The outcome of the flag referendum on 30 March 2016 shows that many New Zealanders, by choosing to keep the current flag, are still happy to have the Union Jack on it. The voter turnout of 67.8 % may indicate that the third of the population who did not vote didn’t mind whether or not the Union Jack stayed or went.
Ref: Auckland Weekly News, A guard of honour for the Governor at the hoisting of the flag, Devonport, May 30 1900,Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19000608-1-2.
This was not the case a century ago when the ceremony of “unfurling the flag” became a popular event at schools across New Zealand during the late 1800’s and early twentieth century. These ceremonies were designed to instil national identity and pride in children, as well as make them appreciate the honour of the Union Jack, and by association, the country’s role in the British Empire.
Ref: Flying the flag, Otahuhu, 11 August 1900, photograph reproduced courtesy of Otahuhu Historical Society, South Auckland Research Centre,Auckland Libraries, Footprints 03721.