The All Blacks’ World Cup winning captain Richie McCaw has revealed that he is in favour of New Zealand changing its flag.
McCaw, who was recently named New Zealander of the Year, gave his opinion on the contentious issue via a Facebook post on Sunday.
He said he realised it was time for his country to change their flag when he saw the New Zealand and Australian flags side by side at the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final.
Both countries’ flags have the Union Jack in the upper-left corner. New Zealand’s flag also has four red stars on a blue background while Australia’s has six white stars.
New Zealand’s citizens will vote next month to decide whether to replace the existing flag with one which features a silver fern on a black-and-blue background.
McCaw’s Facebook post had a photo the New Zealand and Australia’s flags at the World Cup final and he said: “This is the moment when I decided a new flag would be great for our country.
“Running out at Twickenham and seeing the two flags looking so similar.
“The silver fern has always been the special symbol on the All Black jersey that represents who we are as Kiwis, so the new flag with a silver fern as a part of it would be a great option I believe.”
New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key has led the push for change, saying the country’s current flag is a colonial relic that is easily confused with Australia’s flag.
Public polls indicate most New Zealanders are in favour of retaining the existing flag, although the gap has narrowed from nearly 70 percent last September to 56 percent in recent surveys.