NZ Flag, NZ symbol

The people of New Zealand have democratically chosen to retain the flag adopted in 1902. Fair enough. A clear but smaller than expected majority either wanted to keep this flag or for a variety of reasons didn’t want the alternative flag.

e2c11-current-flag

The alternative was a bob each way flag, retaining some of the character of the existing flag but dropping the colonial union jack and including New Zealand’s most recognisable symbol, the silver fern on black (except the fern wasn’t silver).

So the country will continue with split identities – an official flag that features another flag and is often confused with our neighbours, Australia, and a unique and widely used symbol, the fern on black.

Here’s some examples of what New Zealand will be recognised by:

Fern-Passport

 

FernTradeEnterprise

Fern-tourism

Fern-highperformancesport

Fern-Whitefern

Fern-BlackCaps

Fern-TomWalsh

silver20ferns20image

blackfernslogo

nz-army-logo

Some war service and family connections:

Fern-GreatWar

Bromley

Fern-Faenza

Faenza

And so it goes on. Like it or not the fern is New Zealand’s symbol.

We will continue to have our over a hundred year old New Zealand flag.

And we will continue to use and be recognised by the silver fern in it’s many forms.

Fern-NewZealand

This is our reality.

Leave a comment

153 Comments

  1. James

     /  25th March 2016

    And the welsh national symbol is a leek, yet they have a dragon on their flag.
    What’s your point?
    Thank god we voted to keep our symbol off our flag where it belongs.

    Reply
    • I don’t think there’s any comparison. The leek isn’t a widely used symbol in Wales, neither is their other symbol, the daffodil.

      http://www.visitwales.com/ uses the Welsh dragon.

      The Welsh rugby league team are called the Dragons.

      The Football Association of Wales uses a dragon.

      Reply
      • Missy

         /  25th March 2016

        The rugby team use the three feathers – your point?

        And you have never been in Wales on a game day have you? I was there a few weekends ago – saw loads of daffodils, many were wearing them pinned to their jerseys, so saying the Welsh don’t use the daffodil as a symbol is wrong. I often see leeks as well at rugby games where Wales are playing.

        Reply
        • I didn’t say the don’t use the daffodil as a symbol, it’s a national symbol so obviously it will be used, as well as the leek. But the dragon is their most prominent symbol.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_symbols_of_Wales

          We have multiple symbols too, but the fern is by far the most used and most prominent.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  25th March 2016

            A Welsh schoolmaster whom I know was so sure that the Welsh team would beat the All Blacks that he promised to eat a raw leek in assembly if they lost.

            They did and he did.

            I love leeks, but a raw one must have tasted terrible.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  25th March 2016

              Wonder what the lesson for his pupils was?

              Honor your promises, or Don’t make bets involving eating raw leeks at assembly if you lose because you’ll look a right doofus?

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  25th March 2016

              Well, they learned that Mr _______ was a man of his word ! He provided the school with a lot of amusement and a story that will never die, but he did what he said he’d do-even though I bet that he wished that he’d never said it.

              Remember when Keith Locke said that he’d run naked down the street if Rodney Hide was elected and then didn’t when he was ? He could have done it when nobody was around to see, but he wore togs or undies, I forget which. Piker ! Mr _______ would have done it πŸ˜€

            • Klik Bate

               /  25th March 2016

              It was actually body paint πŸ˜€

  2. jamie

     /  25th March 2016

    Yes the fern is a great symbol.

    Perhaps one day someone will translate it into a design that can be used as a flag.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  25th March 2016

      The fern’s getting to be a bit old hat. It’s only matter of time before the All Blacks will be proudly wearing

      Reply
      • MaureenW

         /  25th March 2016

        Too true what with the make up some of them wear ..

        Reply
      • The fern is getting old hat, it’s been around as a national symbol for longer than the flag has.

        The fern is also on a lot more hats than the flag is.

        Reply
        • Pete Kane

           /  25th March 2016

          “The fern is getting old hat …….”
          Like Victoria Falls or Notre Dame or perhaps the Sistine Chappell?

