Referendum on whether to change the NZ flag to be held
Newly re-elected New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has said he could hold a referendum next year on whether to change the country’s flag. The Prime Minister-elect decided not to call a vote on whether to ditch the Union Jack ahead of last weekend’s election.
In a radio interview Mr Key said he would like the process to take place at some point in 2015, adding that he was in favour of change. Earlier in the year the PM said he would like a flag that was instantly recognisable around the globe and favours a silver fern on a black flag.
The current kiwi flag features the Southern Cross constellation with the Union Jack in the top left corner. Although this has been New Zealand’s flag since the beginning of the last century it is sometimes confused with its Australian counterpart.
In February a poll was conducted with 72 per cent of respondents saying they want to keep the flag as it is. A group representing New Zealand’s soldiers said changing the design would be disrespectful to those who had given their lives trying to defend it.
However the silver fern motif has been adopted by various New Zealand sports teams like the All Blacks and is also featured on the tails of aircraft belonging to Air New Zealand, the national carrier.
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