August 18, 2016 11:50 am

PM announces Fiji flag will not be changed

The Fijian Government has decided that Fiji will retain her current flag for the foreseeable future. In a statement, the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said it had been deeply moving for him in his capacity as the Prime Minister to witness the way Fijians have rallied around the national flag as our Rugby Sevens team brought home Olympic […]

The Fijian Government has decided that Fiji will retain her current flag for the foreseeable future.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama at the Rio Olympic Games. (Matai Akauola/Facebook)
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama at the Rio Olympic Games. (Matai Akauola/Facebook)

In a statement, the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said it had been deeply moving for him in his capacity as the Prime Minister to witness the way Fijians have rallied around the national flag as our Rugby Sevens team brought home Olympic Gold for Fiji.

He said this was a common sentiment is shared by most Fijians.

BAINIMARAMA: “While I remain convinced personally that we need to replace some of the flag’s colonial symbols with a genuinely indigenous expression of our present and our future, it has been apparent to the Government since February that the flag should not be changed for the foreseeable future.”

The Fiji Flag. (RNZ)
The Fiji Flag. (RNZ)

BAINIMARAMA: “It is a question of resetting national priorities as our people continue to recover from Tropical Cyclone Winston. The cost of any flag change is better spent at the present time assisting Fijians back on their feet.”

Mr Bainimarama further urged all Fijians to display our national emblem with pride.

Fijian supporters display the national flag at the 2016 Rio Olympics. (Stuff NZ)
Fijian supporters display the national flag at the 2016 Rio Olympics. (Stuff NZ)

BAINIMARAMA: “I urge every Fijian to display our flag when our victorious Sevens team returns to Fiji on Sunday and during our special national holiday on Monday. It is a time to celebrate not only their remarkable achievement but our collective unity and national sense of purpose.”

The proposed flag change was first announced in 2013 with a national design competition held in 2015.

Twenty-three final designs were selected by the National Flag Committee.

Meanwhile Acting Prime Minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum will announce details of the 7s celebrations this morning.