New Zealand could have a new flag after our Prime Minister, John Key, announced that there will be a public vote on whether to change its design.
The vote, called a referendum, will occur next year.
Key said yesterday that he thinks it is time New Zealand had a new flag. He said it represented a time when the country was controlled by the UK, as part of the British Empire.
Currently the stars on our national flag represent the four brightest of the Southern Cross, while the Union Jack comes from our close association with the United Kingdom.
How is a national flag designed?
A vexillologist is someone who designs flags.
A vexillographer is someone who studies flags and what their shapes, patterns, colours and images mean.
A national flag is extremely important. It identifies a people and tells the story of a whole nation in one small rectangle.
Often, the different colours, shapes and symbols on a flag represent something.
Take for example the flag of the United States.
It is famous for the ‘stars and stripes’ – but each part represents something important that has happened in the countries past.
The flag has thirteen red and white stripes to represent the 13 original colonies that were formed when people first came to America while the 50 stars represent the 50 states of the United States of America.
South Sudan – new country, new flag
After civil war in Sudan the country split into two. In 2011, the Republic of South Sudan was formed.
South Sudan was a new country and, therefore, needed a new flag to represent its people. Below is an image of the original Sudan flag
The flag below is what the people of Southern Sudan decided on.
This flag is similar to the old Sudanese flag but the colours here represent a new country after conflict.
Black represents the South Sudanese people, white is peace after the fighting, red stands for the blood shed, green represents the land and farming, blue represents the waters of the river Nile. The star represents the unity of states making up Sudan.
SOURCE – BBC NEWSROUND