Flag debate: A chorus of koru
What should be on NZ's flag?
Following the recent announcement by John Key of a referendum on the New Zealand flag, I have developed an alternative design for consideration.
The flag design I propose is derived from the well known Gordon Walters' koru motif, which has been incorporated into various other recent proposals.
While the fern is widely regarded as the most universally accepted icon for New Zealand, I believe the related koru is more readily adaptable, identifiable and meaningful. The simplicity of the Gordon Walters' koru creates a powerful emblem which is more identifiable and unique than the stars on the existing flag.
For those who object to using exclusively Maori imagery on our flag, consider that the koru is part of a common native plant and should therefore be relatable to all of us. The Gordon Walters' style is highly simplified and thus accessible to all.
The black field employs the popular colour of Kiwi endeavours - our sporting and Olympic colour - the colour most often associated with our individual ambitions and achievements.
The koru are arranged in twelve stripes, with the unfurling ends arranged in a pattern suggesting the shape of the North and South islands of New Zealand.
The blue and red stripes evoke the colours of the existing flag, and reference the history of interaction between Maori (red) and European (blue) cultures.
Progressing left to right, the coloured stripes overlap white stripes, representing our development towards a united and diverse culture - as echoed in our national anthem by the line "men of every creed and race, gather here before thy face..." Gordon Walters' overlapping 'monkey-grip' design symbolises how we value unity or togetherness, and provides a link between our past and our future.
The 'new beginnings' symbolised through the koru theme is intended to depict a hopeful outlook for a bright future, with a strong link to those good qualities in our traditions and history which have served us well thus far in our journey as a nation.
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