Look at the Flags
The Marlborough Express
OPINION: The Rugby World Cup has put an unintended focus on the symbols countries use to identify themselves.
Anything with stars and stripes sends an undisputed message that the product or person is from, or supporting, the United States. The maple leaf and the the rising sun do the same for Canada and Japan, respectively.
Others are easily identified by their flag: the blue and white of Scotland,
the white and red of England, the French tricolour, the blue and white of
Argentina, the red dragon of Wales.
Even small Pacific nations such as Tonga (red with small red cross on a white square) and Samoa (blue with a circle of stars on a red square) are easy to pick. South Africa is unmistakable with its multi-coloured and multi-faceted flag. Impossible to reproduce from memory, but unmistakable.
People from these countries supporting their teams at Rugby World Cup games dress in their national colours, and drape themselves in their matching national flags.
Two countries involved in the tournament don't identify readily with their
flag – Australia and New Zealand. Both share an almost identical flag –
identical enough that most people can't tell them apart.
The Australians default to the green and gold of their sports teams when they dress as a nation; New Zealand turns itself black, taking its lead from the All Blacks.
Look at the flags appearing on cars since the start of the World Cup. Tonga
and Samoans in Marlborough are obvious by the red and blue flags on their
All Black supporters have the silver fern on a black background flapping on
their car. They identify with that as our national emblem more than our official flag.
There is a message in this: the country needs a new flag.
These calls have been made before and have failed. As long as there are old
soldiers, particularly who went into battle during World War II under the
existing flag, the country won't change. They hold too much sway over that
But this is the time for decision-makers to look around to see what the
population identifies with.
Yes, so many cars are flapping with the black flag because that's what is
available, but think back on the reasons for that.
The time for change is coming. Look at Canada and South Africa for examples of countries that have redrawn their flags to lead nations through change.
The Marlborough Express
© 2011 Fairfax New Zealand Limited
Silver Fern Design Preferred Choice for New NZ Flag
The New Zealand Herald
15 February 2010
A silver fern is the most favoured design for an alternative New Zealand flag, according to nzherald.co.nz reader comments.
Over the past two weeks, the Herald has carried a debate on changing New Zealand's flag, after finding eleven of the country's 22 Order of Merit members wanted a change, against five who did not.
The first 500 public responses to nzherald.co.nz showed 63 per cent of those who wanted a new flag preferred the silver fern design. The second most popular designs, the Tino Rangatiratanga and the kiwi, were each picked by only five per cent of those commenting on the debate. Jane commented that the silver fern was already New Zealand's de facto flag. "As far as I'm concerned the NZ flag is the silver fern on the black background. The non-entity that is our current flag is an irrelevancy that says everything about the country that we were and nothing about the country that we are.
"Change the damn thing to the flag that most are using anyway."
Ian agreed, saying it was recognised worldwide as New Zealand's emblem.
"Yes, definitely, the silver fern on a black background is the only
flag we should consider - it is NZ, people the world over know it is NZ,
why consider anything else!
"We should learn from Canada and their maple leaf flag. It's one of
the only flags in the world that is instantly recognisable."
The choice is in agreement with Prime Minister John Key, who sketched
a silver fern when asked what he would like to see for a new flag if it was changed. His sketch has been put on auction online and has received bids of more than $10,000 with one day to go.
But nzherald.co.nz readers were almost evenly split on whether the flag
should be changed at all - 45 per cent were for change and 46 per cent
SW left a comment typical of those who wanted the current flag kept.
"If it is not broke. Do not waste taxpayer money fixing it!"
A Herald DigiPoll survey published last week found 52 per cent of respondents wanted change and 44 per cent did not.
A small number of nzherald.co.nz readers called for a referendum, but
it did not reach two per cent of the total - well under the 10 per cent
needed to force one through.
The New Zealand Herald
Copyright ©2010, APN Holdings NZ Limited
Let's Have The Silver Fern PM Says
The New Zealand Herald
9 February 2010
by Derek Cheng
Prime Minister John Key's on-camera silver fern flag doodle has won
support from two prominent supporters of a redesign.
