Saturday, 2 January 2016

5. New Zealand - The Final Straight.


  As detailed in Blog 3, New Zealand has embarked on a process whereby it may change its national flag which it has flown, with a short break of 2 years, since 1869 - the grounds for doing so boiling down to the need for modernity rather than the recognition of the nation's history.
 New Zealanders began to vote in a national referendum on choosing a flag featuring a "silver fern" or retaining the respected current flag on 3 March 2016. The vote is to last for 3 weeks. Many New Zealanders see the vote being attributable to the vanity of their prime minister, John Key, whom they believe wishes to leave a legacy for after he has lost power, there being little else to remember him by.
  Presently, the evidence is that about two thirds of voters wish to keep the honoured old flag which has represented New Zealand through 2 World Wars and under which many young New Zealand servicemen served. War veteran groups have campaigned strongly to retain the old flag in recognition of this.
  Presumably, if the national flag is replaced, the new banner will be featured on a stamp issue by New Zealand Post to publicise the change in the national symbol.