Commenting on an answer he received from Culture Minister Carol Cullan TUV leader Jim Allister said:
“At the World Police and Fire Games it is traditional that the flags of the competing nations be displayed. One would expect, therefore, that the Union Flag would be flown to represent Northern Ireland as it is the only official flag recognised for this part of the United Kingdom.
“However, knowing the bigoted Republicanism which Minister Cullan has displayed in the past I thought it prudent to seek an assurance that this would be the case.
“I am alarmed that the Minister has failed to give a straight answer but has instead said that the World Police and Fire Games Company are working closely with her officials “to ensure the Opening Ceremony is inclusive and agreed”.
“Going on past form we know that when Sinn Fein start talking about inclusion it all too often means that they are trying to strip any elements of Britishness away.
“I have therefore written to the World Police and Fire Games Company to argue strongly that there should be no question of the Northern Ireland team not being represented by the Union Flag. Other nations traditionally fly their flags with pride. Northern Ireland should be allowed to do the same this year. Any attempt to politicise the event by trying to deny the reality of Northern Ireland’s constitutional position within the United Kingdom would be totally unacceptable.”
Mr Allister’s question and the answer received are as follows:
To ask the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure, in relation to the World Police and Fire Games 2013, whether the Union Flag will be flown to represent the Northern Ireland team when national flags are being displayed.
The programme and content of the Opening Ceremony is still under development.
The World Police and Fire Games Company are working closely with my officials to ensure the Opening Ceremony is inclusive and agreed.