Flags of New Zealand

Flags of New Zealand

Whilst on a tour of New Zealand you may notice various flags around the place. Here are a few of them….

The official flag of New Zealand shows the Union Jack in the top left hand corner (the new-zealand-flagUnion Jack consequently comprises of the flags of Scotland, England and an older flag of Ireland one on top of the other), a blue background and red stars with a white outline representing the constellation of the Southern Cross – a constellation of stars only visible in the Southern Hemisphere.

Another common flag that New Zealanders fly is one that shows a Silver Fern, which some visitors often mistake for being a feather. This is all-blacks-silver-fern-flagmost commonly a white fern on a black background and it is usually used to show support for the New Zealand national rugby team the All Blacks. Sometimes the words “All Blacks” or “New Zealand” appear below the image of the fern. This will be seen more often if you are on a tour in New Zealand during the time that the All Blacks are playing in a major rugby tournament such as the Rugby World Cup.

In the period between November 2015 and 24th March 2016 a series of referendums were held in New Zealand to decide if the people of the country wanted to change the official lockwood-silver-fern-flagflag. The proposal to change the flag was put forward by then Prime Minister John Key. After the first round of voting a flag very similar to the official flag but with a slightly different shade of blue and the Union Jack replaced with a Silver Fern and black behind the fern was chosen to go up against the official flag. This flag was designed by architectural designer Kyle Lockwood, and so is commonly known as the Lockwood Silver Fern flag. Sentiments varied as to why people supported one side or another but the outcome was to stick with the current flag, 56.7% voted to retain the official flag and 43.3% voted to change. Voter turnout was 67.3%. As you tour New Zealand you may still see this flag around the country – some people are still sore that they lost the vote!

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