The Silver Fern

Amelia Wade at NZ Herald reports:

New Zealanders are adopting the Silver Fern as the national flag because they identify with it more than the Southern Cross, a leader for a republican movement claims.

Flag campaigner Lewis Holden said New Zealand needed a flag that Kiwis connected with and related to, rather than one which gets confused with the Australian flag. …

Mr Holden said it was evident at sports matches and events of national significance that New Zealanders preferred to wave the Silver Fern.

“And from pictures I’ve seen of the Waitangi Day pub crawl in London, very few people actually had New Zealand flags – they were all draped in Silver Ferns or Southern Crosses.”

I agree. You also see it with Kiwis hitchhiking around the world. The Silver Fern is the emblem of choice.

Labour spokesman for Arts, Culture & Heritage, Charles Chauvel, who put forward the New Zealand Flag Bill in 2010, said the Government needed to address the issue. …

Mr Chauvel’s bill, which is waiting to be drawn, seeks to create a commission which must spend 18 months seeking public input on the status of the national flag.

The commission would be appointed by the Prime Minister after consulting all parliamentary leaders.

As part of its functions, it would hold a nationwide competition for new flag designs, ranking the three that best reflect national identity, aspirations, culture and heritage.

While my personal preference is for the Silver Fern, I like the idea of a national competition. The final decision should be made by the public in a referendum.

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