‘Besides the prominence of the Union Jack, many [New Zealanders] criticise their flag for making no nod to indigenous Maoris. It was not always so: New Zealand’s first flag, in 1834, was chosen by an assembly of Maori chiefs. Other flags competed with it, and the current flag was adopted in 1902 after arguments over which one should go with New Zealand troops into the Boer war. Since then, many have died for that flag, one reason plenty of New Zealanders will be against a new one. Those keen for a new flag will in the months ahead emphasise values that New Zealanders have a right to be smug about: being the first country to give women the vote, championing human rights, supporting the UN and multilateralism, paying reparations to Maoris for past wrongs and being open to Asian immigration (The Economist Nov 1st 2014, p.52)
New Zealand’s identity: Clashing with the sunset–John Key pushes for a national rebranding, The Economist Nov 1st 2014, p.52.