          Reply
  3. Patzcuaro

     /  25th March 2016

    Don’t forget the NZ Labour Party, it uses the fern as part of it’s logo!

    Reply
    • Yes, up until 2011 Labour had the flag in their logo, then they changed to a fern logo.

      Reply
      • Patzcuaro

         /  25th March 2016

        Hypocrites

        Reply
        • But but…
          @NewshubNZ

          Labour leader Andrew Little says last night’s referendum results were a rejection of the proposed Lockwood flag and of John Key.

          While he didn’t get the flag change he wanted in defeat John Key was far more dignified that Little who defeated himself with an own goal.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  25th March 2016

            Well yes but Andy kicks a lot of own goals. He’s reliable and consistent in that way. So what?

            Reply
          • Gezza

             /  25th March 2016

            I will admit too that John Key was very brave because you could see he was crying inside.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  25th March 2016

              Has Andrew Little forgotten that his party was the one that wanted a flag change in the first place ? How would he have explained it if the new one had won ? I bet that he’d have been taking all the credit and saying that National pinched the idea from Labour.

  4. MaureenW

     /  25th March 2016

    Australia has a strong identity tie with the kangaroo, but that’s not on their flag. What’s your point?

    Reply
    • My point is that the fern is by far New Zealand’s most recognisable symbol, including as a flag, and that won’t change.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  25th March 2016

        No I’m not so sure about that. It’d be a close competition with the kiwi surely?

        Reply
        • Nowhere close. The only kiwi a lot of people overseas know of is the fruit.

          Even the NZ Rugby League team who call themselves the Kiwis include a fern in their logo.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  25th March 2016

            And they also had a kiwi. Did you notice that?

            Reply
            • Yes I did. A Kiwi to link to their name and a fern to link to the most recognisable symbol of their country.

              The New Zealand Women’s rugby league team is called the Kiwi ferns.

              Most sports have a link to the fern. Few have a link to the kiwi.

            • Gezza

               /  25th March 2016

              The airforce is a bit silly having a whlightless bird as their symbol too.

            • Gezza

               /  25th March 2016

              That’s true.

            • Gezza

               /  25th March 2016

              Actually, that flag above, if the fern was on black that one might’ve got over the line. I mean, who could object to all 3 symbols?

            • Gezza

               /  25th March 2016

              Objectors would be seen as unpatriotic shitheads, surely?

            • You just chat away to yourself there Gezza … πŸ™‚

              Great morning guffaw …. Thank you. πŸ˜‰

            • Good points too? :-/

            • Oh yes, absolutely. No question. Good points Gezza. πŸ˜€

      • MaureenW

         /  25th March 2016

        Since when does a recognisable symbol have to be on a country’s flag? Does Tonga have a coconut, Australia a kangaroo, etc? Flags and logos are different things.

        Reply
  5. Patzcuaro

     /  25th March 2016

    The White Ferns’ look great in magenta, I was going to say pink but apparently it’s magenta.

    Reply
    • Pickled Possum

       /  25th March 2016

      Yaa go Magenta ferns .. beautiful colour wonderful word

      was Magenta Riff Raff’s girlfriend?

      Red and Blue make Magenta a purple hue sometimes mistaken for ‘Pink’

      Yellow, Cyan and Magenta are the basic secondary colours of colour printing

      White ferns representing New Zealand in International women’s cricket πŸ™‚

      Reply
  6. Disappointing. No matter the posturing of the left and their hijacking of a long needed debate for political end – we are the fern! I hope that NZ and New Zealanders grow up enough to have the flag, along with a republic debate within my lifetime.
    The process was buggered for several reasons. Process first. The choice process meant that those who felt strongly about their “choice” were disappointed another flag won out. I know enough who in theory favoured change, just not THE referendum choice . They voted “retain” in pique. I am convinced that had the flag been simply a swap out of the Union Jack for a fern ( I.e all blue background) change would have got over the line. Both the the black and red corners of the Lockwoods “stopped” the eye design wise and no purist could accept that. Another negative for change was the allowing of the 26 million cost meme getting traction. Of all the anti-flaggers among my acquaintance, the “cost” crew were the least intelligent, least aware and annoying of all. I got the KDSers and the politically motivated, I got the design purists, but the purse keepers. They were to a person dense. I felt had the “change” spin team countered that angle a little more actively they would have been won over.
    However, I am taking one thing out of this. All Kiwis now .recognise their old British civil servant cobbled together flag. Previous to this debate most never knew how many stars were on it, let alone the colour of them. Now I believe they all do.

