On Monday 3 December, Belfast City council resolved by 29 votes to 21 to remove the Union Flag from the top of City Hall on all but 15 designated days a year.
The motion, a compromise from the liberal Alliance Party, was passed in preference to a nationalist-supported proposal to remove the flag completely.
Violence ensued, with loyalists breaking into the building.
Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) councillor Christopher Stalford was typical of much of the unionist response. There was “absolutely no excuse” for what happened after the vote, he said, but "those who started this debate should