They're Changing Flags...

Sunday, May 17, 2015
I quite like our New Zealand flag. I have no objection to it.
The union jack gives testament to our historic ties to England, and the four stars of the Southern Cross represent our place on the planet.

But there are winds of change afoot, and a new flag is being discussed and will be voted on soon.

How do you feel about a flag change?

I have no strong feelings either way. I like the current flag. I like it's historic significance, but I also think it says a lot about our small country that we are discussing a change. Does this mean we're feeling independent enough to assert our growing autonomy?

In thinking about this debate, I keep coming back to the Canadian flag. It is arguably, one of the most recognisable flags in the world and was chosen as the official flag in 1965. Previously, it also emblazoned the majestic Union Jack. In using just red and white and a large Maple leaf, we all know which country this flag belongs to. It's simple, but it stands out. I would hope that New Zealand would adopt similar guides. Simple and bold.

Whatever the reason, the changing of the flag has generated a lot of debate and quite a bit of creativity. Any New Zealander is free to submit ideas for a new flag, and I have been perusing some of them and decided to list a few of my favourites.

1. Design by Martin Caie from Auckland

I like this one a lot, because it is simple, keeps traditional colours and stands out.
It's a little too similar to the flag of the State of Texas.


Or this variation, but I do not like black in a flag, for the reasons that it is dreadfully dull - I like colour - and because of the current association of black with the IS flag.

This design by Ryan Maxwell from Auckland


2. Designed by Martin Hermans from Auckland

PROS: This is actually one of my favourite designs. It keeps the traditional royal blue, the Southern Cross and changes the union jack slightly to also represent our Maori heritage.
CONS: Not much of a change from the original?

3. Designed by Kyle Lockwood from Auckland

PROS: This is currently my favourite. I like the traditional colours, the inclusion of the Southern Cross and the large white silver fern which has special significance to us kiwis. It just kind of has that official look too, if you know what I mean.

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4. Designed by Simon Aiken from International

PROS: My husband likes this one - he thinks it's original and quirky. Me, not so much, but I appreciate the design originality. It incorporates the Southern Cross, the red, white and blue, has a nod to Maori tukituki (slightly stretching it there), and is forward thinking in the digital code.
CONS: Not really visually identifiable as kiwi.

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5. Designed by Andrew Sims from Auckland
PROS: I really, really like this flag. It would be instantly recognisable. Probably in my top favourites.


There are dozens of flag designs that have been submitted, and you can view them all here. What I think would be a good idea for the government to do once the final designs are chosen for the vote, is to make the flags up and fly them from a mast, as that would give us a better idea of how it would look at official occasions. What do you think?

Which one do you like?


Elizabeth said...

I like your favourite too!! :)

Nick Neufeld said...

I like the one with the silver fern as it is already a recognized symbol of NZ and keeps with our current flag's colours. Living in Canada, I think a new flag is needed. Not many can distinguish the difference between our flag and Australia's and that's really annoying! Will be interesting to see where this debate goes and I agree with you that a simple design which clearly reflects our amazing country would be fantastic! Thanks for the update. Penny

Christine Maas said...

I like Kyle Lockwoods design with the white fern and stars, and the red and blue backgrounds, simple and easily recognised!

Grant Vallance said...

My favourite is the one with the silver fern.

Like you I have no firm opinions, although, I am not entitled much to one because I live in the old (European) mother-country.

One point to note though. The Union Jack is the flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. It is *not* the flag of England, which is the cross of St. George. The Union Jack is represents all the nations that make up the Union: Scotland; England; and Ireland. (Wales was conquorered so long ago that it is incoporated by proxy via the cross of St George.). This is a Union that only dates back to 1800. A predecessor union that formed Great Britain dates back to 1707 when the crowns of England and Scotland were unified.

Grant D. Vallance

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