Published Wednesday, 11 April 2012
Sinn Féin and the SDLP want to see the Tricolour at Stormont. (© Getty)
UTV NEWS POLL
How do you think Stormont should resolve the flags debate?
It will be the first time the issue has been debated at the Assembly.
No fixed date for the meeting has yet been set, however it could take place in the coming weeks.
Nationalist politicians have welcomed the news, while unionists are adamant the Irish national flag will not be flown.
Sinn Féin's Barry McElduff told UTV: "Institutional reflection of your identity is important and people are asking why it is necessary to fly the British union flag 12 days a year.
"It creates an unwelcoming atmosphere not just for visitors but for staff as well, so it is a legitimate point to raise but not the only item on the agenda."
The DUP's Peter Weir told UTV: "I think this is a degree of kite-flying, of gesture politics in particular by Sinn Féin to appease their supporters.
"At the Assembly, basically anyone can put forward any proposition on any subject so simply the fact that someone has raised this issue is not of itself significant.
"Unfortunately this is more likely to damage good relations than to build them which is supposed to be the object of this exercise."
The Assembly Commission, the body which is responsible for the running of Parliament Buildings in Belfast, said it has not yet considered the proposal to fly the Irish national flag.
However it says the issue can be raised during a future meeting on good relations between nationalist and unionist communities in Northern Ireland.
The commission told UTV: "The Assembly Commission has not given consideration to the flying of the Irish national flag, nor is it on the agenda for any future commission meeting.
"The commission has agreed to have a future meeting specifically to consider good relations issues and members will be free to raise any related issues.
"The Assembly Commission is designated as a public authority under section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 (the Act) and under Section 75 (2) of the act, the commission has a statutory duty to have regard to the desirability of promoting good relations between persons of different religious belief, political opinion or racial group."
It is understood the commission, which includes one MLA from each of the five largest parties, will seek to reach an agreement over the flags issue.
It could result in a proposal going out towards the Assembly's business committee and then before MLAs - however, with 54 unionist votes against a combined 43 from Sinn Féin and the SDLP, a motion in favour of the Tricolour would likely be defeated.
© UTV News