What if you could choose a new national flag? What would you choose? What are the current flags based on? Does anyone even remember? Does anyone even care?
According to Wikipedia (the uber-reliable source of all taken-with-a-pinch-of-salt knowledge) the Union flag of the UK has the red cross of St George for England, the white saltire of St Andrew for Scotland and the red saltire of St Patrick for Ireland. Wales is not directly represented as it was a part of the former Kingdom of England.
In New Zealand, the Union flag of the UK is represented to the top left of the design along with four red stars of the southern cross (Australia has five white stars of the southern cross – just to differentiate the two).
New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key, has been campaigning for a new flag for some time to help build New Zealand’s international brand and perhaps better define the culture of the nation (he even rather bizarrely suggested that the national flag should be similar to that of the All Blacks rugby team!). Anyway, Kiwis are being asked to do 2 things…first a referendum to choose a preferred alternative flag design (by ranking the options)…and secondly a referendum to decide whether to go with the selected design from the first referendum or to keep the existing UK-based flag.
See what you think of the 5 options by clicking here…for me, 4 of them feel a bit like clip-art that no-one could ever hope to draw for themselves. Indeed, the one with the red triangle (entitled “Red Peak”) was only added to an original 4 options after overwhelming public support (you have to love a politician squirming as they are forced to change their minds). I kind of hope that the government just waste their millions of dollars and end up with the original flag – just to prove a point…but then…I am a tad biased and think that history is fundamentally important to the 100% migrant population of New Zealand and I also don’t get a vote!
In round one of the vote the Silver Fern (Black, White & Blue) design was selected as the preferred choice. Less than half the population voted and this one was selected because it got the most highly ranked votes – not the most first places.