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Erection of apartheid era South Africa flag described as 'bizarre'

The erection of an apartheid era South Africa flag in Moneyslane, Co Down, has been described as bizarre. Picture by Mal McCann.
Connla Young

A nationalist politician has described the flying of an apartheid era South Africa flag in a rural Co Down hamlet as "bizarre".

The flag is one of several put up in Moneyslane, which is between Banbridge and Castlewellan, over the summer and remained up earlier this week.

The flag, which was replaced as the flag of south Africa in 1994, was used by the apartheid regime during the years of discrimination by the white minority over the country’s black majority.

Three flags contained in the centre of the banner include the Union flag.

Sinn Féin councillor Kevin Savage last night questioned the reason for putting up the flag.

“I would like to know the rationale, what links Moneyslane has to South Africa, it seems bizarre that this was up there?" he said.

“Given its past and the regime it represented in this day and age it should not have been flown anywhere in the world.”

UUP councillor Glenn Barr last night said he is not familiar with the former South African flag.

“I don’t honestly know what it looks like,” he said.

“Mr Savage was very quiet when there was an Irish tricolour with a gunman in it in his own back yard.

“Where was his rationale then?

He added that he intends to “make enquiries and see what is the purpose behind it”.

Mr Savage said that the flag referred to by Mr Barr was put up around two years ago and later taken down.

“In 2014 at a public meeting I called for action to taken to take all flags down in Laurencetown,” he said.

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