LOYALIST roadblocks caused huge disruption to commuters and shoppers on one of the busiest days before Christmas.
Dozens of protests caused chaos across greater Belfast at rush-hour. Further protests were also held in several towns around the north.
There were minor disturbances, particularly in the lower Newtownards Road area of east Belfast.
Petrol bombs and other missiles were thrown at police.
The widespread protests, which had been organised on Facebook, were poorly attended in some areas in comparison to Monday's demonstrations.
Loyalists have protested every night for almost three weeks following a decision by Belfast city councillors to restrict the flying of the Union flag over the city hall to designated days only.
Many of the same roads across greater Belfast were blocked again last night and all bus services except the Falls Road route in the west of the city were suspended for a time around rush-hour.
People used social media to complain bitterly about being stuck in traffic as well as about disruptions to their plans for Christmas shopping and socialising.
RTE sports presenter George Hamilton was among those affected by loyalists taking to the streets carrying Union flags.
He was caught up in traffic congestion caused by the protests and was unable to commentate on the first half of the Ulster versus Leinster game at Ravenhill. The start of the game was delayed for a few minutes to facilitate fans.
One of the largest protests was on the Newtownards Road in east Belfast.
An initial protest on Upper Newtownards Road at about 6pm moved to the bottom of the road which was closed between Bridge End and Templemore Avenue until around 8pm.
There was a standoff between protesters and police on lower Newtownards Road after officers asked those demonstrating to move off the carriageway.
The protest came amid height-ened tensions in the area following an attack on houses in the predominantly loyalist Wolff Close area.
Police said 15 people broke the windows of several houses in the area at about 1.50am yesterday.
There was then a "confrontation" between around 30 people, including residents and the attackers.
While police were dealing with the confrontation, a man with a weapon got out of a car driven down Bryson Street in the Short Strand.
The man tried to reverse away from police but he was stopped and arrested.
A 27-year-old man was charged for possessing an offensive weapon and is due to appear in court on January 21.
A 20-year-old man has been charged with rioting and is due to appear in Belfast Magistrates Court today.
Several houses in the nearby nationalist Short Strand area also had their windows broken last night.
Superintendent John McCaughan appealed to residents to remain calm.
"Tensions are heightened. How ever, we would ask that people take a step back and consider the wider implications of engaging in any criminal behaviour," he said.
"Police will have a visible presence on the streets of south and east Belfast over the festive period in order to help keep residents and communities safe."
Meanwhile, it is understood that Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness briefed Labour leader Ed Miliband on the loyalist protests during a lengthy telephone conversation yesterday.
It is understood that the senior Sinn Fein member told Mr Miliband about the alleged involvement of loyalist paramilitaries and far-right extremists linked to the British National Party in the violence. ■ DELAYED: RTE sports presenter George Hamilton was caught up in traffic congestion caused by the protests and was unable to commentate on the first half of the Ulster v Leinster game ■ PROTEST: A demonstration in south Belfast yesterday evening
PICTURE: Aidan O'Reilly/Pacemaker