Prediction: Key will not get this legacy

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Key is after two specific legacies. ?Changing the flag to a white fern on a black background, and a 4th term as Prime Minister. ?He’s unlikely to get either.

The national symbol was flying on Waitangi Day, but the Prime Minister continues to push for a flag change.

Today, John Key was using the 175th anniversary of the Treaty of Waitangi to step up his sales pitch.

“I believe the time is right to create a flag that is distinctly New Zealand’s,” says Mr Key.

The current flag is of course distinctly British and was carried here by the Queen’s guard – it doesn’t get any more colonial than that.

There is no doubt whatsoever the silver fern is Mr Key’s preference; he was even wearing it today.

But the potential black background is an issue as it is often associated with modern evil.

Mr Key is worried some may think the silver fern flag may be too close to Islamic State (IS) flag.

After attacking IS on the marae yesterday, Mr Key conceded it is now influencing views on New Zealand’s flag.

“I’d hate to think the Islamic State drives anything in New Zealand other than a galvanising view that we need to stand up to brutal people,” says Mr Key. “But it will be a consideration – some people just won’t want it.”

Mr Key initially leaned towards a black flag – a change of heart – not anymore

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“It’s probably still the silver fern but with some other combination around that.”

A flag change panel of well-known New Zealanders is about to be named. In September it will release a short-list of four options based on submissions.

In November, there will be a referendum to decide the preferred option and in April next year, there will be another referendum to decide between the new flag and the old.

So Key’s view will technically count for no more than anybody else’s.

Farrar will have told Key that there is marginal support for a change. ?But that doesn’t mean we will. ?Because whatever the most popular flag is that will be chosen to run against the current one may not have enough support by itself.

It all seems a bit of a vanity project for John. ?But still. ?We all need legacies.

– Patrick Gower, 3 News

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