Published Friday, 23 November 2012
Belfast City Hall. (© UTV)
The motion was passed at a meeting of the policy and resources committee, supported by Sinn Féin and the SDLP - but it would have to be ratified by the full council for action to be taken.
The flag currently flies every day over City Hall, but the issue of flags and emblems in shared spaces has long been at the centre of debates.
"Sinn Féin wants to see a City Hall that is inclusive and welcoming to every citizen and every tradition," the party's Jim McVeigh said, welcoming the committee's decision.
"The Union Jack is associated with one tradition in this city and is often used to exclude and intimidate others."
The SDLP's Tim Attwood explained his party's reason for backing the motion.
"The proposal put before the committee was designed to promote a shared space and present City Hall as a civic centre for all the people of Belfast and, as such, we voted to support it," he said.
"With the decision now having been taken, we look forward to full Council in December - where we hope other parties will continue to join with us in supporting a City Hall that is truly shared by all people of Belfast."
At the December Council meeting, we will again propose that the Union flag be flown on the designated days - as recommended by the Equality Commission.
Maire Hendron, Alliance
Unionist politicians did not back the proposal and were joined in their stance by the Alliance Party.
Questions have previously been raised over whether the Union flag should only fly on set days, whether a Tricolour should also fly alongside it, or whether any flag should fly at all.
Alliance's Maire Hendron said her party would never support attempts to remove the Union flag permanently from City Hall.
"At the meeting today I proposed that the flag should fly on designated days," she added.
"This has been a long standing Alliance policy and is in line with the recommendations of the Equality Commission in 2002 and 2011."
Ms Hendron further addressed claims that the Alliance Party group on Belfast City Council had made a pact with Sinn Féin and the SDLP on the future of the flag.
"Nothing could be further from the truth. The Alliance Party believes that the Union flag should be flown with respect and dignity," she said.
"In the context of building a shared future in our divided society, we believe it is important that the recommendations of the Equality Commission should be followed in the matter of flying flags."
The decision will be put to the full council on 3 December.
© UTV News