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"A new national flag for New Zealand" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP11 Jul 2015 10:13 p.m. PST

"New Zealand is currently considering a new flag. Well, at least some people are there is also a large ground-swell to keep the existing flag, either for patriotic, cost-saving or political reasons.

Nevertheless, the government is seeking submissions for a new design. These will be whittled down to four winning designs, which will then be subjected a national referendum to seek the chosen alternative design. Then another referendum will decide between the final alternative design and the existing flag.

Submissions for a new flag design close this week, so I've decided to throw in a few entries to join the thousands that have already been submitted…"
From here


Phillius Supporting Member of TMP11 Jul 2015 10:58 p.m. PST

Complete waste of time and money.

Chokidar12 Jul 2015 1:37 a.m. PST

It reminds me of the competition decades ago to chose a new national anthem in Australia…
The first popular choice was of course "Waltzing Matilda" but that gave rise to a wave of polemic about convict origins, negative sentiment etc. etc. so a competition was organised.
After much heart searching it was admitted that the majority of entries were just "not very good" I no longer recall the process by which "Advance Australia Fair" came to be adopted but it says something that whilst I stumble on the words of that inspiring piece I can still quote word for word one of the tongue in cheek offerings from the time..

God bless Australia
Its Sheilas and its Blues
Its bushbabies and wallabies
An' bleedin' kangaroos
And down with Pommie bastards
An' flaming blacks and reds
And we'll salute Australia
By standing on our heads…

It did have a ring of cultural authenticity to it.

No idea how NZ chose its own anthem at about the same time, but good luck with your flag and for Chrissake field a decent team to wipe the floor with the Frogs at the World Cup the effort last time was pathetic we want to see something like Tana's route a few years ago!!!! Do that and you can hoist a dishcloth for a flag and it will still be cheered!!!

Whatisitgood4atwork12 Jul 2015 2:21 a.m. PST

According to the polls, the overwhelming majority of NZers agree with Phillius.

Of the 15% or so that are actively keen to change, some variation of the silver fern seems the most popular choice.

hocklermp512 Jul 2015 4:42 a.m. PST

At the risk of being burned at the stake I propose the US adopt a new national flag. To save costs we can gather up all the Confederate Battle Flags coming down, or off store shelves, and bedroom closets and put them up. Far more colorful and I venture to say wouldn't cost us a dollar for new national colors.

Putting snide aside and cannot believe where this mass hysteria is leading us. Just read a news item where they are going to dig up Nathan Bedford Forrest and move the body and do away with his statue. I think we have a small percentage of PC Loonies leading the charge. What next? Plow under Confederate war graves and salt the earth? Being Summer maybe it is just a Dog Day's thing or the Silly Season before no more vacations and back to school.

Personal logo Murphy Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Jul 2015 5:12 a.m. PST

Hocklermp5: At the risk of this going DH/BF, the first issue that Memphis has is that this is a violation of state law of Tennessee.

Leadpusher Supporting Member of TMP12 Jul 2015 6:44 a.m. PST

Could this be a scheme dreamed up by flag makers? It would be a great boon for business.

Zargon12 Jul 2015 7:10 a.m. PST

Every country should have a variation of the South African Y fronts with as many colours as they can cram in there, that should delight,confuse,despair all and sundry, imagine all those bunting/tablecloths flapping in front of the UN. ;-)
Cheers not standing for any anthem or saluting any flag, ever.

Jcfrog Supporting Member of TMP12 Jul 2015 7:27 a.m. PST

What is wrong with NZ flag? Denying the Brit origins? Another petty way of Pc people to change history.

Btw I had experience of Royal mail in Scotland who did not know what
N. Z. Stood for <( parcel came back). The empire was truly lost, no need for more.

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP12 Jul 2015 8:21 a.m. PST

Btw I had experience of Royal mail in Scotland who did not know what
N. Z. Stood for <( parcel came back). The empire was truly lost, no need for more.

The Empire lost?

The United Kingdom has long been lost.

Back in the '80's I faced shopkeepers in London who insisted that the Bank of Scotland pound notes I had were blatant counterfeits that didn't even look like the English pound notes> They thought I was completely daft for suggesting that Scotland in fact printed it's own legal tender!

GurKhan12 Jul 2015 9:40 a.m. PST

They thought I was completely daft for suggesting that Scotland in fact printed it's own legal tender!

Strictly, of course, Scotland does not issue legal tender:

"The Bank of England is the Central Bank of the United Kingdom and as such it is the sole issuer of legal tender banknotes in England and Wales." (link )


"In fact, no banknote (including Bank of England notes!) qualifies for the term 'legal tender' in Scotland" (link)

I'm not even sure if the concept of "legal tender" exists in Scots law.