Mr Key - appearing on TVNZ's Breakfast show yesterday - said the silver fern would look magnificent on a flagpole. He quickly sketched his version of a possible new flag.
Last night, Order of New Zealand members Sir Geoffrey Palmer and Jonathan Hunt supported his choice of emblem.
"I've said all along that the silver fern was good," said Sir Geoffrey, a former PM. He said NZ had a large range of ferns "and they're so beautiful and I think represent us well".
Mr Hunt, a former Cabinet minister, Speaker of the House and high commissioner to London, was also an enthusiastic supporter."The silver fern is the best. I think a lot of people have been waiting around for it and I think it's time [to make it the national flag]."
Last week, Mr Key, in response to the Herald's campaign for a new flag, said it would be "very foolish" for the Government to focus on whether
New Zealand needed one. But yesterday, he indulged his Breakfast hosts by penning a silver fern in black ink.
"Not withstanding that I have said that I would keep the New Zealand flag [as it is] just simply because there are probably bigger issues to sort of deal with, my personal view is if you had an alternative ... I would go with [the silver fern]."
Artist Cliff Whiting, another member of the Order of NZ, said it was good to see the PM advocating for change. "If [the flag] ends up being the fern then so be it, but we need something different from what we've got now."
Another member, former Cabinet minister Whetu Tirikatene-Sullivan, said
the silver fern had been around for years. "It's a brand. I'm looking at the artistic side as well as representation and I think [the Tino Rangatiratanga flag] is perfect."
After yesterday's show, Mr Key's doodle was put on the Trade Me auction site, with the proceeds to go to the Cure Kids charity. Just before midnight last night, bidding had reached $665.
WHAT KEY SAID
Last week: For the Government to set its focus on whether we need a new New Zealand flag I think would be a very foolish thing to do when you are trying to deal with big international economic issues. Yesterday morning, on the silver fern as the national flag: I actually think it looks magnificent on a flagpole, it's what's on our national sporting teams, it unifies us.
(c) 2010 The New Zealand Herald
Time for a new flag
4 January 2006
The largest ever representation of the silver fern has been planted in a maize (corn) field in Halswell, Christchurch, in an effort to find out how many people think New Zealand needs a new flag.
Halswell maize maze owner Steve Godfrey has planted three football fields of maize with an alternative design to New Zealand’s present flag. His choice is a Silver Fern and Southern Cross star combination designed by Kyle Lockwood.
“I want to see whether in Christchurch, New Zealand’s most English of cities, people are interested in moving away from a flag that has its origins in England to a flag that has its origins in New Zealand” says Mr Godfrey. “This largest ever representation of the silver fern is just one possible design for a new flag.”
To gauge public opinion, every person that visits the Halswell maize maze will be asked whether or not New Zealand needs a new flag and if so give an indication of what that new flag should be. Given that over 25,000 people are expected to visit the maze, Mr Godfrey expects the result to reasonably indicate city wide opinion.
“In previous travels around the world I always found that people see our current flag and think it is Australia’s or else they don’t even know what it is. However everyone always seems to recognise the silver fern. To me it makes sense to change the flag and give ourselves a bit more of an identity” says Mr Godfrey.
The fern, at a length of 150m, is also accompanied by the four stars of the Southern Cross, bringing together in one giant design two of the most famous symbols of New Zealand.
The maze, which is made out of approximately a quarter of a million GE free maize seeds, is located on the corner of Halswell Junction Road and Springs Road and opens to the public tomorrow Wednesday 4 January. The maze has around 2km of pathways.
In addition to the maze, 23 other entertainment activities are on offer at the family attraction, which is called Amaze’n Stuff.
Flag wins National Poll
720 pm Friday 8 April 2005
The flag won TV3's online poll and Kyle Lockwood and his fern and stars flag appeared on the show.
Campbell Live National Flag Poll
We have provided 9 new options for you to choose from. If you believe there should be no change, our National flag is included as a choice. To choose an alternative flag let us know what it is through the ‘Other’ option. We will provide poll results here on the Campbell Live web site, and we’ll look at the issue of our National Flag on the Campbell Live show in early April.
