New Zealand Flag

flag flying


A while ago now, New Zealand had a debate about its flag, whether it should be changed and if so, to what. The flag that had been New Zealand’s flag since 1902, featuring the Union Jack and the Southern Cross, was pitted against a new design. Thousands of designs were submitted and a lengthy elimination process ensued, resulting in the final new design. The nation then cast a vote between the 2 flags. The existing Union Jack flag ultimately won out over the new one.

I never submitted a design but followed the debate with interest and, just for fun, played around with the design.

So this is my unofficial contribution. Here’s my thinking:

• It represents the snow-capped, volcanic mountains of New Zealand under the southern sky, evoking the Maori legend of Rangi and Papa, divided by the long white cloud of Aotearoa.

• The colours red, white and black are important colours in Maori art and culture and black and red together represent the fertile volcanic soils of New Zealand. Blue is for the sky and, as well as red, links to the current flag. Black is owned by New Zealand in sports arenas.

• The angles bring to mind both tukutuku panels and the Union Jack. They also represent the converging of our 2 cultures, Maori and Pakeha, in the manner of the South African flag designed for SA’s new democracy post-apartheid.

• It adheres to principles of vexillography.

• It is symmetrical and looks the same from the front and the back.

• It is unique.

• It is simple.

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