Jcfrog Supporting Member of TMP12 Jul 2015 12:56 p.m. PST

Yes us poor continentals (not the tricorn wearing type) are puzzled by this money that is local but not " always" accepted elsewhere. Actually when I was in Scotland I nearly always got this and had to work a bit of pushing to exchange the stack of notes for " proper pounds" when I went " south of the border".
Still now they don't want them south.

Zargon12 Jul 2015 4:51 p.m. PST

They'd soon stop printing pride money north of the wall if the exchange rate was 2 to 1;) A Pound is not a Poond it seems.
Cheer and bring back the stone of Scone it was stolen rightfully ;D

Arteis0212 Jul 2015 8:22 p.m. PST

Besides my initial three submissions for the new NZ flag, as per the original posting, I've had one more go (see below).

This one is based on a traditional Maori woven motif. It uses a different palette from my other three submissions. The red, white and blue diagonals hint at the union flag, and carry into the red, white and black colours of the tino rangatiratanga flag. And in the centre is our iconic silver fern on a black background.

Whatever one thinks of the rights and wrongs of changing the flag (and I'm not convinced either way), it sure is fun making your own!



Whatisitgood4atwork12 Jul 2015 8:24 p.m. PST

'What is wrong with NZ flag? Denying the Brit origins? Another petty way of Pc people to change history.'

The major criticism is that it is not distinctive and is easily confused with the Australian flag. Indeed it often is. There are also no distinctly NZ elements on it, and the Union Jack says little about our national identity these days.

The usual example of improving a flag is Canada, whose old flag had a Union Jack in one corner and a dog's breakfast spread over the remaining space. The new flag they chose is excellent, arguably one of the world's best. It is certainly instantly recognisable. Losing the Union Jack and creating their own flag did not deny their origins.

As to changing history, the silver fern has been used as a symbol of NZ and NZ troops since before the current flag was adopted.

For my money, and it is my money- among others' they are spending on this exercise, 'Meh. It's just a flag', though I like some entries better than others and would not object to adopting a distinctive flag built around the silver fern.

Edit: Arteis, I like your flag. Too many entries look like corporate logos, not flags. Yours is definitely a flag. I also like John Ansell's contribution:


There is rather a nice gif of this flying, and it looks much better like that than as a flat image, but I can't find it right now. I may have a better look later when I have time.

Arteis0212 Jul 2015 8:47 p.m. PST

Thanks, Whatisitgood4atwork.

Here are my other entries, for your info.

I like the combo with white and black on John Ansell's design. I think any NZ flag has to have the silver fern in one form or another. As you say, it isn't just the sporting symbol that some people think it is. The fern also has a proud military tradition here.




My blog sets out the reasoning behind the colours I've chosen for these three flags: link

I think I like the top one and my red/white/blue/black one best.

Arteis0212 Jul 2015 8:51 p.m. PST

"Too many entries look like corporate logos, not flags. Yours is definitely a flag."

Comes from being a wargamer – we knows our flags from our logos!

Zargon13 Jul 2015 5:28 a.m. PST

LOL, this Arteis02 fella is a artist and a satirist too :)
Cheers, let sleeping dogs lie I say, the original flag is 'tradition' and that was hard fought for. The 'Maple' I'm sorry to say is 'logo' marketing and not a good example of traditional Vexillology, yes a good example of early heraldry no more, its an 'identifier' of Canada no more no less.

Weasel13 Jul 2015 8:46 a.m. PST

Find a nice knitted sweater (Wool for New Zealand, right?) and hoist it up.

Distinctive, easy to replace and has a dual purpose.

(also, why are you people warbling about the confederate flag in a thread about New Zealand? NZ didn't fight in the civil war)

piper90914 Jul 2015 8:12 a.m. PST

I'm a traditionalist and I don't much cotton to people messin' about with flags. I like the NZ and Aussie flags as they are. But I don't live there (at least, not yet), so I don't get a vote. Seems like Australia has talked about booting its current flag, too. (If they do, then NZ's flag will no longer be as easily mistaken for it.) Why are these complainers so agitated? These nations wouldn't even exist without Britain, so what's wrong with the poor unloved Union flag being in the canton?

Can't say I think much of the ferny designs.

Most new flag designs are rubbish anyway, just like most new national anthems, because they are picked by committees of unimaginative bureaucrats or old ladies with no sense of history, style, melody, or appropriateness.

Personal logo javelin98 Supporting Member of TMP14 Jul 2015 9:20 a.m. PST

John Oliver had a hilarious piece on this topic a couple months ago. You can find it on Youtube.

Personal logo John the Greater Supporting Member of TMP14 Jul 2015 9:30 a.m. PST

I'm thinking a nice design would be a Hobbit rampant on a field of beer suds.

