Why does Fiji have a Union Jack on its flag?

Four nations other than GB have the Union Jack on their flags

Sarah Rendell
Friday 30 July 2021 17:25
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Fiji are one of four nations, other than Great Britain, to have the Union Jack on its flag and fans are questioning why during the Tokyo Olympics.

Australia, New Zealand and Tuvalu are the other three countries to display the symbol.

Fiji, who have won a gold medal in the rugby sevens so far at the 2020 Games, have looked into to getting rid of the Union Jack but it still remains in the top left corner of their flag.

But why is it there in the first place? And why haven’t they changed the design of the flag? Here’s all you need to know.

Why is the Union Jack on Fiji’s flag?

The symbol was put on their flag in 1874 when they became part of the British Crown Colony. It has stayed on the flag despite the country becoming independent in 1970.

When did they try and change the flag?

In 2015 Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said the flag was ‘anchored’ in their colonial past after a competition was launched to re-design the flag.

A winner was picked and the new design was going to be unveiled on10 October 2015 - the 45th anniversary of their independence.

Why has it stayed the same?

Plans to renew the flag were scrapped as it was decided it would cost too much money to change it.

Bainimarama said in 2016: “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… that the flag should not be changed for the foreseeable future.”

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