New Zealand Prime Minister John Key announced today that he intends to adopt "a full frontal position", and sport a merkin.
On the heels of the Scottish bid for independence, and riding the wave of referendum, Key sees changing the national flag as an opportunity for New Zealand to be taken seriously.
"We decided the best way to do this was to rip the Union Jack from the flag, and replace it with a symbol that will be remembered. We wanted an image that says 'New Zealand', one that is a metaphor for the rich evolutionary history of this land," said Mr. Key. "The kiwi has been over utilized as a national icon, so we decided to go with the lesser-known New Zealand merkin, of the southern foremost nether-regions."
In January, Key suggested a black flag with a silver fern, but dropped the idea after objections that the fern design resembled a French tickler. Today's announcement that the New Zealand merkin could replace the iconic Union Jack was met with huge public approval, with images of a nasty furry creature being widely distributed via social media, and rumors of a national "Love Your Merkin" day. However, because of the French tickler debate, the Prime Minister was quick to Tweet that in the case of merkin confusion, wearing the New Zealand merkin as an erotic device could lead to serious personal injury.
"Our merkin is a mammal that just happens to have an unfortunate name that is commonly linked to an adult decorative object. But whether it's stitched on a Kiwi traveller's backpack outside a bar in Croatia, on a flagpole outside the United Nations, or sunning itself in a Wellington southerly on top of the Beehive every working day, it will be immediately recognized for what it is," said Key.
A referendum on the New Zealand flag could be put before voters as soon as 2015, but the Prime Minister was quick to refute charges that Kiwis are jumping on the Scots' publicity bandwagon.
"Our decision has nothing to do with the Scottish bid for independence. It's just that when we heard they might be putting a sporran on their flag if they won, we thought, why not us, and why not the merkin?"