The New York Times has thrown its weight behind a change to
the New Zealand flag.
Yesterday's editorial, titled "Maybe One Less Union Jack"
backs Prime Minister John Key's stance for a different flag
"(The) flag proclaims New Zealand as a South Pacific outpost
of the British Empire, which is precisely why Mr Key wants to
abandon it," the piece said.
"He thinks it shackles his country to its colonial past and
is unrepresentative of the racial and cultural diversity of
21st-century New Zealand.
"Those on Mr. Key's side argue, too, that their flag is
nondescript and derivative; it looks very much like
Australia's flag, for which it is often mistaken."
Mr Key has said he favoured the design of a silver fern on a
According to a Herald-DigiPoll earlier this week, a majority
of New Zealanders did not believe it was time to change the
But if a new flag was chosen in a public referendum, the
silver fern was by far the most popular design, the poll
Asked if they felt the time had come for New Zealand to
design a new flag for itself, 52.6 per cent of those surveyed
said "No" and 40.6 per cent said "Yes".
The New York Times' article also pointed to a New Zealand
Herald editorial, which urged Mr Key not to leave momentous
aesthetic decisions in the hands of a committee of
politicians, but to a panel of vexillologists, artists and
"That makes sense. 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
New York Times said.