Personal logo Dal Gavan Supporting Member of TMP14 Jul 2015 5:16 p.m. PST

Roly, nice ideas. Have you though about an Imagination army to carry those colours?


Seems like Australia has talked about booting its current flag, too. (If they do, then NZ's flag will no longer be as easily mistaken for it.) Why are these complainers so agitated?

Before I start my reply, I want to state that my background is Irish, my paternal grandparents were great supporters of Irish nationalism and my name is as Irish as you can get (Dall O'Gabhain in the old spelling). So the following is not an anti-Irish rant, it's background.

The push to get the Union flag off the Australian flag started before WWI, in fact before the new flag design was accepted. It was mainly led by those of Irish background, but those of Scots, English and other backgrounds also agreed with the idea. For the Irish it was stated (as my grandfather used to say) that they did not want the "hated bloody British rag on our flag". For others it symbolised the idea that Australia was in fact an independent nation, free to go its own way.

The move to change the flag has gained momentum since the late '60's, driven by:

faux Irish nationalists such as Paul Keating and Tom Keneally,

pro-Republic activists such as Malcolm Turnbull (as if we need/want "President Turnbull" running the country……),

Aboriginal activists who claim the flag symbolises the invasion of Australia and Aboriginal subjugation,

a coterie of self-licking ice-creams like Sam Niel and Kate Blanchett, who are striving for more relevance than being 2nd rate actors affords them, and

those of non-British ethnic backgrounds who object because the Union flag does not represent them.

In short, lots of different, vocal groups who have their own agenda, but agree on one point- get rid of the "British domination of the Australian flag".

My opinion (does not apply to the NZ debate): It's a distraction from real problems that need to be addressed and will cost too much for a symbolic change of miniscule proportions (which will also inevitably Bleeped text off those who don't get their pet replacement design adopted, leading to further debates, calls for change, ad nauseum). If people like Sam Neil, Malcolm Turnbull or Paul Keating find the current flag offensive then they should come up with better reasons to spend the required money (on referenda, plebicites, design competitions and the usual hullaballoo) than they have to date. Or better yet, get all the change the flag activists together and they can fund all that crap themselves, if they want it so badly. Most of them have the money to do it.

Personally, I don't really care. The flag is a symbol- and what it symbolises matters, not the cloth on the pole. The debate is more about groups and individuals trying to impose their will on everyone else than it is about national identity.


Cynicism is a learned response, so if I'm cynical it's YOUR fault.

Arteis0215 Jul 2015 12:39 a.m. PST

"…so what's wrong with the poor unloved Union flag being in the canton?"

Well, New Zealand's not the only country considering changing the Union Jack out of their national flag. In fact, it's near the tail end. The majority of countries that once had it have already changed:





Source of above pics: link

myrm1115 Jul 2015 2:35 a.m. PST

If you are going to take the Union jack off the corner of the NZ flag the simple option is just replace it with something new and the silver fern seems a good option since its already in considerable use for NZ sporting identity at least….ok ok its a bit ensign like still but the red stars of the southern cross are still relevant

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP15 Jul 2015 9:57 a.m. PST

Quite interesting Arteis02!

Thanks for share.


Personal logo Dal Gavan Supporting Member of TMP15 Jul 2015 1:57 p.m. PST

Most of those show the flags pre- and post independence, Roly. There's only three that have changed their post-independence flags that I can see- and one of those is Singapore, which needed a new flag after leaving the Malaysian confederation. They've skipped the Apartheid era flag from South Africa to make their point (see below), as well. They also left off the flag of Hawaii, which retains the Union. Not sure how most Americans view that.




Arteis0215 Jul 2015 10:23 p.m. PST

From link :

Of the 15 Commonwealth realms outside the UK that retain the Queen as head of state, only Australia, New Zealand and Tuvalu still fly an ensign flag.

The other 12, and the dates they adopted their new flags, are:

Antigua and Barbuda (1997), The Bahamas (1973), Barbados (1996), Belize (1950), Canada (1965), Grenada (1974), Jamaica (1962), Papua New Guinea (1971), Saint Kitts and Nevis (1983), Saint Lucia (1979), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (1985), Solomon Islands (1977) and Tuvalu (1978).

When you slice it up a different way, you see that for 22 of our Commonwealth cousins, a quirky inconsistency is the norm:

10 countries have the British flag on their flag, but do not have the British monarch as their head of state.

12 countries have the British monarch as their head of state, but do not have the British flag on their flag.

Only 3 countries (Australia, New Zealand and Tuvalu) have both.

Arteis0215 Jul 2015 10:36 p.m. PST

My last attempt, as submissions for an alternative New Zealand close tonight:


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