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New Zealand mulls changing national flag


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Another Commonwealth/dominion nation is getting rid of the Union Jack on its flag?

Images of the different prospective flags are at the link below.

Foreign Policy

New Zealand Wants to Change Its Flag. These Are the Finalists.

There really isn’t much by which to distinguish the flags of New Zealand and Australia. The former comes with a Union Jack flag in the top left against a deep blue background with red stars. The latter includes a Union Jack flag in the top left against a deep blue background with — wait for it! — white stars.

That has resulted in quite a bit of confusion — usually to the disadvantage of smaller New Zealand. The country’s prime minister, John Key, has spoken of being seated in front of Australia’s flag at multilateral fora, a wonderful bit of small-country anxiety that HBO’s John Oliver recently satirized to great effect.

Confusion over the New Zealand flag and discontent over its colonial iconography has led to a campaign to change the country’s banner, and on Monday a panel charged with overseeing that process released its long list of candidates ahead of a referendum. The candidates prominently feature the silver fern, the symbol worn by New Zealand’s beloved rugby team, the All Blacks. The fern also plays an important role in Maori legend.


Plus an old article from last year: What are they gonna put there...a Kiwi bird instead? 

Yahoo News

New Zealand to hold Canadian-inspired referendum on ‘colonial-era’ national flag

Nearly fifty years after Canada unveiled its national flag and introduced the world to perhaps the most iconic symbol of national pride, another Commonwealth nation is similarly considering whether to do away with its Union Jack-adorned flag.

It was announced this week that New Zealand would hold a referendum on the fate of its current flag during the next parliamentary term. That depends, of course, on the current government surviving a September election.

The move comes as New Zealand officials debate the merits of its symbolic ties to the United Kingdom, and you may be surprised to learn that Canada plays a role in inspiring the potential shift.

It seems like every other year the Kiwis have an article about changing the flag, then the Aussies spark up that debate.  Or vice versa.

Slow news day.
New Zealand's official flag site
From the NZ government site, there will be a set of referendums in late 2015 and early 2016 to determine whether the current flag stays or goes:

All New Zealanders enrolled to vote will be asked to take part in two referendums.

Referendum One

20 November – 11 December 2015

You’ll be asked to rank the four flag alternatives selected by the Panel. Rather than picking one favourite, you’ll be ranking the flag options from your most preferred to your least preferred.

Referendum Two

3 March – 24 March 2016

You’ll be asked to choose between the current New Zealand Flag and the preferred alternative design selected in the first referendum. The results of both referendums are binding. This means the flag with the most votes in the second referendum will be the official flag of New Zealand.
Seems that this is more than just an article in a paper on a slow day if there are actual referendums coming this time.

Good for New Zealand.
One of the contender designs out of several.

(image source: Vancity Buzz)

I looked at their website----IMHO all the offerings there are not too inspiring.

What I would suggest is a simple flag---- blue, green, blue similar to the white,red, white background of the Canadian flag---on the green middle put a brown Kiwi bird similar to the Kiwi on the RNZAF flag.

I just saw the finalist designs, and I can't say I like any of them, because they don't speak to me in a way that tells me in one second what New Zealand is all about. In my mind, a country's flag should tell non-native people what the country is like. The Canadian flag, for instance, incorporates the maple leaf, a national symbol for Canada that has existed for a long time, even pre-Confederation. The white background tells people Canada is a winter country, and the two red bands on either side say that Canada has two coastlines. Put more simply, 'Here be the vast land of snows and maple trees in between two coasts', hahaha.

A mostly black, or all-black flag strikes me as a bit strange and unattractive, but that's just me.

The 'Black Jack' design with a stylized Union Jack doesn't do it either. It just doesn't look right. Although I do think the designer cleverly incorporated Maori stylings into the Union Jack, to communicate the idea that New Zealand's history as a country really began when the British explorers first encountered the Maori.

I'm not a Kiwi, but if I was, I would go with something like the following design. A stretched Union Jack at the top, like the flag of Alberta, and below a blue background with the Southern Cross in the lower right hand corner, and a stylized fern in the lower left hand corner. In the middle, you could have some sort of Maori emblem. Both the stars and the fern would be in white. The Union Jack, obviously, would point to New Zealand's British heritage, while the blue background points to the country's status as a maritime nation. The fern would represent the ferns that grow all over New Zealand, and like Canada's maple leaf, are a widely recognized symbol of the country. The Maori design in the middle would represent the Maori heritage, obviously.

Just my $0.02 (really $0.01 if you account for inflation and the recent change in the USD - CAD exchange rate).
There are tons of Silver Fern decals in Australia on cars, etc. that pretty much mean the owner is Kiwi.  If this comes to pass, I wouldn't be surprised if a design much similar to the All-Blacks wins.
Actually, it plays a big part in Maori society and culture.  http://media.newzealand.com/en/story-ideas/new-zealand-icon-silver-fern/
I kind of like #2.  #4 isn't bad either.
Sheep Dog AT said:


Although given how many Kiwis work in Oz and try to blend in (except when the All-Blacks are playing), I don't know if his last suggestion will work all that well.