New Zealand Shows Just How Hard It Is to Get Rid of an Old Flag


The power of a flag has been thrown on the world stage in the wake of the apparently race-related murder of nine people at a black church in Charleston, S.C., on June 17. And as the debate over whether to finally banish the Confederate flag — an innocent symbol of Southern pride to some, an abhorrent remnant of slavery and racial subjugation to others — to the history books continues to rage, a lesser-known but no less heated discussion in New Zealand demonstrates the tribulations associated with attempting to replace such long-standing symbols of collective identity.

The New Zealand flag, which currently features a Union Flag (commonly known as the Union Jack) and the four stars of the southern cross, has long drawn criticism for including what some consider a symbol of colonial repression. Tens of thousands of indigenous Maoris died following the arrival of white settlers in the 18th…

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One Response to “New Zealand Shows Just How Hard It Is to Get Rid of an Old Flag”

  1. stuartbramhall Says:

    Like gay marriage, this whole NZ flag issue is a distraction to conceal the NZ government’s determination to pass TPP. More than 11 local councils (representing 60% of the population) have passed resolutions opposing TPP. It’s even more unpopular here than in the US.

    In my view, it makes no sense to adopt a new flag without disengaging from the British crown and adopting a constitution and a republican form of government. Technically we’re still a constitutional monarchy with the Queen of England as our sovereign.

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