Assembly members at Stormont have debated how the new so-called "super-councils" will work.
The change is the biggest shake up of the local government landscape in Northern Ireland in the last 40 years.
The existing 26 local authorities will be reduced to 11.
While the boundaries have been agreed, MLAs began the process of deciding how those new organisations will be run on Tuesday.
The bill is 94 pages long with 16 parts and 128 clauses.
Among the proposals are a wide range of recommendations including ending dual mandates, giving councils more planning powers and improving links between councils and Stormont.
However, there are no specific rules included in the legislation about the flying of flags on council buildings.
And the Alliance party has said there should be.
South Belfast MLA Anna Lo told the Assembly: "It is no secret that my party policy in respect of the national flag at council buildings is that the flag should be flown on designated days at all councils.
"We firmly believe, in line with the majority of councils in England, Scotland and Wales, that that is the most appropriate mechanism to represent the constitutional position of Northern Ireland and the special circumstances that we have here.
"I realise that the ongoing Haass talks are seeking to deal with issues like this and I am hopeful for an outcome.
"However, I would like to seek assurances from the minister that if this turn out not to be the case, he will consider including this at a further stage."
It is up to us in this chamber to show some real leadership.
She continued: "Without placing this on a statutory footing, I am sure that we could all predict the first agenda item on many of the new councils.
"We would see trouble ahead.
"Proving, perhaps, that not a lot has changed from the old days would not be a good way to start.
"There are merits in a standard approach across Northern Ireland.
"It would show that all space is truly shared and operates within the framework of regulation.
"However, perhaps more importantly than the merits, I believe that this is too divisive an issue to be taken on by each council on its own on 11 separate occasions."
The bill, however, does give councils the opportunity to reconsider sensitive matters.
In those cases an 80 per cent majority of councillors would have to agree to "call in" the matter.
Had those rules been in place in Belfast last year in all likelihood there would have be no change to how the flag was flown at city hall.
Outlining the aim of the bill, Environment Minister Mark H Durkan said: "The Executive's vision for local government is one of strong dynamic local government, creating communities that are vibrant, healthy, prosperous, safe and sustainable and that have the needs of all their citizens at their core."
Later in the debate, the minister said he was "not minded" to legislate for flag flying.
The Foyle SDLP MLA told the Assembly: "The Bill deals with improving services to local people and improving local government, and I do not see any merit in attaching regulations on flag-flying to do that.
"There are other fora where that can be discussed and, hopefully, resolved."
The Ulster Unionist Party has voted against the Local Government Bill.