Push to get rid of our 'Model T' flag
Cover Story Page 1 New Zealand Herald
Wednesday 26 January 2005
by David Eames and Kevin Taylor
A former Governor-General is supporting a campaign to change the flag.
Dame Catherine Tizard, who was the Queen's representative from 1990 to 1996, spent about an hour collecting signatures for a petition in central Auckland yesterday.
She said she supported the campaign because "the time has come".
"We are not the country we were 100 years ago. [It] is a very different country now.
"I can see no dramatic argument against changing to a symbol where people say, 'Ah, that's New Zealand'."
Dame Catherine has written an endorsement of the change which says: "We don't wear the clothes of a century ago or drive around today in Model T Fords.
"Our present flag served a young post-colonial country well, but the time has come to consider a change which more appropriately recognises our changed identity and confidence in ourselves."
She was one of a group of sporting greats, authors, media figures and other prominent New Zealanders who hit the streets yesterday to campaign for a change.
Signature collectors representing the nzflag.com trust were in five cities asking passersby a Government-approved question: Should the design of the New Zealand flag be changed?
The group is attempting to collect the 300,000 signatures needed to force a referendum on the subject.
Petition gatherers in Auckland said they had received a mixed response, from gestures of support to insults and abuse.
Young Maori and Pacific Islanders were most in favour of a flag change, while older people seemed happier to retain the status quo, one signature collector said.
Many people were using the flag petition as an opportunity to vent their frustrations on a number of subjects, from smoking in bars to the performance of Prime Minister Helen Clark.
One passerby - a Scotsman turned NZ citizen - was adamant he would not support a flag change. "I would not sign it for the simple reason that I lost my old man in Algiers Harbour in the last war."
However, the man had nothing against the signature gatherers, as they were "young people".
In Wellington, several alternative flag designs were flown outside Parliament as a group of prominent people ranging from former rugby players to the head of the stock exchange signed the petition.
Television sports commentator Keith Quinn said it was time the country had its uniqueness represented in the flag. "It's time we shrugged off some attachment to our former world."
He said the current flag was too similar to Australia's and during All Blacks-Wallaby rugby clashes NZ fans waved the All Blacks' silver fern flag while the Australians waved the gold and green Wallaby flag.
Petition calls for a unique NZ flag
TIME FOR CHANGE? A campaign to force a referendum on the New Zealand flag has started. Sports commentator Keith Quinn is pictured with one of the proposed alternatives designed by Kyle Lockwood. NZflag.com endorsers L to R L to R: Richard Riddiford Director Palliser Estate Wines, Mark Weldon Chief Executive NZ Stock Exchange, Graham Mourie MBE, Former All Black Captain Reverend John Murray ONZM, Keith Quinn, Sports Commentator Barnaby Weir, Musician, Black Seeds, Lindsey Dawson, Writer Lloyd Morrison, nzflag.com Trust Manager Kyle Lockwood, Architectural Designer Paul Ridley-Smith, Lawyer and Dame Kate Harcourt, DNZM JP Broadcaster
By ANNA SAUNDERS Feature Page 3 - Wednesday 26 January 2005
If you struggle to spot the difference between Australia's flag and New Zealand's, then you're in good company.
Sports commentator Keith Quinn, who has seen more flags than most, admits he has had trouble identifying our flag at trans-Tasman matches, and businessman Lloyd Morrison reckons he could not describe the differences without sneaking a peak.
They were among well-known New Zealanders who gathered at Parliament yesterday to launch a petition to hold a referendum on changing the flag.
The campaign, led by Mr Morrison, aims to collect 300,000 signatures by May.
He said volunteers would be on the streets throughout New Zealand taking signatures.
It would be a tough task, which would open the door to discussion over becoming a republic, he said. Six flags were on display during the launch, as the group is not promoting a specific replacement flag.
New Zealand Exchange chief executive Mark Weldon was very enthusiastic about one of the flags on display, a black and white design by Southland student Stacy Shaw.
