Support for a new Australian flag has surged following news that New Zealand will hold a referendum to change its flag.
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said that a new flag was important in the evolution of his country’s modern national identity.
“The flag remains dominated by the Union Jack in a way that we ourselves are no longer dominated by the United Kingdom.”
Mr Key’s statement has stunned Australians, who have long prided themselves on dominating New Zealand in a way that we ourselves are no longer dominated by the United Kingdom.
Flag lovers – or to give them their correct name, vexillologists – are, logically, vexed.
“What was so distinctive about the Australian flag was it looked just like the New Zealand flag,” said Aussie vexillologist Bert Cuthbert. “If New Zealand changes their flag, our flag won’t look the same as any other flag. Except maybe the United Kingdom. So obviously we will need to change our flag too.”
However, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has urged Australians to stay calm about “the whole flag thing”.
“The goodies shouldn’t change their flag just because the baddies say they’re going to change theirs. Let’s wait and see what New Zealand ends up with. And look, if their new flag’s any good, we can always claim it as our own.”
Mr Abbott’s comments have understandably upset New Zealanders, many of whom remain jealous of the Australian roots of superstars Russell Crowe, Split Enz, Phar Lap and Lorde.
But flag lovers like Mr Cuthbert see merit in Mr Abbott’s position.
“If the new Australian flag can look like the new New Zealand flag, we would be sticking with a century of tradition. It would also annoy a lot of Kiwis, which is an important part of the modern Australian identity.”
Mr Cuthbert’s favoured design for a new Australian flag is a white fern on a dark navy background.
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