18 August 2012

A New Flag In Our Midst?

Posted by Happy Homemaker UK

Being a flag nerd,
I can identify most national flags
around the world

But this one took me by surprise which I saw waving
twice during the Summer Olympics

The Silver Fern (not a feather)

Besides the flag of Cornwall (England)
and the Jolly Roger,
I couldn't recall seeing another black & white flag

So I googled it
and found out New Zealanders are considering changing their flag

Current New Zealand Flag

The flag evolved from their naval flag flown as a British colony
and does not reflect their identity, independence or
non-European population today

And it looks a lot like Australia's flag
which Jerry Seinfeld identified as
'the Union Jack at night time'
(funny flag humor)

Australian Flag

In terms of branding,
a black flag with a white fern is certainly 
more recognizable globally

Look at Canada's redesigned flag
- simple yet unique -

Canada's flag pre- and post-1965

You can see how some countries view the Union Flag emblem 
as historical but less a part of their future

On the other hand,
the Union Jack is extremely relevant in the UK
See how it is a clever overlay of three of the four 
constituent country flags within the United Kingdom?

It creates the 'Union Flag'

Notice it's not symmetrical

A few readers have kindly commented it technically is not the Union Jack
because a 'jack' is a flag on a ship

And they do refer to this flag as the Union Flag here

But in the US (where many of my readers are from), 
it is known exclusively as the Union Jack

And calling it the Union Flag
sounds like it is from the American Civil War
or represents labor unions

So for these reasons, I'll use the terms interchangeably :)

the Union Flag has not been immune to proposals of a flag redesign
over the last ten years either

Proposed Union Flag including Wales; a modernized Union Jack reflecting today's cultural diversity

However, changes haven't gotten off the ground
for this iconic symbol

As for New Zealand, I think it is a great idea to rebrand their global identity
Are there any New Zealanders who could weigh in?

Sources: NZFlag, Wikipedia, Creative Review, BBC News


Razzle Dazzle Quilter said...

As a New Zealander I like the Silver Fern for our sports teams but I don't want it to become our flag. Our current flag speaks to me of where we come from and where we live.
See you later
Linda Taupo New Zealand

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Thank you for your comment - how likely do you think it is to change?

YONKS said...

As a Welsh woman I kinda like seeing the red dragon overlaying the Union Jack (I have always called it Jack and always will). I doubt that will ever happen though as 1. The dragon seems too dominant and, 2. The Welsh have always been a thorn in England's side, I think acceptance of this would be a bitter pill to swallow. Old hatereds die hard it seems! Great post :-)

paisleysummer said...

There is talk of changing the Australian flag from time to time too.
I think Canada's flag is great and I can see a good argument for changing, but I kinda like the history involved in the current flag. Having said that if it changed in Australia I'm sure we would all get used to it. I still love God Save the Queen. It hasn't been our national anthem for years. I can remember them playing it before movies started when I was a kid! Really showing my age!!

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

An interesting post, I can understand NZ wanting to change its flag but not sure I like the proposal that much.

Robynne's Nest said...

Well I'm not a Kiwi, but as an Aussie who's country has also tossed around the idea of changing our flag...I would so..no way! Our flag represents our history...and even if we eventually break away from the Commonwealth, I would hate to see the flag which our men fought and died for..changed! I imagine it will happen sooner or later though, along with becoming a republic. Robx
p.s. I hadn't heard that description by Jerry Seinfeld...that's hilarious! Also did you see any 'boxing kangaroo' flags at the Olympics?

Happy Homemaker UK said...

I think it is interesting so many countries have talked about a redesign ( I didn't know about Australia) because this never comes up in the US. I think we think our flag represents us really well. No kangaroo boxing flag at the Olympics that I saw, but there was one on top of a cycling support car :)

Kay G. said...

Interesting, I have a follower on my blog from New Zealand and I will ask him about this!

Jane said...

Oh Laura. You make me smile. As a fellow vexillophile and an Australian, I would be delighted to see our friends over The Ditch adopt the Silver Fern. No need for them to copycat! J x

Naturally Carol said...

I don't really know how likely it is that it will really change, as you said there is history involved in retaining the Union Jack in the corner and our beloved Southern Cross. I am a NZer that lives in Australia. I love the silver fern too..but think it is more a symbol used for sporting teams but that said maybe it would unify NZ more as it is not a symbol of European settlement, more identifiable with indigenous people as well.

ann said...

Can you imagine any discussion on changing the Stars and Stripes? Great post, very interesting. Now I understand the Union Jack.

TexWisGirl said...

this was very interesting! and i like their proposed new design, too.

ramblinbess said...

I think it's interesting how much flags are a part of our national consciousness. I like the silver leaf, but maybe not for a flag.

NTCtag by Ning Tagle Clark said...

Very interesting! Yes, the proposed fern design is I think is good. I always get confused with the old blacks and aussie flags and when I saw the black with silver fern flag on your blog photo I knew it is the Kiwi's flag.

Pet said...

It is true. It is instantly recognizable, and very much New Zealand!

My Garden Diaries said...

Interesting! I like the look of the new flag! That would be striking!

Amanda (Small Acorns) said...

This flag debate has been going on for a long time Laura. The Silver Fern stems from our sporting teams, in particular rugby and the All Blacks, and it always makes me feel so proud and excited. I love our national flag too but for different reasons, and I do think it too close to the Australian flag at times. The silver fern would be ours and ours alone, and speaks volumes across our many nationalities.

the cuby poet said...

I am too a flag nerd so this was interesting regarding the proposed New Zealand flag. More flag trivia the flag for Cornwall is the flag of St. Piran Cornwall's saint. The black represents the granite and the white the tin, both very important to Cornwall historically and currently. The flag is a source of pride for the Cornish.

Happy Homemaker UK said...

I love seeing them flying when we get into Cornwall :) They are so unique!