NZ FLAG FACT NUMBER 55
The silver fern has long been closely associated with New Zealand produce because of its use as a trademark for the country’s meat and dairy exports.
After the success of the 1924/25 All Blacks Invincibles Tour, Tour Manager Stan Dean suggested ‘that the fern leaf be adopted as a national trade mark for New Zealand goods in the same way Canada has adopted the maple leaf.’
The National Dairy Association immediately took up Dean’s idea. Dean clearly considered that the fern should stamp all New Zealand-made products leaving the country’s shores. As he pointed out, the fern had been recognised in Britain since its use as an emblem during the rugby tours of that country by the Natives in 1888, the Originals in 1905, and the Invincibles in 1924.
The silver fern was also used on New Zealand-produced tobacco products, and it gave its name to the train that travelled on the North Island main trunk line between Wellington and Auckland from 1972 to 1991 (the Silver Fern railcar).
More recently, in the 1990s, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and Tourism New Zealand developed the silver fern into the distinctive New Zealand FernMark. These organisations created the mark in order ‘to establish a singular visual identity for New Zealand’.
Those businesses that carry the FernMark are the ambassadors of New Zealand’s efforts to promote New Zealand products and trade overseas.
From New Zealand Flag Facts by historian Malcolm Mulholland. Read more at: