Monday, 10 August 2015

Our NZ Flag

Take a look at these two flags below.  One belongs to New Zealand, and the other belongs to Australia.  Do you know which is which?

Flag of Australia.svg          NZ flag


Probably not, unless you live in New Zealand or Australia. Even those of us in New Zealand get confused when we see one of these flags flying at global sporting events.  That's one of the reasons why New Zealand is considering changing the flag. It's a very bold move, but people have talked about it for a long time.

Often at sporting events you'll see this silver fern flag representing New Zealand:



It's what all our sporting representatives wear on their uniforms, and is widely known as a symbol for New Zealand.

An artists rendition of how the strip may look (Photosport)
Richie McCaw and Dan Carter from the All Blacks
The silver Fern is beautiful a native plant that grows in forests here. The back of the leaves look like this:



However, that silver fern flag is not our official flag, but it's being used more and more to represent New Zealand.

Those in power decided we couldn't vote on changing the flag unless we knew what the alternative design was first. About 10,000 designs were submitted to the Flag Consideration Panel. Yesterday they released a long list of 40 designs which you can see in greater detail here.

The long list

You might notice that none of these 40 designs have the Union Jack. We are still a member of the Commonwealth, but we trade with many countries now, and don't view our relationship with UK in the same way as we did back in 1904 when our current flag was developed.

The silver fern flag is there on the top right, but it's unlikely to win because it too closely resembles the flag used by a terrorist group in the Middle East - better not type their name here. Many people are saying black is not a good colour for a national flag.

By mid September this list will be reduced to 4 designs. Then we will have a referendum where all voters get to vote for their top choice. In March 2016 we will have another referendum to choose between that single new design and the current flag.  

Yes, this is all costing a lot of money, but it's something that's been talked about for ages, and finally it seems we're having a real debate about it and are going to have the chance to vote on it.  Personally I quite like this one - it has a bit of the old and a bit of the new:

Silver Fern (Red,White & Blue) by Kyle Lockwood from Wellington, tagged with: Blue, Red, White, Fern, Southern Cross, Growth, Independence, Kiwiana, Māori culture, Multiculturalism, History.

It also gives you a clue as to which is which at the top of the page. NZ has four stars, and Australia has six.

I'd be interested to know what you think.

23 comments:

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

I had just read about this today and thought you know I always had to look closely to see which flag was which and it made sense to change it. I hadn't thought of some of them looking like a flag from a mid east country though until you said that. I like the one in the lower left hand corner. It will be interesting to watch this develop and see which flag design wins.

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

I just realized the flag I chose was the one you did - great minds think alike :)

mogsinc said...

I wish Australia would have a mature debate about our flag. I think the Union Jack on our flag is very inappropriate

Serena @ Sewgiving said...

I like the black version with the Union Jack on it in the selection of 40. Call me nostalgic (or old fashioned) but I like the Union Jack on the flags ... a bit of represented history (good or bad) is always a good reminder of how to (or not to) do things as a nation moving forward. But you don't have to worry about my opinion as I'm an Aussie :)

Alison said...

I am with you on the design. And...I hope people take the opportunity to vote in the referendum. But i do hope it doesn't lead on to changing the anthem.

Alison

Pip said...

The one you like is also the one I liked as well (and my husband picked it out as a good choice as I was scrolling through them) I was born in NZ but now have Australian citizenship, although you can't take the Kiwi out of me :)

margaret said...

the silver fern will look good on a flag and keeping the stars links it to the past along with the red, white and blue yes your choice gets my vote

Linda said...

You have picked the one I chose!

Gina Smith said...

Some great designs there. I like the Maori inspired ones as I feel they should be represented in some way on a flag that represents their land. We had a small debate over here last year about having to change the Union Jack when Scotland went for independence. It was our one and only chance for Wales to be represented on the UK flag. Unfortunately Scotland voted for no change and our chance has gone

Daryl @ Patchouli Moon Studio said...

I think the flag you chose is the perfect one Wendy.Like you said a bit of the old and the new together. I am surprised to see so many of the flag designs have black on them too. It seems like the flag designers all like the silver fern idea too. I would have thought someone might have made a flag with a kiwi on it, the bird or the fruit or both. But maybe just us westerners think of those when we think of NZ? LOL!!!

Stitchin At Home said...

I like the one you choose. We used to fly the Union Jack in Canada, until 1964 when we had the flag debate and now fly the Maple Leaf.

D1-D2 said...

what do the four stars represent? I like your choice as well.

Rochelle aka Bella Quilts said...

What an interesting process. How are they reducing the number of designs before they take a vote? I like the one you chose since it incorporates the stars and the fern and keeps the traditional colors. Such changes are always hard to implement and there will be some unhappy people. By including the population in the decision, hopefully it will be a successful transition. Must be exciting to be there with history in the making!!

Susan said...

I think New Zealand needs a flag that is unique as the country. I've visited 4 times from the USA and my son is a resident. I love all things NZ. Good luck with the process! ((I like one with old and new as well -- the silver fern plus the Southern Cross stars -- with a wee bit of black!).

Wendy said...

One of them does have a union flag... i think you're right to get rid of it though and go for a fern, so original

Julie said...

It really is a topic that is dividing the nation though, I like both the two you have picked also, but for all the money being spent $29 million, that could have done so much for our schools, hospitals etc. Will be very interesting to see what happens at the final vote.

Sue said...

Thats the one I would choose as well Wendy.

Ruth said...

I like the one in the third row with the black and green and the fern cutting through it!

Carol Q said...

Sounds very sensible to me Wendy. I would never remember which is which. I like the idea of the silver fern and the image at the bottom of your blog post suits very well. Shame that you are not feeling so connected to the UK any more but understandable I guess - you are a VERY long way away. At least it's red, which and blue.

Linda Steele said...

That's interesting, Australia talks about changing it's flag every so often. I like the one that you chose as well, you don't want to completely forget the old.

Maartje Quilt said...

A discussion about the flag is 'far away' for me. In The Netherlands we have just three stripes and never a discussion. There are some great designs, I hope for you there will be a vote and your flag will be chosen.

Live a Colorful Life said...

So interesting. I hope you keep us posted on the process and progress.

Abraham said...
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