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The Flag Vote

Do you think we have the right flag for the 21st century? Our Prime Minister thinks it’s time to discuss this and maybe decide on a new flag. That’s what Canada did 50 years ago.

What is wrong with our flag? It is very similar to Australia’s flag. Australia has an extra star but it’s easy to confuse the two flags. Another reason some people feel we need a new flag is the Union Jack in the top left corner. That is the flag of Britain. We are no longer a British colony. It is true that Queen Elizabeth is our queen but she is also the queen of Canada and many other countries.

On November 19th, we can vote in a referendum about a new flag. We will have four designs to choose from. Then later, there will be another referendum to decide between that choice and the old flag.

Many people are not happy about the idea of changing the flag. They say that our soldiers in World War I and II fought under this flag. The cost of the new flag campaign will be about $26 million. This is a lot of money.

You can vote if you are 18 or older, and a Permanent Resident or New Zealand citizen, and have lived in New Zealand continuously for at least one year at some time. If you are not on the electoral roll, you need to register. You can get a form from a postshop, or by texting your name and address to 3676 or by calling 0800 36 76 56.

Go to February 28th 2014 to see the flag.

Vocabulary

• confuse – can’t see the difference between the two flags
• referendum – a vote
• campaign – a number of activities like advertising, holding meetings etc.
• electoral roll – a list of everyone who can vote

Note: choose (v), choice (n): don’t get them confused – different spelling and different pronunciation