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UUP Assembly candidate takes down Union and Ulster Flags in Portadown

An Ulster Unionist Assembly candidate has taken the people of Portadown by surprise.

Councillor Doug Beattie MC has posted photographs of himself removing Union and Ulster flags from electricity poles.

The reason?

The flags were not up to standard and were looking the worse for wear.

The councillor had been out and about on Friday whdougen he saw the flags, returning on Saturday – complete with ladder – to take them down.

Councillor Beattie joined the Ulster Unionist Party in March 2014 much to the delight of Party Leader Mike Nesbitt.

With the Royal Irish Regiment, he took part in two tours of duty in Afghanistan as well as serving in Iraq, where his actions during conflict led to him being awarded the Military Cross.

Councillor Beattie was the regimental Sergeant Major to Major Tim Collins during the second Gulf War and he has written two best-selling books on his experiences.

Elected to Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, the Portadown man is now running for the Northern Ireland Assembly.

He is one of three candidates put forwarded by the Ulster Unionists in Upper Bann, standing alongside Jo-Anne Dobson and Kyle Savage.

It was while on the election trail on Saturday that he was taken aback by the condition of the flags and felt he had no choice but to remove them.

Posting pictures on Facebook, he commented: “Canvassing yesterday in Parkmore & saw the state of some Union & Ulster Flags -today I took them down. ‪#‎FlagsNotRags‬. “

His decision seems to have won favour with some, as one commented: “Job well done! Some flags are a total disgrace, in fact they are an insult.”

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