New Zealand votes to keep British flag in their flag

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well suck. the fern option looks pretty spiffy.


dang. I thought the “Fern” flag was much better.

The new design referenced many things New Zealand (the Fern, the “All Blacks”, the Southern Cross) while keeping to the design language of the existing flags.

Guess folks just don’t like change.


Similar outcome to the vote on the Australian republic in 1999. Its been suggested that the proportion voting for change depends on the proportion of English descended people vs others in the population, and as this number declines, the vote for change approaches 50%. So we will get there eventually (on both sides of the Tasman sea) but perhaps not for 20 years or so.

Everything I read suggested John Key was just looking for something he could call his legacy, and most people thought it was a waste of money.

When is Hawaii going to change their flag?


As a kid I was always fascinated by flags (that page in dictionaries and encyclopedias with all the flags of the world, I would spend hours looking at it) so when I first heard of this a few months ago I was really curious to see the designs. But all the alternative designs were kind of lackluster. I guess the “silver fern” one was best of them, but something about it still didn’t get me all that excited.

There’s something iconic and artistically pleasing about the Union Jack, which is weird when you consider it was cobbled together by merging the English and Scottish flags, plus St. Patrick’s cross, a forced marriage that somehow works.


Well I voted to change the flag, but not because I liked the alternative, I just liked it more than the current flag. Lots of people talk about the terrible process involved in this referendum. Some of the major bugbears were that there were no designers or flag experts on the flag panel who chose the designs. There was no process of choosing some components and going through an iteration process to design a flag. Essentially the first drafts that were submitted proceeded as-is to the final stage. Personally I think it was a bit of a farce and not handled well (surprise, surprise), but I am also genuinely surprised that so many people voted to change the flag. Polls before the vote consistently showed a much lower percentage of people voting for change (around the 30% mark).


You have bugbears in NZ? I thought they were only in Tasmania.


Experts or not, the new design proposal looks and works great.

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I liked the red/black version of the new flag better than the one they put on the ballot.

But I would have voted for the change anyway. If only to make the flag more distinct from the other former colonies.

I love flags too. I think in general I just like organized color.

I guess this says something about tradition keeping the old flag of a country you are no longer beholden to. I did like the fern design, though.

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The silver fern on the flag is strongly tied to rugby in New Zealand. As someone who has never watched a rugby game in my life I probably feel far less connection to the silver fern compared to most NZers. My favourite flag design, the one I voted for in the first referendum, is called Red Peak: I think it is a lot more subtle than a silver fern.


that is pretty cool too.

That fern looks obnoxiously difficult to draw. It seems to me I spent far too much time in my youth drawing the flags of the world for some obscure pedagogical purpose, and I would not have wanted to get stuck with that one.

At least NZ has relatively sensible five-pointed stars. The seven-pointed ones on the Australian flag are unforgettable after you’ve tried to make a couple of 'em.


Just wait until the Northern Territory becomes a state.

HA! Try drawing the Kansas Flag from scratch with the detailed frontier scene.

It’s a big deal to change a flag. Look at the American south, where some states had, until recently, flags designed to glorify slavery. Even getting rid of those was like WWIII. Now even if you don’t much like the UK, you must admit it’s better than the institution of slavery.

On the national level, I feel like this one’s got us all beat:


Yeah, I’d say it was better than the nautilus designs. I only recently just saw this long list of possible flags, the four finalists were certainly among the best ones.

I think, like the australian republic vote, this only tells us that people didn’t like the particular version of change that was offered. I was really disappointed that a good version of the fern on black wasn’t an option. There was a fern in the long list, but it wasn’t a good design.