In­ter­est­ing flag facts to ponder

Matamata Chronicle - - Out & About -

Vot­ing in the se­cond New Zealand flag ref­er­en­dum will take place be­tween March 3 and March 24.

Vot­ing pa­pers will be sent out by post and vot­ers will be asked to choose be­tween the cur­rent New Zealand flag and the ‘‘Sil­ver Fern’’ al­ter­na­tive de­sign se­lected in the first ref­er­en­dum last year.

The flag that re­ceives the most votes in the se­cond ref­er­en­dum will be the of­fi­cial flag of New Zealand.

Only peo­ple who are en­rolled by March 2 will be able to vote. Go to elec­ or call 0800 36 76 56 to check if you’re en­rolled or for en­rol­ment forms.

In the mean­time, here are eight things you might not know: 1. New Zealand’s first of­fi­cial flag was the United Tribes Flag, voted on by 25 Maori Chiefs from the Far North in 1834. 2. The cur­rent flag is New Zea- land’s third flag. 3. The first na­tional rugby team in 1884 wore dark blue jer­seys with a gold fern on the breast. 4.. Maori tra­di­tion­ally used an up­turned sil­ver fern to light the path home through the for­est. 5. The first time the cur­rent New Zealand flag was of­fi­cially used in bat­tle was at the Bat­tle of River Plate in 1939. 6.The New Zealand Red En­sign was flown when troops were trans­ported by ship in World War I. 7 Of 53 Com­mon­wealth coun­tries, four still have the Union Jack as part of their flag. 8. On the Sil­ver Fern flag the mul­ti­ple points on the leaf rep­re­sent Aotearoa’s peace­ful, mul­ti­cul­tural so­ci­ety.

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