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Union flag protesters ready to target Sturgeon

DEMONSTRATORS supporting the Loyalist Union flag dispute in Northern Ireland are turning their attention to Scotland's independence referendum, with a protest planned against senior SNP figures next week.

The protesters are planning to picket Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's constituency office on Glasgow's south side a week on Saturday.

One demonstrator said the protest at Ms Sturgeon's office was a "no to independence and to protect the union", adding the pro-Union "Better Together" campaign did not represent their views.

A recent flags rally in Ayr was also billed as a "pro-Union event", with some involved having told The Herald they are now as much anti-independence rallies as they are in support of the Loyalist protests across Northern Ireland.

The protests stem from the decision by Belfast Council to only fly the Union flag on designated days, which has sparked protests, riots, violence, intimidation of politicians and attempted murder of police. Despite this, the Scottish protests have passed without incident.

One protester wrote on Facebook: "All the rallies have been peaceful but enough's enough. Sturgeon is forgetting her history and needs reminding. We're standing firm with Ulster as we have since 1912."

A spokesman for the pro-independence "Yes" campaign, of whose advisory board Ms Sturgeon is a member, said: "The 'Yes' campaign is focused on a positive message on the future of Scotland."

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