UNIONIST politicians have appealed to those protesting against the removal of the Union flag from Belfast City Hall to make their votes count at the next election.
DUP councillor Robert Hill said that unionists who are concerned about the erosion of their British identity must use the democratic process to make their voices heard.
Commenting on the violence which erupted around flag protests in Newtownabbey, Belfast and other areas over the weekend, he said there is a lot of anger within the unionist/loyalist community.
“While unionism is condemned, nationalists name a play park of all things after a terrorist; they continue to protest against every parade, backed by the ridiculous Parades Commission, and try to remove any vestige of our Britishness from our country,” he commented.
“I would urge all people who disagree with what is happening to register to vote and smash this conspiracy democratically at the next election.”
Echoing the call for people to turn out and vote, UUP Assemblyman Roy Beggs said that electoral turnout in some traditionally unionist constituencies has fallen below 35 per cent.
“It is the task of all democrats and democratic parties, not least my own, to engage with the electorate and encourage greater participation in the political process. We must ensure that more people are registered to turn out to vote if we wish to protect our place within the United Kingdom,” he added.