Wellington: New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has today announced plans for a referendum on whether to change the national flag.
He said in a speech that he wants a nationwide vote held within the next three years.
The nation`s current flag depicts the Southern Cross star constellation in red and includes Britain`s Union Jack flag in the top left corner. Many complain the flag is too similar to Australia`s and doesn`t reflect New Zealand`s independence from its former coloniser, Britain.
Some want to keep the flag while others debate the best possible replacement.
Key has said he favors a silver fern set against a black background. Opponents say that would associate the flag too much with sports teams, who often use it, and is too reminiscent of a pirate ensign.