silverfernflag.co.nz Newstalk ZB Media Statement.
Hello Chris, thank you for approaching me and asking about a flag I designed for New Zealand.
The flag was designed when I was a Massey University student in 2000, features a bold silver fern on the left hand side, and the Southern Cross to the right, the colours honour the red, white and blue colours seen on the present flag. If you are near a computer or a smart phone, the design can be viewed at www.silverfernflag.co.nz.
A stylised Silver Fern, a New Zealand icon for well over 100 years, has been worn proudly by many generations of New Zealanders, from sports people, to firefighters and military personnel, The Silver Fern is an element of indigenous flora representing the growth of our nation.
The multiple points of the fern leaf represents Aotearoa's peaceful multicultural society, a single fern leaf spreading upwards represents that we are all New Zealanders - one people - growing onward into the future.
The Southern Cross, is a defining element in the present New Zealand Flag, it represents our geographic location in the antipodes. The Southern Cross is visible throughout the year in the southern night skies.
It has been used as a navigational aid for centuries and it helped guide early settlers to our islands. Each star is also representative of the major island groups of New Zealand - North Island, South Island, Stewart Island, and the Chatham Islands.
Red, is a significant colour to the NZ Maori, Red also represents the sacrifice made by all New Zealanders during wartime.
White represents Aotearoa, Land of the Long White Cloud, The official Maori name for New Zealand. The colour also represents peace.
Blue represents aumoana or the ocean that surrounds our island nation, over which all New Zealanders, or their ancestors, crossed to get to New Zealand.
Rugby is not credited with the first wearing of the silver fern, according to Nelson historian Alan Turley.
He said that while records were scant, an historic magazine cutting given to him by rugby commentator Keith Quinn, showed the fern being worn in a shooting, not rugby, match between New Plymouth's army garrison and the visiting Royal Navy.
It was 1853, and the Royal Navy ship HMS Sparrow was anchored offshore in a visit to the fledgling town. While onshore, the navy men challenged the local army lads to a rifle shooting match at the Rewarewa rifle range.
According to the clipping, the army men decided to pick silver fern tips growing near the range and pin them to their uniform shirt pockets as a sort of good luck talisman. The team won the shooting match and thereafter considered the fern a good-luck symbol, and so the tradition of the silver fern began.
I appreciate that people fought wars under our present union-jack based flag, but what is lesser known is that soldiers, who made the ultimate sacrifice for New Zealand, lie buried in foreign fields beneath headstones bearing not the Union Jack, but the Silver Fern. Also the badges of many NZ army regiments feature the silver fern.
Our Canadian commonwealth brothers-in-arms also had troops who fought under a British Red Ensign based flag, but in 1965 they changed their flag to the distinctive Maple Leaf Flag which we today associate with all things Canadian, however on remembrance days, the old flag is sometimes brought out and displayed too.
If New Zealand changes its flag in the future I hope that on ANZAC and remembrance days we could honour our past soldiers in the same way as the Canadians do today.
Both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, are supporters of the Silver Fern. The fern is our icon, it's not just about the All-Blacks, it was on our one cent coins, it is now on our $1 coins too, and it features on our banknotes. It's been on our coat of arms since 1956, and lately it has become the official symbol of the NZ government abroad.
It's now being painted on Air New Zealand's aircraft, and like Canada's maple leaf, the fern is a powerful symbol that says 'New Zealand'. It even features strongly on our passports.
Speaking of passports I'm presently spokesman for a group called nzten.com, we are advocating for the return of ten year NZ passports. Amongst our 11,000 supporters are a few Knights and Dames, and the Hon Phil Goff.
I believe that one day New Zealand will choose a new flag, the present flag suggests we are a subservient colony of the United Kingdom, not the proud independent nation of New Zealand that we have been, since the passing of the Statute of Westminster Adoption Act in 1947.
I believe my design honours our past, but also looks forward to our future. Flag change could be 25 years away, but I hope that whichever design is chosen, it is done democratically, and that design chosen represents all New Zealanders.
Melbourne, 12th August 2013.
Chris Lynch <Chris@newstalkzb.co.nz> 11 August 2013.
Hi there, Kyle I host NewstalkZB's Canterbury Mornings programme (on New Zealand's second biggest radio market)
We are discussing "changing the New Zealand flag" on the programme tomorrow Monday. We're on 100.1FM and streaming live at NewstalkZB.co.nz.
I'm keen to get people's input on this issue and welcoming calls in from the public on (03) 340 10 98 or toll-free (inside the Canterbury region) on 0800 80 10 80. Talkback starts at 8.40AM.
You're more than welcome to call in and please spread the word!!
Best Wishes, Chris Lynch
Canterbury Mornings with Chris Lynch
Updating our flag is a task which shouldn't be taken lightly.