    Reply
  7. Oliver

     /  25th March 2016

    The silver fern is a sports thing. The kiwi symbol is used just as much if not more. Listening to talk back over the last few months it was clear that most people voting for the Kyle Lockwood flag were sports fans.

    Reply
  8. Ratty

     /  25th March 2016

    Why are you confusing an Emblem with a Flag ?

    I dont recall any sports team around the world who have a flag as a badge, its normally an emblem (eg Scotland, Thistle, Lion Rampard, Crest, England, Rose, Three Lions, Crest, Australia, South Africa etc etc etc etc).

    And as for war graves…

    Graves
    Individual graves are marked by uniform headstones, differentiated only by their inscriptions: the national emblem or regimental badge, rank, name, unit, date of death and age of each casualty is inscribed above an appropriate religious symbol and a more personal dedication chosen by relatives. Where there is risk of earth movement, graves are marked instead by bronze plaques on low pedestals.

    http://www.cwgc.org/about-us/what-we-do/architecture/our-cemetery-design-and-features.aspx

    To use the excuse of sports teams and war graves using a fern is irrelevent, stupid and misleading.

    BTW, your header is still incorrect, the position of New Zealands flag is always to the left when flying alongside another flag

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  25th March 2016

      Pretty sure most US international sports teams have their flag on just about everything. Even their grid iron football teams all have their flag on their helmets along with their team symbol.

      Reply
    • My header is how I’ve arranged it. And it isn’t flags flying alongside each other. And when two flags fly alongside each other it depends on which way you look as to which is on the left.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  25th March 2016

        Well, there are rules determining how you work out which way is left, when I look at your header from the back of my screen the NZ flag might be on the left but I can’t see it.
        http://www.mch.govt.nz/nz-identity-heritage/flags/displaying-new-zealand-flag

        Your strongest argument here is your 1st sentence.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  25th March 2016

          The Americans have their flag on everything, it seems, I’d have thought that it would lose its impact when it’s plastered everywhere.

          Reply
          • It’s also common to see them flying flags in the suburbs and mounted on their cars.

            There was a bit of this during the flag process but still not as much as I’ve seen in the US.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  25th March 2016

              I have seen that-I don’t know why I find it so annoying that they do this, but I do. It’s like the hand on chest thing that makes the person doing look as if they have bad indigestion.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  25th March 2016

      It can’t always be to the left – if you are on the other side it will be to the right.

      Reply
  9. MaureenW

     /  25th March 2016

    While the queen remains NZ’s Head of State, I have no problem with the Union Jack on the flag. This was another referendum issue for many people, changing the flag in isolation of any move on becoming a republic.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  25th March 2016

      As we are not treated as British citizens, I see no reason why we should have their flag on ours. They don’t give us very much-if anything-now. Why should they have any control over what we do ?

      Reply
  10. Kevin

     /  25th March 2016

    The fern may be a great symbol for our country but it makes for a lousy flag.

    The biggest problem with the whole flag change thing is that there was no reason to change it. It was government-initiated and there was no groundswell for change.

    I’m hoping though that this has whetted the public’s appetite for a flag change and that we will see alternative flags start appearing. And who knows? Maybe one of those alternatives will get so popular that the government will be pressured to hold a referendum between that alternative flag and the current one with a totally different outcome.

    Reply
    • There were two main reasons to change it, to avoid confusion with Australia – and politicians and sports people gave many examples of that confusion – and to have a flag that more clearly identifies as a unique symbol of New Zealand.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  25th March 2016

        Ok. They shoulda just chosen the fern on black.

        Reply
        • I agree Gezza, insomuch as the Fern on Black – as per Pete’s new header – is a much better flag by vexillographic design. It’s a big pity that discussion about it got all confused with the ISIS flag (FFS!). Also that a vexillologic design process didn’t follow up on its obvious popularity, independent of public submissions.

