Madonna uses NZ flag as cape, prompts referendum speculation

Madonna is in Auckland to perform her Rebel Heart Tour at Vector Arena.

Madonna is in Auckland to perform her Rebel Heart Tour at Vector Arena.

Madonna's outrageous outfits have shaped the music and fashion worlds, but will her decision to wear the current New Zealand flag as a cape hold any sway in the midst of the flag referendum?

The singer came out draped in the flag during her concert at Auckland's Vector Arena on Saturday night.

There were suggestions from some fans it was a sign of her support for keeping the current flag.

Voting on the flag referendum opened on Thursday and runs to March 24, giving people a choice between the old flag and the new silver fern design.

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Madonna is not the first international celebrity to make a splash in the flag debate after Justin Bieber told a radio programme last year he couldn't understand the appetite for change, saying: "are you guys not confident in your flag? It looks fine to me."

Fleetwood Mac broadcast a giant image of the current flag on their stage backdrop during their New Zealand tour in November.

And Oprah Winfrey was coy on her thoughts when she visited in December, joking: "I don't think I get to vote. I don't think I've been here long enough, I think you have to be here for at least a week to get to vote."

For Madonna, the New Zealand referendum is probably not her biggest flag-related concern right now.

After wearing the Philippines flag on stage in Manila in February she was warned it was disrespectful and that she may not be welcomed back into the country.

The Philippine Republic Act No. 8491, section 34, stipulates the code of the national flag, coat-of-arms, anthem and motto, "prohibits wearing the flag in whole or in part as a costume or uniform".

Madonna returns to Vector arena on Sunday night for her second and final show in New Zealand.

 - Stuff

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