This (above) is the current New Zealand flag. The Southern Cross (stars) speaks of the southern hemisphere and the Union Jack pays homage to our colonial past - The Tangata Whenua (The original indigenous people) are not included - not a Maori motif in sight.
The government is spending NZ$26 million in a process that it hopes will create a new flag that we will reflect some sort of consensus. These 40 designs (above) have been chosen from over two thousand flag design submissions. This is how the process works:
1 - Flag submissions are made.
2 - A government appointed panel chooses forty designs.
3 - Four designs are short listed from these forty designs.
4 - The public votes and chooses one of these four flag designs.
5 - The public then vote for either the existing flag or this one new design.
My feelings about the need for a new flag are somewhat ambivalent, as are the rest of the general public. My ambivalence has only been amplified by the rather insipid and uninteresting designs that have surfaced in the whole process.
This flag (above) featuring New Zealand footwear in the form of a pair of Jandals by New Zealand Herald
newspaper cartoonist Rod Emmerson was submitted for consideration but did not make the long list of 40 flags (no surprise really).
I am not saying that I would want this particular flag with jandals as the new New Zealand flag but I think we need something of this ilk, something arresting, interesting, eye catching - something that has that 'Wow' factor. Most of the designs to date look more like corporate logos. I wouldn't be surprised if when 'push comes to shove' at voting time we just retain the status quo, not through conservatism, the inability to change or any sort of intransigence but simple because nothing that is being presented so far actually 'knocks our socks off'.
Although we are no longer a colony of Great Britain we are still part of
the British 'Commonwealth' (Englands' club of old former colonies) and have other colonial attachments. As I post this, Queen Elizabeth the second is officially also the Queen of New Zealand and we have a Governor General who is the Queens representative.
Perhaps the time for a new flag is when New Zealand becomes 'The Republic of Aotearoa.'