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New Flag? We Don't Have A Flag Says Tom Scott

Media Statement

For immediate release

Below are three different views on the flag...

28 June 2004

New flag? We don't have a flag says Scott

In response to calls for a national flag change, cartoonist, author and playwright, Tom Scott says New Zealand has no flag to change in the first place.

"Sorry to be pedantic, but we don't need a new flag. You can't have a new flag until you've had an old one and we've never had one. On ceremonial occasions we borrow the Union Jack and it's never fitted us properly. You can see that because they added some extra bits of blue and sewed on some stars to make it go further. Nice try, but there is no disguising the fact that it is someone else's hand me down".

Scott has now joined fifty prominent kiwis across a range of disciplines including sports, the arts, education, religion and business who are pushing for a referendum on a new national flag. Others championing the cause include Olympic gold medallist, Barbara Kendall; world champion squash player Susan Devoy; musician, Neil Finn, and businessmen Stephen Tindall, Dick Hubbard and Chris Liddell.

Their names, photographs and endorsements appear on the www.nzflag.com website ( http://www.nzflag.com/endorsements.cfm)

The www.NZFlag.com Trust, established in April seeks to gather around 300,000 signatures early next year to hold a referendum asking New Zealanders to have their say on whether New Zealand should change its flag.

New flag a matter of pride says Weldon

New Zealanders should stop apologising and start focussing on how great our country is, says Mark Weldon, the latest in a group of prominent kiwis to endorse the campaign to change New Zealand's flag.

Mark Weldon, Chief Executive of the New Zealand Stock Exchange; writer, Alan Duff; cartoonist, Tom Scott and staunch New Zealand rugby league's Mad Butcher, Peter Leitch now take the total number of high profile New Zealanders pushing for the change to fifty.

"It's time for a change. This great country of ours needs something to rally round, said Peter Leitch.

"A new flag is just the tonic to lift the spirit of the nation and bring us together as one."

Weldon agrees. "We need a flag we are proud to wave in the world's face - one that truly represents the spirit of this staunchly independent nation at the edge of the world."

"While our current flag has been around for some historic moments and times of great tragedy, going forward it just doesn't cut it. Who aspires to be British? Australian? Martian? None of us. We need a flag that represents how unique we are, and how distinctive we can be when we put our minds to it. So let's put our minds to it and come up with a distinctive, personal and remarkable flag that will be a symbol to rally round in the best and worst of times."

Fifty prominent kiwis across a range of disciplines including sports, the arts, education, religion and business are pushing for a referendum on a new national flag.

Their names, photographs and endorsements appear on the www.nzflag.com website ( http://www.nzflag.com/endorsements.cfm) and include Olympic gold medallist, Barbara Kendall; world champion squash player Susan Devoy; musician, Neil Finn, and businessmen Stephen Tindall, Dick Hubbard and Chris Liddell.

The www.NZFlag.com Trust, established in April seeks to gather around 300,000 signatures early next year to hold a referendum asking New Zealanders to have their say on whether New Zealand should change its flag.

Flag campaign 'no go' area for politicians

Prominent New Zealand author, Alan Duff, strongly supports a referendum over a change in the national flag but says politicians should have no say in the matter. He believes a referendum is important to ensure a people's choice rather than a government decision.

"It's time our flag said something about ourselves, what we have become - not that we were once part of the British Empire, but a unique breed with unique qualities of national identity," says Duff.

"In this new age of brands and symbolism let's create our brand to symbolise what we Kiwis are as a nation. Which means under no circumstances allow the politicians to have a say in this, other than to respond to a referendum of we the people expressing our will".

Fifty prominent kiwis across a range of disciplines including sports, the arts, education, religion and business are pushing for a referendum on a new national flag.

Their names and photographs appear on the www.nzflag.com website ( http://www.nzflag.com/endorsements.cfm) and include Olympic gold medallist, Barbara Kendall; world champion squash player Susan Devoy; musician, Neil Finn, and businessmen Stephen Tindall, Dick Hubbard and Chris Liddell.

The www.NZFlag.com Trust, established in April seeks to gather around 300,000 signatures early next year to hold a referendum asking New Zealanders to have their say on whether New Zealand should change its flag.

Ends.

http://www.NZFlag.com Trust has been established to inspire and stimulate debate about whether New Zealand should change its flag.

The Trust believes in two guiding principles:

1.. The debate must be apolitical

2.. Change can only happen if New Zealanders agree to change ie by a referendum

3.. The campaign must respect the current flag

50 high profile New Zealanders have currently endorsed the debate to change the flag, and more are joining each week.

Sir Ron Carter: "I have always been intensely proud to be a New Zealander. The ability of our people to stand on their own two feet is demonstrated in every endeavour - professional, sporting, commerce, the lot. It is time we branded ourselves clearly as an independent nation. A new flag will symbolise this and one which illustrates our national symbol - the silver fern - seems most appropriate"

For endorsements from 49 other high profile New Zealanders go to www.nzflag.com

Eds.Also don't forget the Schools design a flag and essay writing competition launched at Avondale College 25 May. Have you contacted a school near you to see what the students think?

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