Benevolent dictator John Key has been on a mission to convince New Zealanders that we need a new flag—from the big ($26 million for the flag consideration project) to the small (writing columns)—and he has said he favours the fern and southern cross combo. Gareth Morgan also wants a change and has pinned his four colours to the mast after running his own competition. And Peter G Deakin from Turangi (if that is his real name, eh John?) has also taken out an ad in The Sunday Star Times explaining his views and showing his penchant for the silver fern.
As Eddie Izzard showed in one of his typically entertaining stand-up routines, flags were crucial when it came to claiming territories. The mark of British colonialism still sits in the top left hand corner of the New Zealand flag that was first flown in 1902, but not everyone wants it to stay that way, including John Key, so, as part of a $27.5 million two-year project, the government has launched the first public phase of a campaign that aims to get Kiwis engaged in the process of deciding whether we need a new one. PLUS: some of the ideas suggested so far and lessons from vexillology.