At the Northern Ireland Assembly in June 2000, the parties had a lively debate on the issue of the carrying of Union flags on public buildings. Sinn Fein had ordered the departments it controlled not to fly the Union flag.1 On 8 November 2000, the Government adopted the Northern Ireland Statutory Rules (No 347) for flags2, which came into force on 11 November 2000. It specified certain days and occasions when the Union flag could be hoisted. Legislation has reduced flag flying days from 21 to 17.3″Good Friday Agreement – Symbols and Emblems”, BBC News, accessed 7 February 2013, www.bbc.co.uk/northernireland/schools/agreement/culture/symbols2. Friday, 10. April 1998, at 5.30pm.m., an American politician named George Mitchell, who chaired the talks, said: “I am pleased to inform you that the two governments and the political parties in Northern Ireland have reached an agreement.” In 2004, negotiations took place between the two governments, the DUP and Sinn Féin, on an agreement on institution-building. These talks failed, but a document published by governments detailing changes to the Belfast Agreement became known as the “Global Agreement”. However, on 26 September 2005, it was announced that the Provisional Irish Republican Army had completely closed and “decommissioned” its arsenal. Nevertheless, many trade unionists, in particular the DUP, remained sceptical. Of the loyalist paramilitaries, only the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) had decommissioned weapons.
 Further negotiations took place in October 2006 leading to the St Andrews Agreement. Various groups violated the ceasefire in 1998. In January 1998, peace talks nearly collapsed when the Loyalist Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF) admitted their involvement in the murder of three Catholics, violating the ceasefire. After this admission, the UFF cancelled its campaign against the killing of Catholics.1 Talks continued, the parties agreed on a final agreement, and signed a comprehensive peace agreement on April 10, 1998. On August 17, 2001, Secretary of State John Reid released a 75-page police plan to implement the recommendations of the Patten Commission. The plan outlines progress in the areas of the Ombudsman, the appointment of a supervisor, the reduction of police size and the selection of new recruits at 50:50 a.m. A new police board was established in September. On 4 November 2001, the Royal Ulster Constabulary changed its name to the Northern Ireland Police Service. On 12 December, the Police Commission also amended a badge for the new service and the emblem.1 “Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland”, accessed 29 January 2013, www.bbc.co.uk/northernireland/schools/agreement/policing/commissi. The agreement consists of two interconnected documents, both of which were agreed in Belfast on Good Friday, 10 April 1998: the ceasefire was announced in July 1997, there were no reports of ceasefire violations that year, and peace talks continued. .