He hoped to hang it outside the exchange's new Odlins premises in Wellington, instead of the official New Zealand flag.
Black Seeds lead singer Barnaby Weir said yesterday that he doubted that many young people could tell the difference between the New Zealand and Australian flags.
"I don't think the (New Zealand) flag represents us.
"It's important to include Pacific Island and Maori cultures in it as well."
Kyle Lockwood's alternative design for the New Zealand flag is promoted by some supporters of change.
The question of whether New Zealand should become a republic will "raise its head" in the inquiry to consider the country's constitutional status, United Future leader Peter Dunne says.
However, Mr Dunne said it would not be a specific part of the review.
Mr Dunne's party, which has a support agreement with the Government, has been involved in discussions about the framework for the inquiry.
Republic issues include the question of the Queen as head of state and the New Zealand flag, which opponents criticise for being too tied to Britain and too close to the Australian flag.
The inquiry is due to be announced by Prime Minister Helen Clark at Labour's annual conference on Saturday.
It was initially proposed in March, and at that time the concept was confined to the role of the Treaty of Waitangi.
Mr Dunne, and the Green Party, wanted it widened to cover the broader issue of constitutional matters and the Government appears to have agreed.
Helen Clark indicated yesterday a parliamentary select committee would be likely to undertake the inquiry.
At the same time, the Government is expected to run a "dialogue" exercise so the public can be involved in the inquiry.
Mr Dunne told NZPA he wanted all issues on the table, with ideas tossed around and debated.
"I don't want to see treaty issues dominate the constitutional issues," he said.
There would be no specific term of reference about republicanism but discussions on it would not be precluded.
"Obviously, if you're having a wider review of constitutional arrangements, it's very difficult not to speculate ahead as to what might happen at some point in the future so that's really the context in which it raises its head," he said.
National Party leader Don Brash said the Government was creating a diversion and wanted to get race relations off the agenda as an issue at next year's general election.
"New Zealand needs a National government that will deliver policies of equality, rather than just talk about it," he said.
"The public will decide the future of race relations in our country by way of the referendum which is the 2005 general election.
"National, unlike Labour, will provide them with a clear choice."
Hi, I am a long time English immigrant to New Zealand, and both my husband, who is German, and I think a change is long overdue. When I looked at your picture of the flag which you present, and what it represents, it literally brought tears to my eyes. I think it is just beautiful, and I hope one day we shall see it flying to represent New Zealand wherever we go. I sincerely hope we shall see the change within my lifetime. Joan Roesch. Via E-mail.
I saw your proposal for a new flag on the cover of the newspaper. All I can say is EXCELLENT!!. Well done! Your design is clean and simple, and yet very elegant. It is very much along the lines of the Canadian flag (which I love). I believe it is absolutely essential that the new flag has ' buy-in ' from the majority of the population - European New Zealanders. It can only do that if it is seen to have no ' hidden agenda ', as your design doesn't. Good on you - you've got my vote when it comes to a new flag design!
Anon Comment - Via e-mail.
Best Alternative I love that flag and I'm someone who hasn't thought about changing it ..... not really seeing the necessity until now. That's the best alternative I've seen!
A. Rentzios Wellington
I LIKE that flag! Immediately identifiable as kiwi - but with a nod to the history of the present flag. Great idea.
Rachael Shamy Wellington
Soldier Supports Change
I have served overseas with the NZ Defence Force (Army on several occasions) and find that it is very annoying , embarrassing and at times very dangerous to serve under a flag which is frequently confused with the Australian flag. Whilst overseas we are supposed to wear the NZ Flag badge along with the kiwi roundel, the latter of which I strongly support. However, with the situation Australia is now in, being seen as the third country in support of the USA, this can be very dangerous if foreigners confuse our flag with that of Australia. Some of our old soldiers may disagree with my comments, however, I would suggest they did not serve in a time when international volatility was so widespread. I strongly support the change of our flag to having a design which is unique and closely associated to the uniqueness of New Zealand.
