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New Zealand to vote on dropping Union Jack from flag

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New Zealand Prime Minister John Key

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key says the island country is set to hold a vote within the next three years on changing the design of the national flag.

In a speech at Victoria University in the capital Wellington on Tuesday, Key announced plans to hold the referendum by 2017 on replacing the current flag with a new design.

The New Zealand ensign features the Union Jack in the top left corner with four stars of the Southern Cross in red with white outlines on a blue background.

The premier, however, said he wants to scrap the flag ”dominated by the United Kingdom” and change it to a black one with a silver fern on it.

“It’s my belief, and I think one increasingly shared by many New Zealanders, that the design of the New Zealand flag symbolizes a colonial and post-colonial era whose time has passed,” he said.

Any change in the country’s 112-year-old ensign is expected to abolish the Union Jack from the top left quadrant.


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