PLANNED NEW CALEDONIA FLAG RALLY RAISES CONCERNS

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Group wants to replace French flag in territory

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, April 7, 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 organized 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 Nouméa Accord, which calls for among other things, a new flag, hymn and bank notes to express the territory’s identity as it is being decolonized.

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.

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