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How to fix a flag: New Zealand set to go the way of Canada and drop the Union Jack

New Zealand's Prime Minister, John Key, on Tuesday announced plans to hold a referendum within three years to replace the country's flag.

These are some other countries that have changed their flags.

New Zealand

New Zealanders will get a chance to vote on whether to change their country’s flag in the next three years. Many view the current flag as a relic from a colonial past and too similar to Australia’s. Prime Minister John Key favours featuring the Silver Fern, long the country’s sports emblem.


The Maple Leaf was raised in 1965, laying to rest Canada’s colonial legacy. After then-prime minister Lester Pearson promised to replace the Union Jack and Red Ensign with something distinctly Canadian, a parliamentary committee chose historian George Stanley’s design.

South Africa

The new flag rose in 1994, as South Africans of all races began voting in the first democratic election in the history of the country, ending white minority rule. The six-colour flag, which was initially an interim design, replaced one that had become an unacceptable symbol of apartheid.


The island nation in the Indian Ocean has used several flags, but settled on the current colourful design in 1996 after becoming democratic. The flag replaced previous ones featuring the Union Jack, one of which had a badge designed by a commercial artist from Toronto.

Source: Globe archives and wire services

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