A new national flag for New Zealand


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.


Firstly, though, here is the existing New Zealand flag. It’s derived from the maritime British Blue Ensign. The stars of the Southern Cross were added and, similar to other Commonwealth countries, the Union Jack remains in the first quarter to recognise that New Zealand started as a British colony.



Design 1: Here’s my first design.  I think the silver fern on black is the natural symbol of New Zealand.  We have played sport, fought and lie buried under this symbol. During WW1, New Zealand soldiers weren’t nick-named ‘Kiwis’, but ‘Fernleafs’.

However, a flag with a plain black background is too sombre. So I’ve combined a black triangular field with bars of blue (sea), teal-green (forests, hills) and white (sky, the ‘long white cloud’).



Design 2: My second design is a variation on the first. It adds a New Zealand touch with the bars having symbolic unfurling fern fronds on the ends.

However, I think the overall effect is maybe a bit too cluttered.



Design 3: For my final design, I’ve basically merged my first two designs into one – the coloured bars still represent sea, hills and sky, and the unfurling ends of the bars represent our iconic fern, albeit without the traditional black background.

I think I like this one best – it is simple, yet (if I may say so myself) the unfurling fronds make it elegantly distinctive from other flags of the world.

Which do you like best? And if you’re a NZer, why don’t you submit your ideas yourself before the deadline?

9 thoughts on “A new national flag for New Zealand

    1. I’m in two minds about changing the flag. But that’s not to stop the fun of inventing a new one.

      And I think once we actually see the chosen alternative, then it’ll be easier to see if we want to change from the existing flag to that one.

  1. I’m not so keen on the blue, green and white stripes. A plain black flag with a big white fern would look really cool….

    1. That is what a lot of people like, too. However, I personally think black looks too stark by itself. And some people have commented that black flags have connotations of pirates and ISIS.

      Whilst we can and possibly should incorporate black, I don’t think it should be by itself as the whole flag background colour.

  2. I too would prefer the original kept for the moment at least . There are more important things to spend all that money on .

    However some pointers.

    Arteis do you know what – Tinorangatiratanga means…???

    It means :- Separate development .
    Exactly the same meaning as the AFRIKAANS word :- APATHEID .
    The – Tinorangatiratanga flag is nifty looking but it does NOT represent ALL of Maoridom .
    Plus consider – the end result of separate development …
    If two groups of people set of in different directions to each other …
    In the end they end -up miles apart .

    The Tinorangatiratanga flag – is NOT about unity it is about DISPARITY and

    Of all your designs I like the last one best .

    The first one with the triangle looks rather similar to some of the PAN – ARAB – nationalist flags – best stay away from those .
    Also blag is not a good colour Heraldically speaking . It is depressing and
    reminds one of death .

    Yesterday I sat down and considered some ideas that were mulling around my head .

    Horizontal bands similar to yours [But I had not seen yours yesterday ] .-
    1. Top band :- Light blue – with a three spiralled cloud motif – Aotearoa -our three islands .
    2. Second band :- A bold green depicting a wave or frieze of our main -‘Maungas’-
    [Mountains ] – in profile ,i.e. Ngarahoe [sp?] , Tongariro , Ruapehu , Egmont and Cook .
    3. A wide band of verdant grass green – representing our rolling hills and paddocks .
    4. A thin band of sand for our beaches.

    5. A very thin band -of scallop – like white to represent the froth of the inner sea.
    6. A band of blue to reflect the sky = our inner sea -recreational purposes.
    7. A band of stylized waves [Maori -motif – waves ] to separate our inner sea from the outer sea.
    8. A band of deeper blue /green to represent our 200 mile – economic zone=
    our national fisheries .

    To include a small Southern cross in the Top -left hand corner [Canton ] in white [or silver perhaps ].
    A further alternative would be to include – the Pleiades [Matariki] constellation on the top right corner . Or perhaps replace the southern cross in the Canton with -Matariki […but I am a bit of a traditionalist -with Christian beliefs – and more inclined towards the southern cross ].

    Lets see if I can put it in on time .

    Regards ,

    God bless you … Arteis .

    Nick Papadopoulos.

I hope I've given you something to think about - please do leave a comment with your thoughts or reactions.

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