Flag of New Zealand

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Image:FIAV_58.png Flag ratio: 1:2

Prior to 1840 the 'Flag of the united tribes' was often used as a semi-official New Zealand flag. It featured two crosses of St George and four stars in the top left. After the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 the British Union Flag became the official New Zealand flag.

The current Flag of New Zealand was introduced in 1869. It was initially used only on Government ships, but was soon adopted as the de facto national flag. It was officially made the national flag by Parliament in 1902. It is a dark blue ensign with the Union Flag, in the top left hand corner, with four red stars with white borders to the right.

The Union Flag symbolises New Zealand's Commonwealth heritage. The stars represent the constellation of Crux, the Southern Cross.

The flag proportion is 2:1 and the colours are Red (Pantone 186), Blue (Pantone 280) and White. Proportion and colours are identical to the Union Flag.

There is also a New Zealand red ensign which became the official flag for merchant vessels in 1901.[1] (http://flagspot.net/flags/nz_ens.html#cen) Previously a plain red ensign was used.

Missing image
New Zealand's Red Ensign
Example of a Red Ensign used by New Zealand Maori
Example of a Red Ensign used by New Zealand Maori

The red ensign may continue to be flown on land in Maori areas or during Maori events under the Flags, Emblems, and Names Protection Act 1981[2] (http://www.mch.govt.nz/nzflag/other-flags.htm) in recognition of long held Maori preference for red flags. New Zealand law allows the defacement of the flag in accordance to Maori custom in which white capital letters identifying a particular family or Maori tribe are added. In the case of the flag on the left, TAKITIMU refers to a grouping of Maori tribes descended from the crew of the ancestral canoe of that name [3] (http://flagspot.net/flags/nz_mao.html#red).

Today, private and merchant craft can choose to fly the Flag of New Zealand (ie the blue ensign) or the Southern Cross red ensign.

Missing image
Maori flag selected in a 1990 competition.
Since 1990, some Maori have been using the red ensign less in favour of a new flag which lacks colonial connotations. Chosen through a competition, the Maori flag uses black to represent Te Korekore or potential being, white to represent Te Ao Marama to represent the physical world, red to represent Te Whei Ao, the realm of coming into being and the Koru, a curl representing the unfolding of new life.
Missing image
Te Kooti's battle flag captured 1870 at Tapapa.
The Maori flags Te Paerangi and Te Paekinga of the Maori King movement, and Te Kooti's more elaborate battle flag all carried a 'triple star' which some have suggested represented the three main islands of Aotearoa or Tane's three baskets of knowledge. One of New Zealand's two national anthems, 'God Defend New Zealand', includes the line 'Guard Pacific's triple star' and there has been various speculation over the years as to whether this was a reference to the three islands, or perhaps to the Maori battle flag - the anthem's author Thomas Bracken being something of an Irish anti-colonial.

The flag debate

For several years a number of people have been proposing designs for an alternative flag for New Zealand (see examples below).

Proponents of the idea claim that the present flag is old-fashioned, doesn't evoke emotional feelings, and has little connection with the land. Many also object to the presence of the Union Flag (also known as Union Jack) on the flag as being overly colonial, or to its similarities to the Australian flag.

Opponents say that this is the New Zealand flag, we chose it, and we should be proud of it. They say it does evoke emotional response in them. They also say that it represents the history and geography of the country, that the flag is a colourful good design, and that it is the flag New Zealanders have fought and died under while it has represented the country for 135 years. Some also claim that it is not as similar to the Australian flag as is often suggested, and that many countries have flags that are very similar — or even identical — to the flags of other countries. They also criticise the proposed alternatives, saying they focus on Maori and Pacific designs when most of New Zealand's heritage is Anglo-Saxon and Celtic, or the Silver Fern which they say is the logo of some of New Zealand's sporting teams rather than the country itself.

Currently opinion polls indicate a majority in favour of retaining the present flag, and as yet proponents of changing the flag are still undecided as to which design should replace the flag.

External links

National flags
List of national flags | List of national coats of arms
de:Flagge Neuseelands

it:Bandiera neozelandese he:דגל ניו זילנד ms:Bendera New Zealand pt:Bandeira da Nova Zelândia sv:Nya Zeelands flagga wa:Drapea del Nouve Zelande zh:新西兰国旗


Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Art)
    • Architecture (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Architecture)
    • Cultures (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Cultures)
    • Music (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Music)
    • Musical Instruments (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/List_of_musical_instruments)
  • Biographies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Biographies)
  • Clipart (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Clipart)
  • Geography (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Geography)
    • Countries of the World (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Countries)
    • Maps (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Maps)
    • Flags (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Flags)
    • Continents (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Continents)
  • History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History)
    • Ancient Civilizations (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Ancient_Civilizations)
    • Industrial Revolution (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Industrial_Revolution)
    • Middle Ages (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Middle_Ages)
    • Prehistory (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Prehistory)
    • Renaissance (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Renaissance)
    • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
    • United States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/United_States)
    • Wars (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Wars)
    • World History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History_of_the_world)
  • Human Body (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Human_Body)
  • Mathematics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Mathematics)
  • Reference (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Reference)
  • Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Science)
    • Animals (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Animals)
    • Aviation (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Aviation)
    • Dinosaurs (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Dinosaurs)
    • Earth (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Earth)
    • Inventions (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Inventions)
    • Physical Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Physical_Science)
    • Plants (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Plants)
    • Scientists (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Scientists)
  • Social Studies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Social_Studies)
    • Anthropology (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Anthropology)
    • Economics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Economics)
    • Government (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Government)
    • Religion (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Religion)
    • Holidays (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Holidays)
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Solar_System)
    • Planets (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Planets)
  • Sports (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Sports)
  • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
  • Weather (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Weather)
  • US States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/US_States)


  • Home Page (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php)
  • Contact Us (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Contactus)

  • Clip Art (http://classroomclipart.com)
Personal tools