Mob storms Belfast City Hall over UK flag vote

The Associated Press

BELFAST, Northern Ireland — A Protestant mob has stormed into the grounds of Belfast City Hall and clashed with police after the council’s Catholic majority voted to remove the British flag from the building for most of the year.

Police say five police officers and two security guards were injured during Monday night’s melee outside city hall.

More than 1,000 Protestants had rallied outside as the council voted 29-21 to remove the Union Jack from the building for all but 17 official days each year. The British flag has flown continuously from the city hall’s dome for more than a century.

Some in the crowd smashed through locked gates, vandalized staff cars and fought with police. Officers responded with swinging batons.