The prominent Union Jack and it’s four wee stars may not fly for New Zealand much longer.
The future of NZ’s historical flag is under scrutiny as Prime Minister John Key proposes a new flag be designed that represents NZ and its identity a little better. The current flag portrays a colonial and post-colonial era whose time has passed, says Key.
In his speech at a breakfast in Waitangi back in February of this year, Key said the current flag represented the thinking of a young country moving from the 1800s to the 1900s.
“Our role in the world was very different then. Our relationship to the rest of the world has changed over time,” he said.
A referendum on the flag will be held over this parliamentary term, where New Zealander’s will be asked to vote for an alternate design, and then vote again on whether or not it should replace the current design.
Key has told leaders that he wants to see a new flag by the 200th anniversary of the Treaty, meaning that by 2040 the face of NZ could be much different to the one that has for so long, stood by us through war, competition, disaster and succession.
A website called Change the flag NZ has been set up to inform people of the process. It’s a place where those with an opinion can discuss and debate the topic.
It seems that for many, the Union Jack and Southern Cross is very meaningful – full of emotion and history. However, others believe the identity of NZ has changed and so should the flag.
Student journalist Samantha-Jane Harding took to Queen Street to hear what Aucklanders had to say about the proposed change: