Australia copied NZ's flag so they should get a new one - Winston Peters

Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters.
Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters. Photo credit: Mitchell Alexander/Newshub.

Australia should get a new flag because they copied our flag, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters says.

"We had a flag that we've had for a long time, copied by Australia, and they should actually change their flag and honour the fact that we got there first with this design, being decided by a Prime Minister and his legacy," Peters told TVNZ on Monday.

New Zealand adopted the Union Jack flag with four Southern Cross stars in 1902 by which time it had already been used widely for several decades.

The similar-looking Australian flag won a design competition in 1901, after Australia gained independence, but Australia didn't officially recognise the flag until 1954.

Australia's flag (left) and New Zealand's flag (right).
Australia's flag (left) and New Zealand's flag (right). Photo credit: Getty

New Zealand held referendums on changing the flag in 2015 through 2016. Keeping the current flag was 13 percentage points more popular than changing to a design that would have had the Union Jack replaced with a silver fern.

Newshub.