          I would never have voted for it “as is” in preference though. This would be taking the sports connection altogether too far. However, it remains a possible basis for an excellent flag including some distinct Maori iconography or motif – such as Gordon Walters korowai a la tino rangitiratanga – which I understand the Fern ISN’T. The fern is largely a Pakeha symbol I believe? Happy to be corrected on that though.

          Totally agree with you Kevin – especially “no reason to change it” – and I hope a great design does emerge. I also hope never another flag referendum all by itself. It must go along with republic and constitution decisions IMHO.

          Reply
      • Gezza

         /  25th March 2016

        And the other thing is changing the flag won’t stop Americans from thinking we’re Tasmania.

        Reply
      • Kevin

         /  25th March 2016

        People have been calling for a flag change on the basis it looks too much like Aussie’s for decades. They were even doing it when I was in primary school.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  25th March 2016

          Really ? I didn’t know that it went back THAT far ! πŸ™‚

          Reply
      • The I don’t like sitting under an Aussie flag BS again! What do the government pay MFAT and PM Aides to do ? What are Chef de Mission paid to do? Sort out Protocol including the right flag. its a poor excuse

        Reply
  11. Littles piece in the Herald was as is now their want – pretty self serving. All I can say to him is “hypocrite”.

    Change was Labour’s actively declared policy in 2014, and all of NZ knows this.

    “We believe that the time has come for a change and it is right for the issue to be put to the public” – yet when their despised Key puts it to the Nation – an entire left wing goes into collective rage and to this end, with the help of friends in the media hijacked any and all discussion. Labour show me they haven’t the backbone to be the proper opposition, let alone govern when they’re not mature enough to engage with and expand on their own policy. They’d rather be be hypocrites in the pursuit of some political gain.

    When John Key campaigned unequivocally on asset sales and resoundingly won the people’s mandate, they (Labour) carped and whined and even sought a referendum on this. How were they going to explain away the costs there? Labour need to be aware that despite their mealy mouthed win, most of NZ society considered this a debate worth having. Where they talk loudly about their progressiveness, their liberalism – they now firmly occupy the regressive and conservative corner on this and many other issues. The electorate see this.

    Rather than gloating as being on the “winner’s team” and petending at caring more about the nation’s coffers, it’s ultimately a lose for them.

    A more magnanimous voice reflecting the actual result might have garnered you more respect – don’t expect a poll jump Andrew.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  25th March 2016

      He might even go down in the polls over this. I think you are overestimating the impact Angry’s views on this matter. Nobody really gives a shit what he had to say IMO. Stop hyperventilating.

      Reply
  12. Oliver

     /  25th March 2016

    Flag protocol at PG.

    From left to right, flags should be in this order: the New Zealand Flag, flags of other nations in alphabetical order of country, house flags. In special circumstances, flags of Commonwealth countries may take precedence over other foreign flags. Commonwealth flags should also be in alphabetical order.

    Reply
    • Silver Fern comes alphabetically before Union Jack.

      Not that that is relevant on what I do with not flying flags.

      Reply
      • Oliver

         /  25th March 2016

        The New Zealand flag must be displaced on the left. As per government regulations. You have no choice but to compile.

        http://www.mch.govt.nz/nz-identity-heritage/flags/displaying-new-zealand-flag

        Reply
        • Oliver

           /  25th March 2016

          *displayed.

          Reply
            • Oliver

               /  25th March 2016

              I see so he is deliberately ignoring the rules I suppose could report him to the authorities.

            • Gezza

               /  25th March 2016

              Reckon 😎

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  25th March 2016

              Oh, please, please, please do, Oliver-and let us know what happens ! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

              Do you know which authorities to report him to ?

            • Gezza

               /  25th March 2016

              SIS be best. It’s pretty subversive stuff.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  25th March 2016

              Pete had better make plans to emigrate-I wouldn’t mind betting that this is an offense that carries an automatic life without parole sentence. When it comes to putting the flag on the wrong side….life MEANS life.

