New Caledonia President Favors Joint Use Of Flags

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Martin says French and Kanak flags preferable to shared symbol

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, March 26, 2013) – New Caledonia’s president, Harold Martin, says he is in favor of keeping the joint use of the French and Kanak flags on public buildings.

The 1998 Noumea Accord calls for a new flag to be chosen to express the territory’s identity, but a compromise three years ago added the pro-independence Kanak flag to the French tricolore.

The flag issue has led to serial government collapses two years ago and prompted Paris to change the electoral law.

"The joint flag is an option that is given to us by the Noumea Accord. It is not compulsory at all. And I by far prefer to have the two flags because creating a common flag or shared flag would mean the disappearance of the tricolore," Martin says.

[PIR editor’s note: Martin also says he favors talks to avert a referendum on independence and he wants to find a new accord with both the pro-independence camp and France.]

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