Flags to line up for perusal

The five contenders to replace New Zealand's flag will soon be fluttering in Dunedin.

The Dunedin City Council yesterday confirmed the five alternative flags would be flown on top of the Great King St parking building within days.

The council had ruled out flying the flags earlier this month, but performed an about-face yesterday after the NZ Flag Consideration Panel offered to send copies of the flags to Dunedin and other centres.

The five alternative flags are due to face off in the first stage of New Zealand's flag referendum, beginning next month, before the winning design goes up against the incumbent in March next year.

Council corporate services group manager Sandy Graham said the council would have to take steps to ensure all five flags were displayed with the same prominence.

Protocols dictated the flags be flown at the same time, in close proximity to one another, so they could be seen together from a public space, she said.

The Great King St building's five flagpoles ''fits the bill'', but the council would also fly them ''in the order they appear on the ballot paper'' to avoid any whiff of favouritism, Ms Graham said.

It would also keep a close eye on wind forecasts to try to avoid damage to any one of the flags, she said.

''We have to change ours regularly on our building ... they wear out on the ends. We'll have to be mindful that we can't have any one of them [alternative flags] looking tatty.''

Weather permitting, the flags would be flown until mid-December to help inform the public debate, she said.

''We believe there's a degree of public interest, and we're just trying to help.''


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