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?