Stop copying our flag! New Zealand lashes out at Australia

28 July, 2018, 14:42 | Author: Donnie King
  • Spot the difference The New Zealand flag left and Australia’s flag

The acting prime minister of New Zealand has called on Australia to change its flag, claiming the neighbouring country stole their banner's design.

The acting head of the government of New Zealand Winston Peters has urged the Australian government to change the national flag.

The two nations' flags are both dark blue with the Union Jack emblem in the top left corner.

"We had a flag that we've had for a long time, copied by Australia, and they should actually change their flag and honour the fact that we got there first with this design", he told TVNZ.

Technically, New Zealand adopted its Southern Cross-starred flag in 1902, while Australia formally only did so in 1954.

The 73-year-old also raised it earlier this week, complaining "we got there first with this design".

Key had hoped that a fresh design would better differentiate New Zealand from Australia.

More than one thousand New Zealanders have had their visas cancelled in Australia since stricter deportation laws were introduced four years ago.

"If anything it can be argued that the idea of the Southern Cross on a flag came from Australia", said Malcolm Mulholland, a historian at the New Zealand college Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi.

The failed referendum cost New Zealand $US17 million, The Washington Post reported. But in 2016, after a finalist for a new flag had been selected, nearly 57 percent of Kiwis opted to keep their old flag.

New Zealander William Stevens was one of five winners who submitted a design for the Australian flag in 1901, all of which were so similar they were described as identical at the time, with commentators joking that if New Zealand chose to become part of Australia changing the flag would be a simple process with another star added to the southern cross.

Bridges said New Zealanders he has spoken to are more concerned about issues such as the economy and healthcare. While officially New Zealand citizens, some had never stepped foot in their home country.

The two flags have sometimes been mixed up on public occasions. The only difference is that New Zealand's design has four red stars, while Australia's has six white ones.

An additional fifth star, with only five points, completes the constellation.



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