Up to 2010, the only official flag of New Caledonia, an overseas territory of France, was the French tricolour. However, with the formal adoption of the Kanak flag alongside the French tricolour in July 2010, New Caledonia has become one of the few countries or territories in the world with two official national flags.
In 2008 the government of New Caledonia debated the introduction of a local official flag and anthem, as required by the Accord de Noumea. A flag in reasonably widespread unofficial use was the flag of the Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS), a political party favouring independence for New Caledonia, but the French tricolour would remain the only official flag for the next two years.
On 17 July 2010, French Prime minister François Fillon took part in a ceremony in Nouméa where the FLNKS flag was hoisted alongside the French tricolour, giving both flags official status. Shortly before the visit, the New Caledonia Congress voted overwhelmingly to adopt the Kanak flag alongside the French tricolour.
The adoption of the Kanak flag proved controversial. Some New Caledonians argued for an entirely new flag for New Caledonia, which would incorporate designs from both the French tricolour and the Kanak flags. Such new flag would aim to promote a "common destiny" for ethnic Kanaks and ethnic French residents in New Caledonia.