Nigel Gattsche Ellsmere, Canterbury
For the last two years I've lived in Australia and have been very concerned about how the image of New Zealand is portrayed over here. The recent ANZAC celebrations were a prime example of how Australians see New Zealand as a partner in the World Wars etc. There was little mention of New Zealand in build-ups to the Gallipoli commemorations and I felt by looking at our flag how much they were the same. We need our own identity with our main focus on the silver fern and kiwi images. We could still retain the general perspective of the flag but add the fern and make it more recognisable to those of us who choose to live overseas but are still very proud Kiwis.
David M Lysons-Smith Acacia Ridge, Brisbane
Proud New Zealander
I really think it is great that NZ may finally be getting its own identity through a new flag. I am a born and bred Kiwi and I am very proud of it - I am currently living in Japan on my OE and I get a lot of opportunity to share my love for NZ by sharing pictures and stories with my students. As Australia is the bigger of our two countries a lot of people associate NZ as being one and the same country or "the small country beside Australia" so it is equally sad when our flags are identical except for the one extra star on the Australian flag. I think it is a good way for NZ to finally separate itself from being just that "small country beside Australia" as we have so much beautiful nature, heritage and the Maori culture to show off and unfortunately our flag represents none of what makes us proud to live in New Zealand. I particularly like the design which is divided with the silver fern on one side and the southern cross on the other. I would be proud to show one of these flags representing NZ!
Melissa Inglis Japan
Support you 100%. Great design, it says it all. Been around here 68 years and it ' s about time we showed some independence, also, there ' s nothing worse when you're overseas to see young Kiwis carting the Aussie flag around as though it were their own!
Don Sewell. Tauranga
I like the look of your design, funnily enough I’ve come up with a similar idea, even went through a very similar phase in the early stages of the thinking. I like your use of the RED, I never could get out of the thinking that the fern had to be against black, or green. I might do a version of my more geometric layout with the red and blue. Good stuff!! All the best,
Dick Frizzell, Artist, Hawkes bay
Artist Dick Frizzell has come up with a few designs to replace the New Zealand flag (see www.nzflag.com). Frizzell, of Hawkes Bay, is one of more than 50 high-profile New Zealanders agitating for a new flag. Frizzell's works are held in all of the main public and corporate collections throughout New Zealand.
I just want to say how much I like the design chosen to win the competition for a new New Zealand flag. It is very pleasing, very balanced and very distinctive. I cannot think of any other nation's flag that it could be confused with. I can read a lot into it, such as the two main colours representing the bi-cultural aspect of our society, red for Maori, coming first and blue for Pakeha coming from over the sea later. As you say the colours and the stars of the Southern Cross connect it to our present flag and represent the past without the colonial overtones. The fern is internationally recognised and links the two cultures on the flag. A fern in full leaf represents the maturing of NZ as a nation (rather than the Koru) and its graceful shape suggests to me not only sport but the beauty of the arts in both cultures i.e Maori singing, dancing, carving, etc; Pakeha NZSO, ballet, Indian dancing and so on. Congratulations to Kyle Lockwood. I would be happy to have such a distinctive flag.
MARG SHORT, Lower Hutt
Looks 'New Zealand'
Whilst not actively seeking a new flag it is probably going to happen in the future. Therefore it is good to spend time on preparation. Your winner appeals because:
- The Southern Cross Stars are part of our region; - The fern is part of our country;
- Red, white & blue is bright, clean and something of our past flag
- It looks distinctive and appealing, i.e. New Zealand BEVERLEY & KENNETH COLLINS Auckland
Better than Jolly Roger black
I think that your choice of a flag design [to win the Hutt News competition] was absolutely spot on because: 1. It avoids the "Jolly Roger" impression of the black ideas circulating recently.
2: The Southern Cross identifies us as a southern hemisphere nation and the importance of stellar navigation to the seafaring ancestors which many of us have.
3 The blue background to the Southern Cross is symbolic of the seas surrounding us as well as representing our clear atmosphere.
4. The silver fern has long been a major symbol of our country (like the maple leaf in Canada).
5: It has simplicity of design which is essential for any flag. 6. It moves away from the colonial flavour of the present flag, which has become less relevant in the demographics of present New Zealand society although maybe there is a relationship in keeping to red, whiteand blue.
