11 Jul 2011

New Caledonia to continue to fly two flags

6:51 am on 11 July 2011

France says New Caledonia will continue to fly both the French and Kanak flags on public buildings.

This was announced in Paris by the prime minister, Francois Fillon, after talks with all of New Caledonia's top politicians on the territory's phased decolonisation.

Walter Zweifel reports

"The 1998 Noumea Accord on greater autonomy provides for a new flag to express the territory's identity but in a surprise development last year the use of both the French and Kanak flags was approved by several parties. Objecting to the practice, the Caledonia Together Party triggered three government collapses amid its calls for fresh general elections. Paris has stopped the serial resignations with a change to the electoral law and Francois Fillon says until a solution has been found, the two flags will remain on all public buildings. This will also be the protocol when the President Nicolas Sarkozy visits Noumea next month."