TWO York brothers and their families are proudly flying the flag to send a strong message of support to Allied soldiers serving in the Gulf.

Andrew Gibson, of Tang Hall, and brother Martin, of Acomb, are to hold a weekly flag and banner demonstration at the Eye of York to back the troops.

Andrew, of Constantine Avenue, said: "I am not a rightwinger, I have voted Labour all my life, and this isn't especially about being pro-war.

"What it is about is letting the soldiers know we are right behind them. There has been that much coverage of the anti-war movement, but a lot of them are basically hippies, anarchists, who have collared all sorts of people as though it is the majority view.

"A lot of people support what is happening and just about everyone supports the troops. It just hasn't been said. We wanted to say it."

Brother Martin said: "There is a big silent majority out there who back what is being done. The response we have been getting has been brilliant."

When the Evening Press visited the demo yesterday, scores of car-drivers honked their horns in support.

One passing motorist beeped and shouted: "About bloody time."

Passers-by Terry and Doreen Raw, of South Bank, backed the demo.

Doreen said: "It's right. While the troops are there let's give them our support."

Andrew, a father-of-five and an ex-TA soldier, said: "People have wanted to say this. We have had about three negative responses and everyone else has backed us. We hope they (the soldiers) can get the job done and get home as quickly and as safely as possible."

Updated: 11:10 Monday, March 31, 2003