7 Apr 2011

New Caledonia flag rally planned for Saturday

3:15 pm on 7 April 2011

The group advocating the creation of a new New Caledonian flag has called a fresh rally on Saturday in support of its cause.

Last Saturday's planned march was banned by the French high commission for security reasons and armed police were deployed to ensure no gathering took place in defiance of the order.

The high commission prohibited all flag-related meetings after a rival rally was organised by two political parties to be held at the same time and in the same place to brandish the Kanak flag.

The group pushing for a new flag has based its campaign on the Noumea Accord, which calls for among other things, a new flag, hymn and bank notes to express the territory's identity as it is being decolonised.

However, France last year accepted a compromise by the accord signatories which want the joint use of the Kanak and the French flag.

The flag issue has prompted four government collapses in two months.