The flag of New Zealand is a blue ensign with the Union Jack in the upper hoist-side quadrant with four red five-pointed stars edged in white centered in the outer half of the flag in a pattern that represents the constellation of Crux, the Southern Cross.
New Zealand flag
Blue stands for blue sea and sky
The four stars' pattern represents the Southern Cross, symbolizing New Zealand's location in the South Pacific Ocean.
Union Jack represents New Zealand's past (New Zealand was once a British colony and dominion)
The main difference between the Australia Flag and the New Zealand Flag is that the flag of Australia has six white stars while the flag of New Zealand has four 5-point red stars with white borders. Five of the six stars on Australian flag have seven points while the smallest star has five points. Australian flag depicts Southern Cross constellation with five white stars – one small five-pointed star and four, larger, seven-pointed stars while the flag of New Zealand shows Southern Cross with four 5-point red stars with white borders.
The national Māori (Tino Rangatiratanga) flag was developed by members of the group Te Kawariki in 1989. On 6 February 1990, the group unveiled the flag at Waitangi. On 14 December 2009, Cabinet recognized the Māori (Tino Rangatiratanga) flag as the preferred national Māori flag, and noted that it will complement the New Zealand flag.
Tino Rangatiratanga flag (Māori Flag)
Black symbolizes Te Korekore, potential being
White represents Te Ao Mārama, the realm of being and light
Red stands for Te Whai Ao, coming into being
Koru is symbolic of a curling fern frond, representing the unfolding of new life, hope for the future and the process of renewal.
The need for a flag to represent New Zealand was felt in 1830 when the its trading ship, Sir George Murray, was seized at Sydney port by customs officials for sailing without a flag or registration. Australia was under British rule at that time and British navigation laws mandated every ship to carry an official certificate detailing its construction, ownership and nationality. The British Government appointed James Busby as British Resident to New Zealand in 1832 following a petition from northern Māori. He arrived in New Zealand in 1833 and met with a collective of twenty-five northern Maori rangatira about the need for a New Zealand flag. On 20 March 1834, 25 chiefs from the Far North and their followers gathered at Waitangi to choose a flag to represent New Zealand. Three flags, all designed by the missionary Henry Williams, were voted by the chiefs. The chosen flag was hoisted on a central flagpole to the accompaniment of a 21-gun salute from the warship HMS Alligator. The new flag, popularly known as 'flag of the United Tribes of New Zealand', was later approved by King William IV making it the first official flag of New Zealand
United Tribes’ flag (1834 - 1840)
Unrest in New Zealand during the 1830s prompted British to send Captain William Hobson to claim sovereignty over New Zealand for the United Kingdom and negotiate a treaty with the Māori. Following the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi on 6 February 1840, Hobson declared British sovereignty over all of New Zealand on 21 May 1840. The British flag (Union Jack) replaced the flag of the United Tribes of New Zealand as the official flag of New Zealand. The Union Jack remained New Zealand's flag until the passage of the New Zealand Ensign Act instituted the current flag in 1902.
Union Jack (1840 - 1902)
New Zealand governor, Sir George Ferguson Bowen, asked British naval lieutenant Albert Hastings Markham to design a naval flag for New Zealand. In 1869, Markham designed Royal Navy Blue Ensign with the Southern Cross and the Union Jack in its canton. In 1902, Premier Richard John Seddon’s government passed an Act that made the 1869 flag New Zealand’s official flag. Until that time, the Union Jack had remained the official New Zealand flag on land, and the Markham-designed flag the one to use on the water. The recognition given to the Markham flag in 1902 made it the flag to use on both land and water.
New Zealand flag (1902 - Present)
When the New Zealand Flag is flown at half-mast, other flags shouldn’t be flown above it. The Flag should be raised again to the peak before being lowered for the day. Where there is a single flagpole, the New Zealand flag should fly above the national Māori flag to respect its status as the symbol of the Realm, Government and people of New Zealand. For multiple flag poles, the New Zealand flag should fly from the pole on your left as you’re looking at it, with the national Māori flag next to the New Zealand flag. The two flags should fly from equal height. The New Zealand Flag should never be flown in a dilapidated condition. Old flags in dilapidated condition can be destroyed by burning them. The flag should not be destroyed in public view.
