NEWS

New Flag

A new flag for Fiji will be hoisted on the 45th anniversary of independence – October 10, 2015. This announcement was made by the Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, at Nasinu yesterday
04 Feb 2015 11:51
New Flag
Fiji Flag

A new flag for Fiji will be hoisted on the 45th anniversary of independence – October 10, 2015.

This announcement was made by the Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, at Nasinu yesterday whilst opening the Nasinu Legal Aid Commission office.

He said he had chosen Nasinu – in the heart of the most populated corridor in Fiji – to make this announcement of importance to all Fijians and the future of our beloved nation.

The Prime Minister had said in his New Year’s message at the start of 2013, that Fiji needed a new flag.

However, in the past two years, he said – “We were consumed with the monumental task of holding our first genuinely democratic election in Fijian history – putting all of the pieces together to bring us to where we are today,” the Prime Minister said.

“But now that our new democracy is in place, we can proceed with the programme I flagged at the beginning of 2013; to adopt a symbol that is more in keeping with our national aspirations in the 21st Century.”

He said the symbols on the existing flag were out of date and no longer relevant, including some anchored to Fiji’s colonial past. The new flag, he said, should reflect Fiji’s position in the world today as a modern and truly independent nation state.

He said the existing flag was widely loved and admired and had served us well since it was introduced at Independence in 1970.

Some of our United Nations peacekeeping troops, he said, had fought and died under it.  Fijian sportsmen had stood before it after achieving some of the greatest and most inspirational victories in Fiji’s sporting history.

“As a nation, we will never forget the image of Iliesa Delana –now an assistant minister in my Government – waving our flag before the vast crowd and the global television audience when he won gold at the 2012 London Paralympics. And, of course, every Fijian has stood before it in our schools as they sing our national anthem with patriotism and pride,” he said.

The design for the new flag he said would be opened to all including students. He said after 45 years, it was time to dispense with the colonial symbols on our flag – the Union Flag of the United Kingdom and our colonial shield – and embrace a flag that was relevant to every Fijian today.

As a Government, he said

they were not embarking on this change lightly.

“Indeed, you all know that I chose a stylised version of our “noble banner blue” for my FijiFirst political movement that won the September election.”

The Union Jack he said belonged to the British, not to Fiji. “The shield on our flag has the British Lion and the Cross of St George – a British patron saint.

“These are symbols of the past and are not symbols that are relevant to any Fijian in the 21st Century and must change.”

He said the design of the new flag would also be considered by Parliament and that he would make a ministerial statement when Parliament resumed next week.

The PM said his preference at this stage was to retain the existing “Fiji blue” background – but without the Union Jack and the shield

The British High Commissioner, Roderick Drummond twitted – “The flag is a matter for Fijian govt and people. Look forward to learning more about process as it moves forward.”

Feedback:  maikab@fijisun.com.fj

 




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