[WORLD NEWS ★★]
NEW ZEALAND IS CONSIDERING NEW DESIGN FOR ITS FLAG
(P1) The British Union Jack once SYMBOLIZED the reach of a powerful EMPIRE — but it may need to YIELD soon to a DELICATE silver FERN. At least on New Zealand’s flag.
(P2) New Zealand on Tuesday revealed the new flag design chosen by the public to be put up as a CHALLENGER to the current flag in a March vote.
(P3) The question of whether to change a national symbol that has lasted for more than a century and HARKS BACK TO a COLONIAL past has raised plenty of passion, and skepticism, in this nation of 4.6 million.
(P4) People submitted more than 10,000 flag designs, including some BIZARRE ones.
(P5) In the end, it CAME DOWN TO two flags by architectural designer Kyle Lockwood that featured the same design of a silver fern and four red stars, but with different background colors.
(P6) Results announced Tuesday showed that Lockwood’s black and blue flag just EDGED OUT his red and darker blue flag 50.6 percent to 49.4 percent in a RUNOFF VOTE. Even the designer himself found it a tough choice.
(P7) “I AGONIZED OVER the two on my voting form,” Lockwood said. “For a couple of weeks, I’d walk past it and think, ‘Which one?’ I like them both equally.”
(P8) Lockwood, who was born in New Zealand’s capital, Wellington, and now lives in Australia, said he didn’t want to say which one he gave his top vote.
(P9) His winning design has similarities to the current flag but DITCHES the Union Jack, or Union Flag, in favor of the fern, which has become a national symbol and is worn by many of New Zealand’s sports teams, including the beloved All Blacks RUGBY team.
(P10) Those who want to change the current flag say it’s too similar to Australia’s and REFERS TO a colonial past that it’s time to LEAVE BEHIND.
(P11) But opinion polls taken before the result was announced Tuesday indicated a majority favored keeping the existing flag. Many don’t see the need for change or view the process as an expensive STUNT.
If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.
- Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
- What is the design on your country’s flag? Do you like it?
- Was your country ever a colony of another country?
- Are too many issues turning into a POPULARITY CONTEST these days?
- Flags are symbols of PATRIOTISM. Do you consider yourself very patriotic?
EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:
What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.
- Hark back to
- Come down to
- Edge out
- Runoff vote
- Agonize over
- Refer to
- Leave behind
- Popularity contest