Yay or Nay? New Zealand Decides Fate of Redesigning National Flag in 3 Years

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | March 12, 2014 2:37 PM EST

To drop the Union Jack or not. New Zealanders have been given three years to decide on the matter concerning their national flag.

And despite 2014 being an election year, opponents of Prime Minister John Key promised to follow through with the plan even if they managed to oust him in the national elections scheduled in September.

New Zealand's flag-bearRE
New Zealand's flag-bearer Adam Hallflag (R), leads his country's contingent during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, March 7, 2014. REUTERS/Alexander Demianchuk

New Zealand's national symbol includes Britain's Union Jack in the top left corner along with the Southern Cross star constellation. Not few have blasted the design does not in any way display the independence of the country from former coloniser Britain.

"We should be represented by a flag that is distinctly New Zealand's," Mr Key said on Tuesday.

He added the present design of the national flag "remains dominated by the Union Jack in a way that we ourselves are no longer dominated by the United Kingdom."

Albeit a conservative Prime Minister, Mr Key has, on countless times whenever asked about his preferred design always, said that he wanted a silver fern flag. However, he has likewise said he is open to all options and is most willing to them before a planned referendum.

The white fern on a black background is already being applied by many of New Zealand's national sports teams.

The process to change the design of New Zealand's flag will involve two separate plebiscites, one to determine if a change was wanted and the second to decide on the preferred replacement.

Ironically, Prince William, Catherine and Prince George will fly to New Zealand in April. Will it then be the last that the Kiwis see of the British Empire in New Zealand?

Read: Royal Trio Visit to New Zealand Cost Taxpayers Whopping $1M Per Day

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(Photo: New Zealand's flag-bearRE / )
New Zealand's flag-bearer Adam Hallflag (R), leads his country's contingent during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, March 7, 2014. REUTERS/Alexander Demianchuk
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