        • Klik Bate

           /  25th March 2016

          Why not just do what JK did on the voting form, and put the Fern ABOVE the NZ Flag?

          Reply
          • JK had nothing to do with the positioning of the flags on the voting form.

            Reply
            • Pantsdownbrown

               /  25th March 2016

              If people hadn’t got all PC over the black colour of the silver fern on black flag then I have no doubt that would have beaten our current one easily.

            • Oliver

               /  25th March 2016

              John Key said he didn’t want a black flag because it look like ISIS flag. But I would have voted for it.

            • Pantsdownbrown

               /  25th March 2016

              Considering how well the fern/stars mess actually did in the final vote the silver fern on black would have sailed in……we should have stood our ground and reclaimed the ‘black’ back.

            • Klik Bate

               /  25th March 2016

              @PG

              I’ve got a bridge I could sell you? πŸ˜€

            • The Electoral Commission handled that and I have no reason to doubt that they handled it properly and without political interference.

              Have you got any evidence of anything to the contrary?

            • Klik Bate

               /  25th March 2016

              No more than you have PG πŸ˜€

            • You waste your breath on conspiracists Mr G.

            • On them, yes, but that’s not who the responses are really aimed at. If nonsense is let pass unchallenged it can be accepted by others, which is why some keep repeating nonsense (although it can be difficult differentiating between ignorance and deliberate bull).

            • Anyone who imagines that Mr Key was in anyway involved in placement of flag designs is ignorant. It’s such a preposterous idea that imbuing it with “deliberate bull” beyond flatters them.

            • Klik Bate

               /  25th March 2016

              “…..(although it can be difficult differentiating between ignorance and deliberate bull)”

              C’mon guys, even Adolph Hitler had a sense of humor πŸ˜€

            • Gezza

               /  25th March 2016

              The only good thing about Hitler was he killed Hitler.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  25th March 2016

          Compile what, Oliver ?

          Reply
  13. Pete Kane

     /  25th March 2016

    Well, it is your ‘blog’ after all Pete.

    Reply
      • The PM:

        Just because the referendum did not produce the outcome he wanted “doesn’t mean it wasn’t a worthwhile process”, he said.

        “We … as a country had a nationwide discussion about our flag, about nationhood, about what we stand for. And I think that’s been an important discussion we not only should have had, but must always have.

        “I don’t think we should shy away from … contentious issues just because they are by nature contentious.”

        Mr Key said he would now be supporting the current flag. “What this process has shown over the last three or four months is that we as a country can get out and fly our flag. We can use it, and we can show the world how proud we are of New Zealand.

        I think that’s an appropriate response from the Prime Minister.

        My problem is I still don’t feel proud of our flag.

        Reply
        • Oliver

           /  25th March 2016

          “My problem is I still don’t feel proud of our flag.”

          Maybe the problem is you and not our flag.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  25th March 2016

            To be fair it’s a pretty crappy flag. It needed changing but only for a better one.

            Reply
      • Metiria Turei…

        …said the flag result was a major failure for the Prime Minister. “John Key’s overt campaigning for his favourite flag tainted the referendum from the outset and cost all New Zealanders the opportunity to get a new flag.

        “Lots of New Zealanders support a change of flag but voted for the current one because the Prime Minister’s interference ensured they weren’t given a proper choice. John Key alienated people by politicising the process and attacking those who didn’t like his choice of flag.”

        That’s disappointing snarkiness at this stage of the process.

        Reply
      • Andrew Little…

        …said the flag project had “divided the country” and “become a personal crusade”.

        “At every stage of the process John Key screwed the scrum in favour of his flag. He made his desire for a fern flag known from the outset. Panel members were admittedly influenced by this and three of the four flag options featured ferns.

        “When New Zealanders said they wanted a straight yes/no vote in the first referendum, he failed to listen. He failed to treat the public with respect and put his personal agenda first. Time and again we heard voters say there were higher priorities for the $26 million the referendum cost taxpayers.”

        A very poor reaction from Little after a poor showing right through the flag process.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  25th March 2016

          At what point do you reckon you’ll stop crying in your beer over this Pete?

          Reply
          • I can move on from this no problem as I do from any democratic process.

