Lynn Lawton, Curator of the Depot Artspace, Devonport, has informed us that our silver fern flag has won the People's Choice Award at the 'Flag It!' exhibition when it toured Rawene in December.
Our silver fern flag design was exhibited along with over 100 other flag designs, by some of New Zealand's leading artists, designers and architects, including Dick Frizzell, Michael Smythe, and the late great architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser.
Some of our previous accolades include;
Winner One News Poll 2014
Winner Whale Oil Poll 2014
Winner of Change the NZ Flag poll 2011
Winner of TV3 Campbell Live Flag Poll 2005
Winner of Pataka Museum Flag Design Poll 2007
Winner of Hutt News NZ Flag Design Competition 2004
The Flag It! exhibition is a nationwide one and will next tour the capital, we will let you know the venue and dates in due course.
Well worth a visit if you happen to be in Wellington.
The above is a variant of the Silver Fern Flag with the red portion at the hoist changed to black - one of New Zealand's most well known national colours.
Black has been a gazetted official NZ colour since at least 1975, along with red and white, and the colour blue features on our official coat of arms and of course our present flag which was made official in 1902.
The colours black red white and blue were also on NZ's first home grown flag design of 1834.
Black also featured strongly on NZ war service medals, given to our brave soldiers after World War Two, it is also a significant colour to Maori, and features on the Maori National Flag of NZ made official in 2011.
The NZ coat of arms was designed and made official in 1911, and on the shield, three black ships on a white background, representing our trading, immigration, and maritime history, feature predominantly, on the arms, black also features prominently but not overwhelmingly on the cloak of the Maori supporter, and the colours red and blue also feature strongly throughout the arms.
Contrary to popular belief the silver fern did not start out as a rugby football symbol, it actually was first worn by NZ troops in 1853, and in the 1880's was adopted by our rugby team, firstly as a gold fern on a navy blue Jersey, and it wasn't until the early 1900's that the silver fern on an all-black jersey became well known.
Like the maple leaf to Canada, the silver fern screams New Zealand, and it's not just a mere sports symbol, in far off fields lie our soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice, forever memorialised under the silver fern. The fern is on our army and navy logos, our firefighter and police uniforms it's on our money, it's on our passports, it's on our national airliners, it's our symbol and it's time we put it on our flag.
When I entered the original design into a newspaper competition in 2004, variant designs with black were submitted, however it was the red white and blue design that won and has gained traction since, even winning the support of the prime minister in recent months.
However on examining our history and our growing sense of national identity, it appears that many would like to include our famous national colour black, and of course many others would not like to see a fully black flag with all the piracy connotations that a fully black flag invokes.
Perhaps this flag, with a nod to our past, that incorporates all of NZ's national colours and the fern, is the design that best represents New Zealand - without the colonial overtones of the Union flag that takes up the dominant position on our present flag, and like the flags of Belgium, and South Africa it also doesn't suffer from an overuse of black. as mentioned above, black featured on our first national flag of 1834, The colour black is our obvious national colour and represents the pride and strength of New Zealand, and to Māori black represents potential, and signifies the beginning of time, which is apt, give our position as one of the first nations to see the new day.
The colour blue, representing the pacific, and our clear skies, along with the traditional NZ southern cross in red, gives this proposed national flag the required vibrancy, that a silver fern on an entirely black background can not achieve, and by incorporating the southern cross, and colours from our present flag the design also honours our history.
You can also vote for your favourite variant proposal which can be compared at: