From daily The Guardian in Britain:
Ulster resident calls police over ‘Arabic emblem’ that turns out to be EU flag
Police confirm that they investigated misguided complaint against flag flown to mark Europe’s Ryder Cup triumph
Henry McDonald, Ireland correspondent
Monday 29 September 2014 20.04 BST
A resident of Rory McIlroy’s hometown in Northern Ireland complained to the police about an EU flag erected to mark Europe’s Ryder Cup triumph because they thought it was an Arabic emblem, it has emerged.
And let us suppose it would have been a real Arabic flag. Would that have been an indicator of crime which police need to investigate?
The man who put up the EU flag, to celebrate Europe defeating the United States at Gleneagles, revealed on Facebook earlier on Monday that two police officers turned up at his door in the town now synonymous with McIlroy.
He posted on Facebook: “Right in shock here. Had a Ryder Cup party yesterday and just had the police round … as apparently it’s caused offence.
“Apparently person who complained thought it was an Arabic flag.”
The PSNI said its officers had become involved following the complaint.
A PSNI spokesman said: “Police in Holywood attended an address in the Woodlands area yesterday following the report from a member of the public that a flag they believed to be offensive had been erected. Police attended and no offence was detected.”
The EU flag-waving golf fan at the centre of the investigation did not want to be named but described the complaint as crazy. He said he told the PSNI at his house that the flag was flying in honour of the European golf team and particularly Ulster golfing stars McIlory and Graeme McDowell.
Local councillor for the non-sectarian Alliance party and former North Down mayor Andrew Muir said the complaint should be placed in the category of “you couldn’t make it up” stories.
Muir said: “It’s rather depressing that we would be focused upon flags. People are entitled to fly whatever legal flag they want from their house and in Northern Ireland we need to be able to celebrate our success and the European flag is an open, inclusive symbol of Europe coming together.”
The flying of flags is a contentious issue in Northern Ireland, none more so than in Belfast. For the last two years there have been Ulster loyalist protests at the gates of Belfast City Hall because the local council voted to restrict the flying of the union flag.
Until the end of 2012 Belfast city council flew the union flag atop the dome of City Hall 365 days per year. Nationalist and republican councillors tried to ban the flying of the flag entirely but a compromise was hit upon whereby the red, white and blue would be flown on 18 designated days including the Queen’s two birthdays.
Protests in the months just after the flag policy changed resulted in riots and dozens of arrests.