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Union Flag will not fly over Belfast City Hall on Prince Andrew’s birthday

Belfast City Council have confirmed that the Union Flag will not fly over city hall to mark the Duke of York’s birthday later this month.

The decision was ratified at a meeting of the council on Tuesday after councillors voted for the measure last month, with Andrew facing a civil sexual assault case in the US.

He strongly denies the allegations. 

SDLP, Sinn Fein and Alliance councillors backed a motion at the council’s Strategic Policy and Resources Committee on January 21 to stop the annual marking of Andrew’s birthday in the city.

DUP councillors voted against the move at that meeting, saying the outcome of the trial should be awaited.

However, on Tuesday the Alliance party proposed moving the designated flag-flying day from the duke’s birthday on February 19 to the anniversary of the Battle of the Somme on July 1.

This was seconded by DUP councillor Brian Kingston, who said his party’s initial opposition was out of a desire to protect the number of designated flag-flying days.

The Duke of York stopped using his HRH style and was stripped of his prestigious honorary military roles by the Queen earlier this month.

The issue of the flying of the Union Flag from City Hall has been controversial in the past, with a decision in 2012 by councillors to limit the number of days it is flown from all year round to designated days sparking protests and disorder.

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