Speed Reads

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New Zealand PM really wants a new flag that 'says New Zealand'

Flickr CC By: Ciaran

If New Zealand Prime Minister John Key wins a third term in September, he's going to do some redecorating in the form of changing the country's flag. The Union Jack that adorns the distinctive blue and red flag is a little too "colonial," Key said in a speech Tuesday, noting that the South Pacific nation hasn't been under British rule since 1907.

Key said a new flag should be a nationalistic symbol that is "readily identified by New Zealanders and with New Zealanders." Whatever they have now is not that, he bristled, adding that the new New Zealand flag should be just as distinctive as Canada's and suggested the country's silver fern as an option.

"I admit to liking the silver fern but I'm also open to other ideas and designs," he told Businessweek. "We want a design that says 'New Zealand' in the same way that the maple leaf says 'Canada,' or the Union Jack says 'Britain,' without a word being spoken, or a bar of those countries' anthems being heard."

Any changes depend on Key winning re-election on Sept. 20, so there's still time for you to create a mock-up of Elijah Wood's face embossed on a Lord of the Rings DVD cover.