EU flag stirs confused terrorist alert in Belfast

AP News
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Posted: Sep 29, 2014 1:05 PM

BELFAST, Northern Ireland (AP) — It's often said the European Union has an image problem. In Belfast, it seems, the EU flag can be mistaken for an emblem of terror.

Northern Ireland police say they were called Sunday to golfer Rory McIlroy's hometown of Holywood near Belfast after locals reported seeing a house flying the flag of an Islamic terrorist group.

The homeowner explained it was actually the emblem of the 28-nation EU, and he was flying the blue flag with gold stars to celebrate Europe's Ryder Cup victory over the United States. The man declined to be identified because of fears that Belfast's home-grown extremists might attack his house.

"You couldn't make it up," said Belfast councilman Andrew Muir.

The flying of rival Irish, British and paramilitary flags frequently raises tensions in Belfast.