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POLL – Is it time we changed the NZ Flag?

TOP DEBATE — Vote now if you haven’t already, poll closes this weekend! 

Flapping in the wind across homes and cars right across New Zealand are plenty of flags at the moment – directly attributable to the Rugby World Cup.

One thing that has become very clear is that, for this event anyway, the black flag with silver fern has dominated.

Clearly the preference for black is in support of the All Blacks – but are more and more Kiwis finding the black flag and silver fern to be a more relatable and patriotic icon than the current blue flag, southern cross and union jack?  Perhaps in the same way that Canadians found love with a red maple leaf to etch out their own identity in the commonwealth.

Vote in our current poll – and feel free to post your opinion in the comments section below.


What should the NZ flag look like?


Ian Goldsmith on 30/12/2011 7:59pm

Keep the flag as it is. The connection New Zealand has to Britain is very important. There is no sense in change for the sake of it when change can alter a lot. New Zealand has special ties and connections to Britain. The reason why the flag of New Zealand has a Union Jack is because it reminds New Zealand of the importance of English and Scottish heritage, and the British Isles, and Wales too of course.The New Zealand speech owes a lot to a mixture of all. It is not an insult to have that reminder and the country ought not to be ashamed that we are a culture that has a strong literary tradition that goes even further than our field too. Keep the ties solid and sound. New Zealanders ought not to feel embarrassed about having an English and Scottish heritage or feel bad about being reminded of that. It’s good. Flags with British colours and coins with a British Queen is OK. We can all go to Britain on holidays and know we will always be welcome. It’s true. It’s good to have that. Don’t cast it all adrift. Keep what we have. Remain connected and keep access and communications open and helpful. It’s nice having a history that goes back. New Zealanders are liked in Britain very much and the flag as it is helps too, and a lot. It makes sense to keep those symbolic ties and there is no need to question the usefulness of it, or for politicians to ruffle feathers in order to be noticed, or suggest change for the sake of it that may affect relationships, when relationships are able to be kept sound and open for the future which can keep what we have, which is a lot. Don’t change that. The ties to Britain are very useful and symbols matter. Thanks. Keep the flag.

Jim on 11/11/2011 1:05am

First. State flag is something different from sports club flag. Do not mix!

Second. Do you really want to leave All Black without their flag (by making it,say, nation wide)?

Third. Black and white flags often are associated with “Jolly Roger” by people who are not aware about existence of All Blacks (many of them, trust me!)…

cmapuk on 10/11/2011 10:52pm

Most people around the globe will see silver fern flag as a fish sceleton with bitten off head on a black colour background. Such a design is very similar to widely known Jolly Roger:

Surely such a flag will be very popular in international waters; especially near African coasts

Ann on 28/10/2011 4:29am

How about we ditch the Union Jack and have just the Southern Cross. Keep the stars. Maybe white stars on a coloured background – black, maybe.
Or a background of blue and white to signify the sky, the sea, the (long white) cloud and contrasting blue/white stars in the current Southern Cross format.

Definitely not the Maori flag.

I think it has to change; it’s just a matter of time.

Steve Howard on 28/10/2011 4:17am

As a recent transplant to New Zealand from the US, I can tell you that I had no idea what a silver fern was before I came here. My first exposure to it was as part of TV3’s logo. To me and most of the Americans I know, there is no connection between that logo and New Zealand. Probably because most Americans have no idea what rugby is.

I think it’s wonderful that Australia and New Zealand flags are so close to each other. Many Americans see the Australian and New Zealand flags so close to each other as being a sign of unity in Oceania. A partnership of sovereign nations who share a very unique place on this globe.

I also think it’s wonderful that the Union Jack is still on the New Zealand flag. Acknowledging your past is an important part of pursuing your future. The culture here has a lot of ties to that symbol. I think washing your hands of it is a mistake.

I’ve only lived here for a few months. My opinion on this probably means very little as a Kiwi. But as an outsider looking in…as someone who has admired Australia and New Zealand for years, I think it would be a real shame to change it. But, if you do…I would say the Southern Cross needs to stay and the Union Jack should be at least watermarked.

Guest on 28/10/2011 7:40am

I imagine there’s plenty of flags around that have symbols on them that don’t mean much to Americans – or anyone else for that matter.

In terms of similarity, it’s like saying Canada and America should have similar flags as they are neighbours. I would prefer to have a flag that distinguishes us more from Australia, as we are our own nation. Personally I’ve had enough trouble in the past remembering which flag is ours and which is Aussie, let alone people from other countries distinguishing us.

As far as I can see the only past our flag plays tribute to is the British colonial one. It would be good to at the very least mix that in with element(s) that mean something to us kiwis.

Kathryn on 28/10/2011 4:16am

The silver fern looks like a feather to people who don’t know it. It’s nice and all, but not instantly recognisable as a silver fern. Having said that, I don’t know what else we could choose. I think a kiwi would be a bit kitsch, but I like the idea of something white on a black flag.

Louleni on 28/10/2011 4:02am

From what I heard a while ago, the current flag is not even our legal flag. It was copied off a yacht.

The black flag with a silverfern on it would only make me think of Rugby instantly. Are we giving other country the rugby message of some kind?

Has the Government considered throwing a new flag design competition?

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