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New Zealand-Australia flag drama: Acting PM accuses of copying

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Winston Peters
Acting New Zealand Prime
Minister Winston Peters

Hagen
Hopkins/Getty Images


  • New Zealand’s acting Prime Minister Winston Peters has
    argued that Australia should change its national flag.
  • The two flags have long been confused due to their
    similarities and the countries’ geographical
    proximity.
  • In 2016, New Zealand failed to change its national flag
    following a referendum that cost the country $17
    million.

The acting prime minister of New Zealand has accused Australia of
copying the country’s national flag and demanded it change the
design.

Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters argued earlier this week
that Australia should change the flag it has used for more than
six decades because it too closely resembles New Zealand’s.

The New Zealand flag was adopted by the country on March 24,
1902. Australia’s flag was adopted 52 years later on April 14,
1954.

“We had a flag that we’ve had for a long time, copied by
Australia, and they should actually change their flag and honor
the fact that we got there first with this design, being decided
by a Prime Minister and his legacy,” Peters, who is filling in
for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern while she is on maternity
leave, told
TVNZ
.


Australian and New Zealand flags
The
Australian flag (bottom) and the New Zealand flag (top) fly on
the Sydney Harbor Bridge to commemorate Anzac
Day

Australia New Zealand Army
Corps


The two flags have long been confused due to their similarities
and the countries’ geographical proximity.

While the flags both feature blue backgrounds, union jacks in the
lefthand corner and the Southern Cross, they are not exactly the
same.

New Zealand’s flag features four five-pointed red stars that
represent the Southern Cross constellation.

Australia’s has five seven-pointed white stars. Six of the points
represent the country’s six states, while the seventh represents
the territories. A fifth, five-point star completes the Southern
Cross constellation.

Both flags are based on the British Blue Ensign, a flag used by
territories associated with the United Kingdom.

This isn’t the first time Peters has argued for Australia to
change its national flag.

In 2016, when New Zealand held a referendum on redesigning the
country’s flag, Peters argued that it was Australia that needed a
new design.

The failed referendum cost New Zealand $17 million,
The Washington
Post reported
.

Relations between the two countries have been strained recently
over Australia’s decision to deport New Zealanders who are
convicted of crimes.

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