New Zealand flag display rules
Calls to change the flag have been made since the 1960s. In March 2016 New Zealanders voted for the current flag in preference to the Silver Fern (Black, White and Blue) flag which they had chosen from among five options in an initial referendum in November 2015.
Search for a new New Zealand Flag
When the New Zealand government invited designs from public in 2015 for a new national flag for New Zealand, it received more than 10,000 designs. From those designs, five designs were finalized and presented to the New Zealand public to rank them during the first postal referendum held between 20 November and 11 December 2015. The most preferred flag was Kyle Lockwood’s silver fern design. Between 3 March and 24 March 2016, New Zealanders of voting age were asked if they want to stay with the current New Zealand flag or to have a new silver fern flag. New Zealanders voted to keep the current flag. New Zealand government invited designs from public in 2015 for a new national flag for New Zealand. People from all walks of life submitted their ideas for a new flag for New Zealand, and there were no limitations in terms of age or where people came from or lived. The three symbols most often used in the 10,292 designs submitted were the Southern Cross, the silver fern and the koru. The koru, spiral in shape, is based on the unfurling silver fern frond. It symbolizes new life, growth, strength, and peace, and is an important symbol in Māori art, whakairo (carving) and Tā moko (tattooing). Because the silver fern begins life as a koru, some people feel that it is represented in the silver fern as well. The top four colors were white, blue, red and black. From those designs, five designs were finalized and presented to the New Zealand public to rank them during the first postal referendum held between 20 November and 11 December 2015. The flag design selected in the first referendum (submitted by architectural technician Kyle Lockwood) has the Southern Cross, the silver fern, and the colors white, blue, red and black. Between 3 March and 24 March 2016, New Zealanders of voting age were asked if they want to stay with the current New Zealand flag or to have a new silver fern flag. New Zealanders preferred to keep the current flag by a wide margin.
The personal flag of Queen Elizabeth II in her role as Queen of New Zealand was approved for use in 1962. It is used by the Queen only when she is in New Zealand or attending an event abroad in her role as head of state in New Zealand. The Queen's Representative, the Governor-General of New Zealand has their own flag.
On 11 October 1962 the Queen announced the adoption of a special personal flag for use on her tour of New Zealand between 6–18 February 1963 and for use afterwards.
The flag is flown continuously on any building in which the Queen is in residence and by a ship transporting Her Majesty in New Zealand waters. It is also flown whilst the Queen is attending a state or public function, and it is to be seen above the saluting base at military parades and open air gatherings when Her Majesty is present. It is also broken when the Queen sets foot on board one of Her Majesty's New Zealand ships.
When flown with the New Zealand Flag, the Queen's Personal Flag for New Zealand takes the position of honour.
The only occasions on which the Queen's Personal Flag for New Zealand are flown in her absence are at parades in honour of Her Majesty's Official Birthday.
The flag is the banner of the arms of New Zealand defaced with the Queen's Royal Cypher.
The flag is divided into four quadrants:
The first quadrant includes depicts four stars as representative of the Southern Cross constellation, as depicted on the national flag.
The second quadrant consists of a golden fleece on a red field.
The third quadrant contains a golden wheat sheaf on a red field.
The final quadrant includes two crossed gold hammers on a blue field.
The central stripe consists of three ships. Superimposed in the centre is a dark blue roundel bearing a Roman E surmounted by a Royal Crown within a chaplet of roses, all gold-coloured, obscuring the centre ship. The central blue disc is taken from the Queen's Personal Flag, which is used by the Queen in relation to her role as Head of the Commonwealth.
The flag of the Governor-General of New Zealand is an official flag of New Zealand and is flown continuously in the presence of the Governor-General of New Zealand. The flag in its present form was adopted in 2008 and is a blue flag with the shield of the New Zealand coat of arms royally crowned. The official heraldic description is "A flag of a blue field thereon the Arms of New Zealand ensigned by the Royal Crown all proper".
Flag of the Governor-General of New Zealand
The flag is flown at places the Governor-General occupies or resides such as Governor-General's residence, Parliament of New Zealand while attending Executive Council meetings and on official vehicles. The flag of the Governor-General takes precedence over the flag of New Zealand and is second only to the Queen's Personal New Zealand Flag.
New Zealand flag details
|Adopted||24 March 1902|
|Designer||Albert Hastings Markham|