque flag is also sometimes seen flying from lamp posts here. Also flying high are flags belonging to illegal paramilitary groups like the UVF and UDA. But is there more to this than marking out tribal territory. Even at the height of the troubles in the Town I grew up in the Union flags only flew from people’s houses for a couple of weeks every July. The rest of the year the flags were packed away. Is the Union flag some sort of comfort blanket to people who are insecure in their identity?

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