New Zealand Flag Debate: New Designs Announced

The people of New Zealand could soon vote for a new flag to represent their country. New Zealand is located in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Australia and is made up of two main islands, and numerous smaller islands.

Proponents for a flag change say the current flag is too similar to Australia's, and doesn't represent New Zealand's current status as an independent nation. New Zealand is just one of a handful of countries that still has Britain's union jack on its flag.

Four finalist designs were announced as a result of a contest to create a new banner to represent the nation. Three of the designs prominently feature a fern frond, a popular symbol among kiwis, which is a nickname for people from New Zealand. The fourth is simply what's known as a "koru" spiral, which has special meaning to the native people.

New Zealanders will vote on their favorite design in a referendum later this year. Then next year, a second vote will be held to determine if the new design will replace the current flag.

So we've got a challenge for you! If you could design a flag for your school or classroom, what symbols would you put on it, and why?

Explain the meaning of your flag, and we'll show some of our favorites on the next show.

Instructional Links

Website Article: BBC, New Zealand Country Profile

Encyclopedia Article: World Book Student: New Zealand Flag

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