Proposed New Zealand Flag Change
Many New Zealanders believe it is time for a flag change. They believe the current New Zealand flag does not adequately represent our country around the world and that a new flag will better distinguish New Zealand from our sister country Australia. Many flags were designed by people from around New Zealand and submitted to the government for review. New Zealander's were given the chance to go along to meetings to discuss the proposed flags and which flags they thought would best represent us. It was decided that New Zealand did want a flag change, and four flags were picked by the government from all those submitted.
What is the Current New Zealand Flag?
The current New Zealand flag is blue, featuring the Union Jack of Great Britain in the top left corner, and four red stars with white borders to the right of the flag. These four stars represent the asterism within the constellation of Crux, or the Southern Cross.
What are the Proposed New Flags?
These are the four proposed flags:
Some of the features of the flags include:
- The Silver Fern - The silver fern is a huge part of our cultural idendity. It's featured on uniforms, logos and titles of our national sports teams such as the Silver Ferns and All Blacks. It's inscribed on tombs of kiwis, including fallen New Zealand soldiers buried overseas.
- The 4 Stars - Retaining the Southern Cross from the existing flag.
- The Koru - Koru's are stylized fern leaves. Ferns are native to New Zealand and the koru plays a huge part of our Maori culture and identity.
- Black & White - Black and white are colours that are strongly associated with New Zealand. Many of our national sports teams identify by colour, ie The All Whites, The All Blacks etc.
- Red & Blue - Retaining the colours of our mother country Great Britain.
Should we have a new flag?
There are many reasons for wanting to change the current New Zealand flag. Probably one of the main reasons is that the New Zealand flag is so very similar to Australia that we get mistaken for them all the time. And vise versa. Importantly, many kiwi's feel that the current flag does not really represent who we are as a people.
John Key, our Prime Minister, outlined his reasons for believing we need change here:
It's no secret that I'm a strong supporter of changing the New Zealand flag, so I've outlined why I support change and challenge some of the arguments against it.Posted by John Key on Wednesday, 12 August 2015
However, many people think the flag change is a bad idea, some of their reasons are:
- It's going to cost a lot of money.
- Do we want to lose that strong tie back to Britain as we are a Consitutional Monarchy?
- Is there some conspiracy behind the idea? Some hidden agenda?
- Soldier's died for our flag, we shouldn't change it.
- Our flag is great, why change it?
What is going to happen next?
The next part in the flag change process is a referendum that New Zealand will be asked to take part in. Everyone who is registered to vote in New Zealand will get the chance to pick which of the 4 proposed flags best represents New Zealand. This vote will take place between 20 November – 11 December 2015.
The second referendum will ask registered New Zealand voters to change to the highest voted flag of the first referendum, or stay with the current flag. This referendum will take place between 3 March – 24 March 2016.
How do I get Involved?
While the official consideration programme has ended, you can still get involved by discussing the proposed changes with your family, friends and communities. Teaching the proposed changes to children in schools is also an important consideration.
If you are elligible, ensure you are registered to vote, and that your contact details are up to date. Voting on the referendums is very important in ensuring your feelings on the flag change are counted and make a difference.
How do I find out More?
Go to the official New Zealand government website to find out more.