R D HOPKIRK Hutt City
We were both very impressed with Kyle Lockwood's design for a new flag. It contains everything that is necessary, except for the colour black but that is a minor point. Perhaps a referendum would be the best solution to the controversy.
FRANK AND MARJORIE TURLEY MANUREWA
NZ Republic flag!
Leave the flag as it is until we become a republic - then change it to Kyle Lockwood's design.
P. GERA NORTHCOTE
Like the design
I am in favour of a change of flag. It would identify us as an independent sovereign nation. I like Kyle Lockwood's design - possibly adding a tiki on the top right to honour Maori.
PETER M. RYAN GLENFIELD
Chance to lift national pride
Congratulations to Kyle Lockwood on winning the recent Hutt News flag design competition. He is suggesting a silver fern leaf on red and blue background together with the white stars of the Southern Cross, a worthy choice for an alternative national flag of New Zealand:
It has the right characteristics and gently diverts from our present left-corner Union Jack emblem - why not nominate it for wider consideration?
The question is, how to convince everybody else in Aotearoa that such an idea will be of benefit to our country, that it may help to combine us as one people and I put new vitality into our national pride. As `Kiwis' we very much need a fresh symbol to lift ourselves out of a somewhat complacent rut
Some of us argue that our men and woman have fought and died under today's banner and we therefore should honour its feature forever. Through gradual introduction of a new flag we still can keep our respect for the old one by using the latter for Anzac celebrations and similar memorial events.
The costs involved would also be kept at a reasonable level if the transition were made step by step. Perhaps this can be done through slow influence from all those that support the prospect of a more modern identity change. How great, if one day we could see Kyle's prize awarded version flying at the masts in conjunction with any of our future sport victories!
INGRID BRABYN, Lower Hutt
Must have Black
I fully accept that this design is great except for one thing. Any new New Zealand flag must incorporate the colour Black. This colour is so widely accepted as representative of New Zealand today that our flag must include it. I do not accept that the colour blue has such strong significance to New Zealand that it should be included on our flag at the expense of black. If the predominant colours were Black and Red in my opinion this would complete the design and win my complete support. My congratulations to Kyle Lockwood for his design.
Major Lindsay Amner Military Assistant to the Force Commander UNMISET Military Component Timor Leste (East Timor)
I strongly support your use of the actual fern compared to the symbolic design currently being promoted. Your proposed design is in my view more arresting than any of the others on your or the nzflag.com sites.
I believe we are at the stage where we need only 4-6 really good designs which attract public support to encourage politicians to start thinking more seriously about the issue even if it takes to 2015, the 175 anniversary of the Treaty and official founding of the nation.
Ian Trotman Lower Hutt (Abridged)
Screams New Zealand
Personally, I think this is a very tasteful and appropriate design. It screams New Zealand, and has incorporated well known symbols well.
Rob Raeside Director, Flags of the World, Nova Scotia, Canada
Queens Flag Adviser comments
It's an interesting design, quite striking.
From a practical point-of-view this would be an expensive flag to make traditionally. I think you would have to sew the red and blue fields together and then applique on each side the silver fern leaf. Obviously none of this matters if the flag is printed.
However talk about "pot calling the kettle black", my Tristan da Cunha flag (above) must be one of the most expensive to make traditionally! I would suggest that the flag include the traditional New Zealand red stars instead of the Australian style white stars shown. The latest edition of Flagmaster (112) has some suggestions for a new New Zealand flag, including one by Mike Lloyd which also uses a fern leaf to separate two colours, [black & green] but I prefer the colours and layout of Kyle Lockwood's design.
I wish Kyle Lockwood good luck with the design.
General Secretary World Flag Institute United Kingdom
Graham Bartram is General Secretary of the Flag Institute. it is one of the world's main research and documentation centres for flags and vexillology. It collects and provides all kind of flag information, from past and present, from all over the world. Graham consults regularly with HM the Queen on flags and flag protocol, getting comments from him is very valuable and quite rare.