Suva, Jan 3 (IANS) The Fiji government has plans to redesign the country's national flag, Xinhua reported citing the prime minister's office Thursday.
The move will be the latest attempt by Fiji to distance itself from its colonial past, after the country was suspended from the Commonwealth following a bloodless coup in 2006 and its repeated failure to hold elections.
According to Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama's office, the national flag will be designed this year with a focus on uniting the island nation. The government will revamp Fiji's flag in the prime minister's New Year message.
Pio Tikoduadua, permanent secretary to the prime minister's office, said Fiji needs a new identity and this is the way to do it.
"Fiji is embarking on a new journey and a new vision. We have a new constitution, a new brand for our national airline, new currencies and we want the flag to include things that are found in Fiji," Tikoduadua told the Fiji Times.
The new flag would be like the new currency released this week which captured Fiji's unique flora and fauna, he said. "While there is nothing bad in the current flag, the new flag will be for the people of Fiji."
Fijians will be given the opportunity to design the new flag, Tikoduadua said.
The government "will put up an advertisement for a competition and people will be asked to design the flag", but the criteria for the design has yet to be confirmed, the official added.
It is widely believed the Union Jack will be dropped from Fiji's current national flag.