It's much more interesting than the whole 'is the Union flag a BNP symbol' question that came up all of those years ago when Morrissey waved one about in Finsbury Park.
Brian Walker is really worth a read here on this subject:
"Max Weber’s definition of the State applies: it is the monopoly provider of legitimate force. In fact, we are getting there (probably) but have not yet arrived, in terms of consent and in fact on the ground. This will be a remarkable achievement ( and it will be accomplished, I believe). It will serve as a rare example of the political class leading opinion."
"... what NI needs is .... a sense of common purpose, a developing sense of a shared future. In falling turn-outs at elections and in Life and Times surveys there are some signs that some of the public are wearying of the old disputes.While taking care to protect new-found and long overdue rights and freedoms, we should surely do all we can to encourage this trend."
But do read the whole thing.