3 Aug 2017

Call for flag change if New Caledonia chooses independence

9:20 am on 3 August 2017

New Caledonia's pro-independence FLNKS movement has proposed making its flag the official flag of the country should the French colony choose independence.

Wednesday 19-07-2017. Protestors in Noumea the Commission politique et citoyenneté du FLNKS et Nationalistes tweeted - "The protest for a right to vote," with an FLNKS flag emoticon.

A protestor in Noumea with a FLNKS flag. Photo: Commission politique et citoyenneté du FLNKS et Nationalistes

As a referendum is due next year, the FLNKS has tabled a discussion document on how an independent state could be shaped.

It wants to create a multi-cultural and democratic nation, which would have as citizens all the people who are inscribed on the restricted rolls for the referendum and the territorial election.

The FLNKS is proposing to rename the putative republic Kanaky-Nouvelle Caledonie, to redefine the Congress as parliament and to set up an electoral college to choose a president.

The plan is to set up armed forces that tie into the security system of France and its Pacific neighbours.

It would provide for a merger of the currently different types of police forces.

The proposal is to be put out for discussion among its supporters and to be then reviewed by the leadership at the end of the month.

Since 2010, both the FLNKS and the French flags are being flown on public buildings.

A dispute over which flag should be flown triggered a political crisis in 2011, prompting the government to fall three times in four weeks.

It also prompted France to change the electoral law and granting any new government an 18-month grace period.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs