British flag flap triggers Protestant passions in Belfast

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.

Authorities say two police officers and a security guard were wounded during Monday night's melee in the parking lot of the city hall.

More than 1,000 Protestants had rallied in the street outside as council members inside voted 29-21 to remove the Union Jack from atop the building for all but 17 official holidays each year. The British flag has flown continuously from the city hall dome continuously 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.

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