Nz Flag Debate Essay Sample

One flag we do see a lot of though is our own Aussie flag particularly at celebrations like Australia Day. But recently some people have been talking about getting rid of the flag and replacing it with something else. So why would they want to do that? Here's Sarah.

SARAH LARSEN, REPORTER: We fly it, we parade it, we wave it, we wear it. On Australia day more than any other day the Aussie flag is in.

REPORTER: But have you ever wondered where the flag came from? Or just what these lines and stars represent?

When British people colonised what's now Australia they brought their own flag with them known as the Union Jack. When Australia became a federation in 1901 it got a new flag but the Union Jack stayed. It was joined by new symbols, like the Southern Cross which is a constellation that can always be seen from Australia. And a six pointed star to represent each of the six states, with an extra point added later to represent the territories.

Since then the flag has been the main symbol of Australia. It flies over Parliament house, at official ceremonies and over official buildings. It's on ships and the uniforms of soldiers. And it's flown whenever an Aussie stands at a sporting podium. Except scenes like this at last year's Olympics had some wondering whether Australia's flag really sets us apart.

ROBERT WEBSTER, AUSFLAG CHAIRMAN: Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain finished first, second and third and the three flags went up the flag pole. I imagine people watching in China or the United States or somewhere looking and thinking hmm, there's three British flags just gone up the flag pole because you're immediately drawn to the Union Jack. And that was what really started me on my crusade to change the Australian flag.

Robert Webster is the chairman of Ausflag, an organisation which reckons the Aussie flag has an image problem. It's not just the UK and New Zealand that bear the Union Jack. It's on the flags of many countries that used to be British colonies. So to avoid the confusion, Ausflag is trying to get a new flag flown at sporting events.

But some reckon a new sporting flag isn't enough and that it's time Australia changed its official flag for good. One argument is that the current flag with its Union Jack doesn't represent Indigenous Australians. Many suffered when their land was colonised by Britain.

Now there are separate flags for Aboriginal Australia and the Torres Strait Islands but some people reckon it'd be better to have one flag that represents everyone, including Aussies with no British ancestors.

There have been plenty of attempts to design a new one. This one was launched on Australia day by an Aussie academic who tried to incorporate bits of the old flag with symbols of Aboriginal Australia and the country's many migrants. Some loved it, but others thought they could do better

While there disagreements about just what a new flag should look like some reckon we shouldn't be changing it at all. They say it's an important part of Australia's history a symbol that's meant a lot to people including the many soldiers who fought for their country.

It's an issue that always stirs up debate. So what do you think?

KID: I don't think the flag should be changed simply because of the all of the history that's happened in Australia and the flag's been part of it.

KID: I think it should be change due to we're not a part of England we've expanded we've had immigrants coming over here

REPORTER: These are the two designs that people have come up with so what do you think of them?

KIDS: They're all right. That one's better than that one.

KID: That one I think is really good for the new Australian flag because it's got the Aboriginal colours

KID: This one I think would look better as the Australian flag than the one at the moment

The New Zealand flag is the symbol of the realm, government and people of New Zealand. Its royal blue background is derived from the ensign of the Blue Squadron of the Royal Navy. The stars of the Southern Cross emphasise this country's location in the South Pacific Ocean. The Union Jack in the first quarter recognises New Zealand's historical origins as a British colony and dominion.

The New Zealand flag hasn't always been our official flag. It was adopted in 1902 amidst the pomp and patriotism of the South African War. For six decades before that, the Union Jack fluttered from New Zealand's flagpoles. But even that wasn't our first flag. Between 1834 and 1840, the Flag of the United Tribes of New Zealand was recognised as the first 'national' flag of these islands.

New Zealand has a number of other official flags, including the maritime red and white ensigns and flags symbolising the Queen and the Governor-General. Waitangi Day 2010 saw the first official recognition of the national Māori flag, which flew alongside the New Zealand flag on the Auckland Harbour Bridge, Parliament, the Beehive, and other government buildings.

In 2016, for the first time, New Zealanders voted on their flag. The options were the current New Zealand flag and the Silver Fern (Black, White and Blue) design which had been selected from among five designs in a referendum in 2015. Nearly 57% of voters opted for the current flag.

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