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The French flag and Kanak independence ensign
The French flag and the Kanak independence ensign . . . flown together since 2011. Image: 123rf/RNZ Pacific

The territorial government of New Caledonia debated the introduction of an official regional flag in 2008, as required by the Nouméa Accord.

In July 2010, the New Caledonian Congress voted in favour of flying both flags together.

The move was controversial with an anti-independence group calling it unrepresentative of the population.

The New Caledonian delegation to the Pacific Games used the combined flags for the first time in 2011.

Thus, the debate over a permanent flag is ongoing amid hopes it can promote a “common destiny” for ethnic Kanaks and ethnic French residents in New Caledonia.

According to electoral law, French political parties are not allowed to use the tricolour in their material in order to not convey the notion that they represent the state.

In the 2021 referendum campaign, the pro-independence parties were able to use the Kanak flag which prompted the anti-independence camp to counter with a demand to be allowed to use the French flag.

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ. 

Article by AsiaPacificReport.nz

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