            Key seems to view things likewise.

            It sounds like Little and Turei are the ones crying over the outcome – they’re stuck with their records of hypocrisy and maybe that has just dawned on them.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  25th March 2016

              I gave ya an uptick for that. Have you got a particular date in mind?

        • @ PG – If you take the first two line paragraph out of Little’s comment I thoroughly agree with him. This however does not alleviate his hyprocrisy insomuch as Labour initially supported change.

          Reply
  14. Zedd

     /  25th March 2016

    Maybe Key should have just taken $26 million from the ‘public purse’ & put it on a public bonfire.. to show his contempt for the 56+% who told him.. “YOUR flag SUX” :/

    Reply
  15. I wonder if countries with simple coloured bands or shapes went through the amount of navel gazing about their flags as we have done. Or about the deep significance of the elements.
    http://www.flagmaker.co.nz/worldflags.html

    When those plain strips of colour get raised at the Olympics over the heads of their medal winners will they cringe?

    Reply
    • @ duperez – Are you saying you cringe or Kiwis in general cringe when our current flag is raised? I don’t cringe.

      I guess it depends partly upon how the flag was chosen, whether you feel it is imposed upon you and the like? Here’s just one example, Namibia. While some contention obviously surrounds who designed it, the flag appears to have been chosen by Parliamentary subcommittee from 850 submissions and adopted on behalf of the population. Perhaps this is the best way?

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Namibia

      I rate Namibia’s flag about 8/10. I chose it quickly from your linked document thinking about a recently constituted country that will have changed its flag.

      Reply
      • No, that fails one of the supposed tests (that have the world’s flags fail) – it’s too hard for a five year old to draw.

        Reply
        • Hence 8/10 PG. Otherwise Namibia’s flag would be 9/10 or 10/10. Did you read about the ‘meaning’ from one of the designer claimants?

          Mind you, that ‘Sun’ is a damn sight easier for a kid to draw than Lockwood’s fern.

          I doubt any flag will ever actually be 10/10, though some come very close IMHO, eg Canada, Bangladesh, Japan …

          Reply
        • As someone who has had something to do with art the notion of the flag having to be able to be drawn by a five year old intrigued me. I understand the logic but it is plainly silly.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  25th March 2016

            I agree-why would you want a five year old to limit the flag design ?

            Reply
      • PartisanZ, I don’t cringe. That’s a response to the emotional stuff about the the difference and diminishing of the achievement of the likes of Mahe Drysdale wearing the present flag in their hour of triumph. In comparison to how special those moments and memories would be without the Union Jack.

        Reply
  16. As an aside, are any of those who kept saying “It is not about John Key” some of those trying to make it about Andrew Little, Labour and the Greens?

    Reply
  17. artcroft

     /  25th March 2016

    I’m disappointed the flag wasn’t changed. The design of the current flag declares we are Britain under the Southern Cross. We aren’t. Britain is a lovely place but it’s 18,000k’s away. A new flag is needed. Luckily I think we can rely on all the John Key haters to take up the cause anew in the near future and insist we have another go at changing it.

    Reply
    • @ artcroft – Had to get the old “Key haters” reference in there eh? 😦 It’s not just Key haters who will continue to pursue change. I am one. πŸ˜€ I’m sure the positive flag change lobby group led by Holden (is it?) will continue refreshed and renewed. Hopefully they’ll drop the Lockwood design? I’m increasingly hopeful of constitutional republicanism and flag change in my lifetime … πŸ™‚

      Reply
      • Klik Bate

         /  25th March 2016

        The republic debate may not take that long actually PartiZ.

        Look for it to back on the agenda as soon as JK gets his Knighthood…. πŸ™‚

        Reply
        • HAAAA!!!! That’s very good Klik! πŸ˜€ Really it is.
          You can join the stand-up comedy club on here. πŸ™‚

          Reply
      • artcroft

         /  25th March 2016

        Well Labour will have a hard time explaining that they aren’t Key haters when they realise that they won the war but fought on the wrong side, and so start agitating for a new flag.
        Like you I hope we become a republic in the future. However I’m not going to make it a condition of my support that we must have a flag to my personal taste. I’ll just settle for a flag that is not British.

