A Portadown man who climbed an Orange arch and stole flags, replacing them with a Tricolour, was jailed for six months on Wednesday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.
Desmond Hatton (42) of Woodside Green admitted a number of offences which happened on June 30 last year.
They included having a set of ladders for use in course of a theft, damaging a flagpole on Parkmount Loyal Orange Arch, stealing two flags valued at £40 and replacing the flags with an Irish Tricolour with intent to provoke a breach of the peace.
For the first three offences he was given six months in prison and four months for the breach of the peace. Suspended sentences were also put into operation.
All the terms are to run concurrently making a total of six months.
The court heard Hatton had gone down the Garvaghy Road with a set of ladders and took the flags from the arch.
When interviewed by police he admitted scaling the arch and taking the flags, saying it was done for community relations.
Hatton said he regretted the incident and that he had been drinking heavily the night before.
Mr John McAtamney, representing the defendant, said it was a stupid prank that got out of hand when he was egged on by others.
He added that Hatton described himself “as a bit of an idiot” at the time.
District Judge, Mr Alan White, said it was “outrageous behaviour” and he regarded it as a sectarian incident.
“It was lucky it did not lead to something much more serious,” he added.
Later Hatton was released on bail to appeal.