New York Times backs PM's flag change

John Key backs a silver fern flag. Photo / Janna Dixon
John Key backs a silver fern flag. Photo / Janna Dixon

The New York Times has thrown its weight behind a change to the New Zealand flag.

Its Friday editorial, titled Maybe One Less Union Jack, backs Prime Minister John Key's support for a new flag.

"The flag proclaims New Zealand as a South Pacific outpost of the British Empire, which is precisely why Mr Key wants to abandon it," the newspaper said.

"He thinks it shackles his country to its colonial past and is unrepresentative of the racial and cultural diversity of 21st-century New Zealand. Those on Mr Key's side argue, too, that their flag is nondescript and derivative; it looks very much like Australia's flag ... "

Key has said he favours a silver fern on a black background.

A Herald-DigiPoll poll this week found most New Zealanders did not think it was time to change the flag.

But if a new flag was chosen in a public referendum, the silver fern was by far the most popular design.

The New York Times' article also cited a NZ Herald editorial, which urged Key not to leave the decision to a committee of politicians, but to a panel of experts.


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