Councilor voices ‘safety’ concerns as Union flags hoisted on Rutherglen Main Street

A South lanarkshire councilor has hit out after Union flags were erected along a town center street during a flute band parade on Saturday.

Janine Calikes, who represents Rutherglen Central and North, said the number of flags being taped up to lampposts was a possible safety issues and a waste of time for council employees who have to take them down.

Social media posts later in the weekend showed a man hauling down one of the flags alongside a caption saying “Cleaning Up Rutherglen”.

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The flags were hoisted for a parade by the Rutherglen Bluebells and several other bands, including Bridgeton No Surrender, Cambuslang Britannia and Cambuslang Volunteers.

Councilor Calikes has previously stressed to other groups not to place flags or stickers on parts of the Main Street for the same reasons. She told Lanarkshire Live: ““A large number of my constituents contacted me with complaints that flags had once again been erected on lampposts on the day of a parade in the town.

“On witnessing these flags for myself, I immediately contacted the council and asked for their removal due to the potential safety issue – the flags were held up with bits of wood and tape and could have failed on passers-by.

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“The council has now removed the flags, and confirmed that no permission was sought or granted for their erection. The council does not allow anything to be affixed to ‘street furniture’ by the public and I would ask that whoever is doing this desist from doing it again.

“I am aware that the parade on Saturday was organized by Rutherglen Bluebell band and not the local Orange District Rutherglen Orange and Purple District 20. However, due to the long-standing links between both organisations, and without implying that either organization was responsible for erecting the flags, I have written to them both to ask whether they are doing anything to discourage this type of behavior from their supporters.

Janine Calikes
Councilor Janine Calikes

The Rutherglen Orange and Purple District 20 lodge responded to the councillor’s comments by stressing it was not an Orange walk that was taking place, but the flute band marking its anniversary, and that they were not aware of flags being draped around the town.

A spokesperson for the lodge stated: “Our District trustees and indeed the trustees of Grand Lodge of Scotland and County Grand Lodge of Glasgow’s are open to dialogue with any representatives of our local community as has been proven the case in the past with good relationships with Councilors and faith leaders from Rutherglen.

“If we are wanting to decorate for our celebrations we would apply to the council, however we have never seen fit to make such an application as we feel our processions already bring enough color and celebration as they are.”

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A spokesperson for South Lanarkshire Council said: “We can confirm that permission was granted to Rutherglen Bluebell Flute Band to parade in Rutherglen on Saturday, April 2.

“We are unaware who erected the flags, but we were not asked for permission, and arrangements are being made for their safe removal.”

The Main Street was the site of violence on Sunday, when two men, believed to be Celtic supporters, were attacked near the Vogue bar, following Celtic’s win against Rangers at Ibrox..

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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