We believe that flag change should be done by referendum, and not forced upon us by a government. New Zealanders should vote on whether we retain the existing flag, or choose a new flag. Voting could be through a citizens initiated referendum, or one introduced
by a Member of Parliament.
There should be seven or eight well known designs put forward in the referendum for voting, here are some well known designs which we believe could be put forward;
The Canadian Experience
Which flag says Canada to you? The 1965 flag, right? Prior to 1965 the flag on the top was the flag of Canada.
Although the idea of a new design had been discussed for decades in the 1900s, it was in the 1960s that the debate intensified and became a subject of considerable controversy, After much debate new flag was officially proclaimed in 1965. The Canadian people were not given the chance to vote on the new design.
Despite the preceding acrimony, the new flag was quickly embraced by the Canadian public, and internationally the flag quickly became a welcome marker of Canadians around the world. The pre-1965 flag still remains an official flag in Canada, and is sometimes flown today.
The Kiwi Way - Democratic
New Zealand can take the lead from countries like Canada and Jamaica, but we can improve on it, we believe that flag change should not be forced on the country by a government, like in the Canadian example. Kiwis should have the right to vote, to either, retain the existing ensign, or vote for a new national flag. It should be noted here that New Zealanders have never had the chance to vote for our present flag, as it was forced upon us by the British government.
We can learn from Canada too, in that once an new official flag is adopted, we can retain the existing ensign as an official flag, as some will choose to fly it. It will be like how God Save the Queen is still an official anthem of New Zealand, but today most Kiwis sing and recognise God Defend New Zealand as our anthem.
What do you think? Vote above, and add your comments below!
© 2012 silverfernflag.org
People have asked 'How do I fold the flag properly?' which is a really good question! a Google search gives us a lot of results on folding the USA Flag, but few on how to fold a New Zealand Flag. Check out our slideshow and download our flag care .pdf here this gives you information about the significance of the Silver Fern Flag and the proper method of folding a flag, The method is actually useful for most Commonwealth of Nations countries, including folding the flags of New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Scotland is making moves to become independent of the United Kingdom, and their independence could change the flag of the UK and other nations whose flags incorporate the Union Jack.
If Scotland becomes fully independent of the UK, the Union Flag, or Union Jack, as it is commonly known, will become defunct, as the Union Jack incorporates the flags of England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, but interestingly, not Wales, which is also a part of the UK.
The Union Jack was created during the Union of the English and Scottish Crowns in 1606.
Full Scottish independence would mean removal of the Cross of St Andrew from the Union Jack.
This would have consequences for many nations, including Australia, New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Tuvalu, Niue, and the Republic of Fiji. These nations incorporate the Union Jack in the top left hand corner of their flags. If Scotland achieves full independence, these flags would need to change as a result, as would various state flags within Canada, Australia, and even the United States, as the State of Hawaii also has a Union Jack based flag.
This may be the time for New Zealand to consider changing its flag, to something more relevant to our
21st century South Pacific nation, before events such as Scottish independence force change on us.
Evolution of the Union Flag
From the Associated Press
British Prime Minister David Cameron said Britain would allow Scotland to vote on the matter of independence but urged the country to make its intentions known “sooner rather than later.”
Britain's government confirmed Tuesday it would happily offer Scotland the powers it needs to sever centuries-old ties to England.
Prime Minister David Cameron's government said it would sweep away legal hurdles to allow the Scots a vote on whether their country should become independent for the first time since the 18th Century Act
of Union, which united Scotland with England to create Great Britain.
But in return, Cameron — who opposes any breakup of the United Kingdom, which also includes Wales and Northern Ireland — is urging Scotland to make its intentions clear "sooner rather than later."
He claims investors are becoming increasingly wary of Scottish leader Alex Salmond's plans to delay a vote for several years, damaging Britain's economy.
Salmond, head of Scotland's semiautonomous government, has long championed independence to allow the country greater control over lucrative oil and natural gas reserves in the North Sea.
"This is a huge decision for Scotland. This is potentially the biggest decision we have made as a nation for 300 years," Salmond said Tuesday, while on a tour of an oil facility in Dyce, eastern Scotland.
He insisted that Cameron should not take any role in setting out the timetable for the crucial referendum.
"We are not going to be stampeded and dragooned by a Tory prime minister in London," Salmond said.
Since Scotland voted in favour of a domestic legislative body in 1997, its parliament has had autonomy over education, health and justice and can make minor alterations to income tax. For now, London retains primacy on all matters relating to Britain as a whole — including defence, energy and foreign relations.
There had been speculation the poll would be held in 2014, when nationalist sentiment could be at a high as the city of Glasgow hosts the Commonwealth Games and Scots mark the 700th anniversary of the battle of Bannockburn, a key military victory over England.
Salmond's party has said that if it succeeds in winning independence, Scotland would —for now at least — keep Queen Elizabeth II as head of state and retain the British pound as its currency.
Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press