Fern's fine, but 'tis no flag

Last updated 13:30 30/01/2014

TIME TO CHANGE: Alexander Dyle's idea for the New Zealand flag.

Jack Ensor Zoom
Jack Ensor says the New Zealand coat of arms signifies the convergence of Maori and the British as well as encompassing many aspects of NZ.

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As debate over New Zealand's flag heats up again, Alexander Dyle share his design for our nation's emblem, lovingly rendered in MSPaint.

It is bold and striking; simple elements arranged in an unusual and eye-catching way, with none of the fiddliness of the silver fern. The fern is a fine emblem for our nation, to be sure, but 'tis no flag.

The lines radiating from the bottom corner is a design not shared by many other countries - but it's a good one! The reaction of most people when they see the flag of The Seychelles is "that's a cool flag". Would that they said this for us, rather than "hey look, it's Australia" (the current flag) or "what is that, a perforated trowel?" (the silver fern design).

The shape formed by the lines also fits well with the shape of the Southern Cross. This keeps some continuity with the existing flag, it obviously signals our place in the Southern Hemisphere, and the red - important to include, I think - represents the Maori people.

The blue colour is lighter, you'll notice, than on the current flag. This functions aesthetically to offset the large amount of black, and symbolically to distance us from the stultifying fustiness of empire represented by the royal blue of the Union Jack.

Together with the radiating lines suggesting forward movement, the lighter blue signals us as a young, dynamic nation looking onwards into the future. The fern flag, meanwhile, looks more like it belongs on a pirate ship.

This design represents everything you want in a flag: it's simple, with strong lines and few moving parts. It's iconic and will be easily recognisable, like the justly-admired flags of Canada and Japan.

It is a flag which represents the best of who we are as a nation.

I thank you for your consideration.

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