Kyle Lockwood's design as featured in the NZ Listener - 9 January 2014
John Key proposes a silver fern on a black background, 29 January 2014
Lewis Holden suggests many people think a black and white flag 'looks like the Jolly Rodger", 29 January 2014
So asks the governor-general, after John Keys’ proposed flag referendum announcement earlier this week.
On Wednesday morning John Key revealed outside a factory in Lower Hutt, that there might be a referendum on a replacement New Zealand flag, I, along with many others, have concerns as to what John Key proposes - a choice of either the existing flag, or a silver fern on a black background, such a referendum, if implemented, is bound to turn many voters off to the idea of flag change.
I join both the Governor General and the designer of the 1986 All Blacks flag, Dave Clark, in thinking that a New Zealand flag should not be a silver fern on black, I think a new flag, should be colourful, a black silver fern flag is absolutely brilliant as a sports team logo, but in the opinion of many, the colour black conjures up images of piracy, mourning and death, and is not suitable for a national flag.
A referendum should be held at the next election, firstly to ask the question “Should New Zealand’s flag be changed?” then, if the answer is yes, we as a nation shouldn't rush, we need to give ourselves a good two or three years to consider replacement designs, we should even run a national competition, where the winning design could be put forward for consideration, along with perhaps four or five other designs, that have gained traction in popularity over the years. These designs should then be put forward to a vote at, or before, the 2017 general election.
The worst thing we could end up with is getting a government committee to design a future New Zealand flag, and force their design on us, such a scenario could end up in a disastrous flag, which very few would be proud to fly.
I think that whatever future flag we choose, it should be one chosen by popular consensus, and the vote of the New Zealand public, not forced upon us by a prime minister or a committee. Our present colonial ensign suggests we are still a subordinate colony to mother England, it doesn't fully represent our modern and progressive multicultural nation in the South Pacific ocean - Our future flag should be of a design that truly represents all New Zealanders.