        Reply
  18. Flags and their history and meaning are fascinating! πŸ™‚ Check out Latvia … πŸ˜‰

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Latvia

    Reply
    • And one with vertical rather than horizontal stripes or ‘blocks’ of colour, Mali. πŸ™‚ This is an example of rule 5 of Vexillology, vis : be completely unique or be affiliated with other flags. Mali fulfils the latter not once but three times over! It mirrors the French tricolour – flag of its colonial ruler – the flag of Ghana and the flag of Guinea with the colours reversed. It also uses the Pan-African colours Green, Gold and Red. Great stuff!

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Mali

      8/10 from me again …

      Reply
  19. Brown

     /  25th March 2016

    Move on Pete. You lost because what was on offer was shitty commercial branding (and a piss poor one at that). No one likes a sore loser.

    Reply
    • MaureenW

       /  25th March 2016

      Wasn’t it off the Weetbix packet?

      Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  25th March 2016

      Wrong. People who don’t give up win in the end. There will be a new flag some day and it will be something like the Lockwoods that would have won but for Lefty politicking. The “traditional” meaningless and formulaic designs that PZ and the conservatives claim to favour will get trashed by the popular vote. Absent political herding people like some meaning in their symbols.

      You can keep your crappy old colonial relic in the meantime but you will lose in the end.

      Reply
      • MaureenW

         /  25th March 2016

        Talk about flogging a dead horse. We just had a popular vote – it lost because, as Brown rightly says, it was a crappy commercial logo-like design, intended to deliver to Key’s wet dream. I have no doubt NZ will get a new flag in the future, and hopefully it will have more meaning about the country and it’s constitution, rather than just changing the table-cloth for no apparent reason. Stop blaming lefty politicking, if they had any influence, we’d have a labour government.

        Reply
        • Rob

           /  25th March 2016

          Wilikinson is just pissed he can’t come in here and gloat about how his side won. Or something.
          Of course we will eventually have a new flag. Whether any of us is around to see it is another matter. Hopefully it will be something better than a tea towel, company logo.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  25th March 2016

            Which company’s logo was it ? I am so tired of the tea towel cliche being trotted out-all flags are that shape and could be used thus.

            Do you mean pissed off ? I hope that that you’te not saying that Alan is drunk, which is what pissed means,

            Reply
            • Rob

               /  25th March 2016

              pissed
              pΙͺst/
              adjectivevulgar slang
              adjective: pissed; adjective: pissed-up; adjective: pissed-off

              1.
              British
              drunk.
              2.
              very annoyed.

              You need to get a life Kitty.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  25th March 2016

              You need to learn that we don’t live in America.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  25th March 2016

          Don’t be absurd. The Left only needed the conservatives to outvote the rest. Key needs coalition partners to govern remember.

          Reply
      • @ Alan – Yep! Your thought train has lost me again, not an uncommon occurrence I must admit. You appear to be saying the Silver Fern and Southern Cross are not “traditional”?

        “PZ and the Conservatives” … Hmmm … I might use that …? πŸ˜€

        Next time, IMHO, maximum meaning will be injected into our flag decision by it being attached to becoming a constitutional republic. One thing won’t change though, all flag creation is significantly “formulaic”.

        Surely the current process calls into question at least to what extent “popular vote” should be used? The referendum question might equally be : Do you give a non-partisan Parliamentary sub-committee your mandate to change the flag, given this committee will use extensive direct electronic polling, public and digital feedback systems throughout the process? YES/NO.

        Just trying to think outside the square and not be traditional or conservative. πŸ™‚

        A telling last sentence Alan. I told you and reiterate again this wasn’t a win for me. It was lose/lose. But you clearly think of it as a Right win/Left lose contest eh?

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  25th March 2016

          No, I clearly identify two main streams that together defeated rational choice: conservatives who don’t want any change and Lefties who found ways to make this a hate the Government event. These influenced a lot of people into finding secondary rationalizations for their sentiment – not the right time, don’t like it, waste of money, not important, etc.

