New Zealand's Acting PM: Australia Needs New Flag

Winston Peters says Australia 'copied' the design
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 25, 2018 6:13 PM CDT
In this photo taken on Monday, March 3, 2014, Victor Gizzi, left, and David Moginie, managers at flag manufacturer Flagmakers, pose next to flags of New Zealand, left, and Australia, in their factory...   (AP Photo/Nick Perry)

(Newser) – New Zealand's prime minister has been on maternity leave for little more than a month, and her acting PM is already picking a fight with Australia over the countries' very similar flags. "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," Winston Peters told TVNZ this week, per the New Zealand Herald. New Zealand's flag was adopted on March 24, 1902; Australia's flag was adopted on April 14, 1954. But, as the New York Times explains, Australia flew a version of its flag as early as 1901. New Zealanders have complained in the past that the similarity of the flags is a reminder of the era when New Zealand was a colony of Australia, but in 2016 voters rejected a measure to change their flag.

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