The New Zealand Flag Referendum

Postcard by The New Zealand Souvenir Company
By Val
@valmnz (12595)
New Zealand
March 19, 2016 3:59pm CST
At the moment New Zealand is in the midst of a referendum, deciding whether we want to keep our current flag, shown above, or to change to a design voted on in a previous referendum last year. At the moment, about half way through the poll, the vote is in favour of retaining the old flag. I certainly know that most people I know prefer to keep our existing flag at this stage. However, there is also quite a bit of support for the new design. One thing the referendum has done is create a lot of discussion about what it means to be a New Zealander, or a Kiwi as we tend to be called. I guess it doesn't hurt a nation to examine its beliefs and how it views itself, even though this and the previous referendum have cost a lot of money that could more usefully have been spent elsewhere.
24 people like this
25 responses
@Asylum (45972)
• Manchester, England
19 Mar 16
I always consider it a sad occasion if a country changes it's flag, which is an integral part of a country's heritage and history/ The only acceptable exceptions are those like the USA, where it has changed each time a new state has been accepted.
3 people like this
@valmnz (12595)
• New Zealand
19 Mar 16
I think most people here agree with you. The concern here seems to be that fewer people here now relate to the British Union Jack as being part of what our country stands for and so the move to consider something that reflects everyone.
3 people like this
@Asylum (45972)
• Manchester, England
19 Mar 16
@valmnz Well al I have to say about that is that if you remove the Union flag from your flag then we will stop showing Skippy the Bush Kangaroo on British television.
3 people like this
@valmnz (12595)
• New Zealand
19 Mar 16
@Asylum go tell that to the Aussies, not us Kiwis here in NZ for your info, I voted to retain the current flag.
1 person likes this
@jstory07 (57605)
• Roseburg, Oregon
19 Mar 16
You should keep the same flag.
3 people like this
@valmnz (12595)
• New Zealand
19 Mar 16
Most of us agree, but many people think it no longer reflects who we are as a nation as British is no longer our predominant culture.
1 person likes this
@sueznewz2 (8771)
• Alicante, Spain
19 Mar 16
I've often wondered who designs flags... and how many people in the countries of the flags know the relevance...., it's a tricky subject....
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12595)
• New Zealand
20 Mar 16
While unfortunately rather experience, this has certainly created an increased awareness here. The design of the alternative flag was put into the public arena.
1 person likes this
@sueznewz2 (8771)
• Alicante, Spain
20 Mar 16
@valmnz what is the new design.... , and does it represent NZ. In anyway. .??
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12595)
• New Zealand
20 Mar 16
@sueznewz2 yes, it is similar, but replaces the Union Jack with a silver fern, the emblem under which most of our sports people compete.
1 person likes this
@Dragonairy1 (1486)
• Newcastle Upon Tyne, England
20 Mar 16
I quite like different flags.
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12595)
• New Zealand
20 Mar 16
It's hard when you're talking about changing your country's national identity.
1 person likes this
• Newcastle Upon Tyne, England
20 Mar 16
@valmnz yes, there must be something in the air as we vote this year to decide if we want to remain in the eu. It's not quite the same as changing your flag, but I guess it does reflect how European people feel.
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12595)
• New Zealand
20 Mar 16
@Dragonairy1 and issues like that make you think about your national identity
@amadeo (42232)
• United States
19 Mar 16
I loved the flag.Why all of a sudden most places want to change.Weird.
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12595)
• New Zealand
20 Mar 16
I think we're growing away from the notion of England being the Mother Land and Home Country. That no longer applies here.
@amadeo (42232)
• United States
20 Mar 16
@valmnz Oh!is that good or bad there?I love the flag
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12595)
• New Zealand
20 Mar 16
@amadeo it's a mixture, but mostly positive. As we're a reasonably young country we're adding depth to our character now
@garymarsh6 (11903)
• United Kingdom
19 Mar 16
Well I could redesign one for you. How about sheep, Kiwi fruit and paint it 'all black'?
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12595)
• New Zealand
19 Mar 16
I think a few similar ones were submitted when new designs were called for
1 person likes this
@garymarsh6 (11903)
• United Kingdom
20 Mar 16
@valmnz I know you told me about the third Island before but we only know about the North and South Islands.
