In November, New Zealand will vote in a countrywide referendum to choose a new flag. Apparently, the current flag reminds Kiwis a little bit too much of Australia’s current standard. For some humorous background information on the subject, we’ll defer to the great John Oliver:
This morning the country’s Flag Consideration Project whittled the results down from the over 10,000 submitted designs for a shortlist of four finalists. Unfortunately, neither of Oliver’s picks nor our favorites were chosen. The finalists are:
1. Silver Fern (Black & White)
2. Silver Fern (Red, White, and Blue)
4. Silver Fern (Black, White, and Blue)
Most of the designs feature the silver fern, New Zealand’s unofficial emblem, while the last depicts a Koru, or a Maori symbol of creation in the shape of an unfurling frond. It seems like a great little contest meant to claim a new identity for the little country down under, but it has a lot of New Zealanders up in arms.
The campaign to change the flag, initiated by prime minister John Key, has cost the country nearly $26 million. With 53 percent of voters against changing the flag and a 67 percent chance that the country will keep the old one, some Kiwis are not pleased.
Who knew people could get so angry about a flag with a leaf on it?