Main | Wednesday, January 29, 2014

New Zealand Might Change Its Flag

The prime minister of New Zealand today suggested holding a public referendum on changing the national flag.  Proponents argue that the current flag suggests that New Zealand remains a colony of the United Kingdom. Others point out that the flag is often confused with the national flag of Australia, which is almost the same except it carries two more stars.
Labour Party deputy leader David Parker said it was not an important issue, but he supported a change to a red, white and blue design by an unnamed Dunedin designer which incorporated Maori and colonial influences. United Future leader Peter Dunne said the present flag "smacks of British imperialism" and recommended the Union Jack be removed. Mana Party leader Hone Harawira, who negotiated with the Government to get a Maori flag flown from the Auckland Harbour Bridge on Waitangi Day, said it was "time for for us to grow up and move on". He flew the Tino Rangitiratanga flag on his car but said any flag would be an improvement on the Union Jack and Southern Cross. The present flag dates from 1865, when the British Government asked vessels in its colonies to fly flags with the Blue Ensign. In 1869, Governor Sir George Bowen directed that the Southern Cross be added, as the constellation could be seen only in the Southern Hemisphere. The present design was adopted as the national flag in 1902.
I always get the Cuban and Puerto Rican flags confused.

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