Radio New Zealand recently added a post about how pro-independence groups in New Caledonia have proposed the Kanak flag as an official flag for the territory.
At the moment, the Kanak flag and the French tricolour are jointly flown but the pro-independence emblem does not have official status.
The proposition for the change was made to the Congress of New Caledonia as the French Minister of Interior, Gerald Darmanin, continues his visit to the territory.
A statement from the pro-independence FLNKS said the flag proposition is to honour the Nouméa Accord of 1998, which was a promise by France to grant increased political power to New Caledonia and the Kanaks, over a 25-year transition period.
“To honour the Noumea Accord and to to live up to its name, we want to see the FLNKS represented in the flag of our future country,” it said.
“This flag is to mark the personality of the country and unify the Caledonian society.”
The flag is green, red and blue with a yellow circle in the middle portraying the indigenous Kanak carved rooftop spear.
The flag is based on the FLNKS and the independence movement of New Caledonia.
The government of New Caledonia debated the introduction of an official regional flag in 2008, as required by the Noumea 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 an 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 the electoral law French political parties are not allowed to use the tricolour in their material as not to convey the notion that they represent the state.
In the 2021 referendum campaign, the pro-independence parties could use the Kanak flag which prompted the anti-independence camp to counter with a demand to be allowed to use the French flag.