          Despite all that a new flag is only 5% swing away and would obviously have passed without the Lefty hate politicking. Hate is what Lefties do best of course. They have plenty of practice.

          Reply
          • @ Alan – Meantime, because the Key led government found ways to make it a denigrate anyone who doesn’t agree with Key’s preference event, Righties and presumably “progressives” such as yourself “rationally chose” to came up with secondary rationalizations of your own such as –
            1) It doesn’t really matter when we make the change or what meaning, gravitas, national identity or constitutional matters attach to the new flag.
            2) Okay it’s not a great flag, maybe even second or third rate, but it’ll do the job of achieving “change” at any cost whatever
            3) The most important thing is to get rid of the Union Jack (Why now especially? 43 years after Britain ‘abandoned’ us)
            4) Democracy always costs big money, despite much of the process actually being undemocratic, ie Key influenced appointed panel
            Unlike you, I can’t speak for others, but I suspect the number of people unable to make up their own mind might be less than your 5% swing vote? There simply may not be that many stupid, Leftie, hate-filled, blindly compliant voters around? I don’t know any.

            Reply
  20. Maybe Oliver should put in a complaint about this Herald photo:

    Reply
  21. Jonathan Milne @JonoMilne

    NZ’s flag has new meaning. It now represents our penchant for putting partisan politics ahead of community-building.

    Sadly true.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  25th March 2016

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  25th March 2016

        It’s always depressing to be reminded how stupid the average voter is and how close to the precipice of electing a bunch of ignorant idiots ws are.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  25th March 2016

          You need to join the army, rise to the top, take over the country and sort this shit out.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  25th March 2016

            I’m fundamentally a pacifist outside resisting aggression so that would be a tough trip.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  25th March 2016

              These days when I find myself thinking impure thoughts about the Lockwood flag I find it helpful to go read Trumpy’s twitter feed. Maybe give that a go?

    • MaureenW

       /  25th March 2016

      Yes, starting off with the Prime Minister declaring his own personal choice. It all went down hill from there. Btw I have almost always voted National. Our PM made a dick of himself (again).

      Reply
      • Most people who long envisioned ridding ourselves of the Union Jack saw the fern as it’s natural replacement. The fern is what represents us everywhere and many of us (though not you it appears) believe it to be the equivalent of Canada’s maple leaf.

        What can’t the PM have an opinion on the flag choices and why couldn’t he declare his preference publicly? Surely only half wit or brain dead dolt would be at all influenced by what he says or does. As for makign a dick of himself, Key’s certainly no more opinionated than you or me or half the others in here , who – were we in his position, would have made our preference heard.

        Reply
        • Brown

           /  25th March 2016

          There are times and places when one voice has more influence than another because of the power or prestige of that voice. When Key or Little etc… vote we know who they vote for but in days gone by there was a thing called good manners that saw them go about it quietly and respectfully. This was Key’s campaign and as prime minister I felt he was far to vocal about the options he liked. Neither did I like the famous connections being roped in to endorse it. The wearing of a lapel badge showing ‘his’ design was particularly crass. I think Key picked another Labour idea that he thought had legs (darned few of them do) but this time it backfired. Its been a fail that has put back the debate for years.

          I think the problem was the alternative was flimsy – the vote was closer than I thought it would be and I’m mindful of lots of people that appear to have wanted change but just not that one.

          Reply
          • MaureenW

             /  25th March 2016

            @Brown
            If I recall correctly, Key was spruiking a silver fern flag before the process had even begun. And you are correct that a person of significant influence, leading the push for a flag referendum, should have been more selective in who he shared his preference with. I.e personal friends, rather than the world.

            Reply
  22. Zedd

     /  25th March 2016

    I listened to some comments on talkback.. the classic was a lady, who said she did not vote for the change, because it looked more like a tea-towel for tourists (championed by the Tourism minister) than a flag ! πŸ˜€

    Reply
  23. Kitty Catkin

     /  25th March 2016

    I have a terrible feeling that the press will be holding post mortems ad nauseam, they have begun already….

    Reply
  24. Gezza

     /  25th March 2016

    Something shiny will come along soon and push it all into the background.

    Reply

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