Capital Commentary is a weekly current-affairs publication of the Center for Public Justice. Published since 1996, it is written to encourage the pursuit of justice. Commentaries do not necessarily represent an official position of the Center for Public Justice but are intended to help advance discussion.
Changing Flags, Shifting Identities
by Bruce C. Wearne

Article Summary: 

New Zealand and Fiji both recently announced plans to change their national flags to no longer incorporate the Union Jack. These proposals for new flags in the South West Pacific (SWP) symbolize a twenty-first century sense of post-colonial national independence. Changes to national flags point ahead to vital political tasks, as choosing a flag requires citizens to gain a deepened understanding of their system of governance and of the characteristics of their political communities.

The SWP is widely dispersed, linguistically varied, and politically intricate, with Australia by far the largest and most influential of SWP polities. In historical and geographical terms, the region is diverse and its peoples, many of whom have very ancient lineages, are conscious of their own historical development and political identity of more recent times.

How can we deepen our understanding of this enormous region? How does the political life within its neighboring polities have an impact upon the region as a whole and on the global stage? How will a complex international political identity for the SWP region be formed in the coming years?