'Ditch the flag' - New York Times

MICHAEL FIELD
Last updated 18:52 22/03/2014

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Weighty support for a new flag for New Zealand has come from the New York Times today in an editorial headed “Maybe One Less Union Jack”.

It is not impressed with the current flag and noted Prime Minister John Key wants a referendum on change.

“That flag proclaims New Zealand as a South Pacific outpost of the British Empire, which is precisely why Mr Key wants to abandon it,” says the Times in an editorial.

“He thinks it shackles his country to its colonial past and is unrepresentative of the racial and cultural diversity of 21st-century New Zealand. The nation’s biggest city, Auckland, is more diverse than London or Sydney.”

It noted Key favours a silver fern on a black background and said it was used by New Zealand’s “famed rugby squad, the All Blacks''.

The Times says some critics are dubious about using a sports symbol, arguing that a country needs a flag, not a logo.

It said it would be sensible to have a panel of vexillologists, artists and designers come up with a new flag.

“For practitioners of vexillology — the study of flags — an opportunity like this does not come often, and they are surely eager to make the most of it,” the Times said.

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- Fairfax Media

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