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12595)
• New Zealand
21 Mar 16
@garymarsh6 and i think many of us here tend to forget about Stewart Island too
1 person likes this
@silvermist (14856)
• India
20 Mar 16
@valmnz As people are not sure of the alternative it would be nice to keep the current one.
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12595)
• New Zealand
21 Mar 16
I imagine the vote could be close, but the progress report is that the current one is leading.
1 person likes this
@silvermist (14856)
• India
21 Mar 16
@valmnz For the moment that would be the best option.
@Jessicalynnt (48199)
• Centralia, Missouri
19 Mar 16
plus I'd hate to have to buy new flags and stuff!
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12595)
• New Zealand
19 Mar 16
The whole procedure so far has been very costly, but it has made many of us think about what our country stands for. I still favour the current flag, but I can see the reasoning behind a change as well.
1 person likes this
• Centralia, Missouri
19 Mar 16
@valmnz exactly. especially if something doesnt fit the image, but maybe just a slogan flag? lol
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Mar 16
What is the point other than as you said cost your country more money that would be better spent elsewhere? It costs money to change flags and or anything else that has that symbol of your nation on it. And then once it's changed then what?
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12595)
• New Zealand
21 Mar 16
I think there is a move to assert our identity as individuals after being identified as part of Britain for so long. The Union Jack means less to people now than it did 100 or more years ago.
• United States
20 Mar 16
I think it's cute, but maybe it doesn't portray your country, is that why some want it changed?
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12595)
• New Zealand
21 Mar 16
There's a growing belief that our Maori heritage is excluded in the current flag.
@nanette64 (11952)
• Fairfield, Texas
20 Mar 16
There are 4 different versions of the new flag isn't there @valmnz ? I hate to say it but I kinda like the newer ones.
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12595)
• New Zealand
21 Mar 16
We voted on those four versions last year. It's all about how we identify ourselves I guess.
1 person likes this
@just4him (81941)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
20 Mar 16
I saw that on another post from Robin that the flag was up for review of whether to retain or go for the new one. When does it go to final vote?
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12595)
• New Zealand
20 Mar 16
It's in the process at the mment, I think the referendum closes Thursday.
1 person likes this
@CRK109 (14410)
• United States
20 Mar 16
I would imagine it's difficult to change something that has been a national symbol for so long. I'll be watching and listening to see what finally happens! :)
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12595)
• New Zealand
20 Mar 16
We're all watching and waiting here
@slund2041 (3497)
• United States
20 Mar 16
I wonder why they even thought it a good idea to change it after all those year's?
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12595)
• New Zealand
20 Mar 16
Because we have moved on from the colonial days and some people want something that reflects who we are.
@xFiacre (9856)
• Ireland
20 Mar 16
@valmnz Its a bit of a strange thing to have a referendum about. We're having a referendum to decide should the UK leave or remain in the EU soon. Maybe we could have one on our flag too. We have a thing about flags here.
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12595)
• New Zealand
20 Mar 16
So does our current Prime Minister.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (90254)
• Bunbury, Australia
20 Mar 16
I like flags that show more than just bands of different colour - so I like the Aussie and NZ flags. I thought some of the designs with the fern were nice - and the fern says 'New Zealand' just like the maple leaf says 'Canada'.
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12595)
• New Zealand
20 Mar 16
I agree. We liked the other fern flag, but still not enough to replace our current one.
@Tampa_girl7 (21028)
• United States
19 Mar 16
They are trying to change the Mississippi flag too.
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12595)
• New Zealand
20 Mar 16
Interesting. Do you know the reasoning behind that?
@JohnRoberts (34034)
• Los Angeles, California
19 Mar 16
What does the new design look like? I gather it's the Union Jack in the old that people don't like.
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12595)
• New Zealand
19 Mar 16
It's not that people don't like it, but that it no longer reflects the colonial country we once were. The alternative flag replaces the Union Jack with a silver fern, one of our national emblems.
@Susan2015 (17606)
• United States
19 Mar 16
Wonder why some want to change it. And yes, the money could have been spent on other things.
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12595)
• New Zealand
19 Mar 16
The Union Jack doesn't reflect anything of our Maori heritage
@jaboUK (48829)
• United Kingdom
19 Mar 16
So what does the proposed new flag look like?
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12595)
• New Zealand
19 Mar 16
The design that won the first referendum has a silver fern instead of the Union Jack.
1 person likes this