Do you know that NZ (New Zealand) has a separate flag for the Maori? Let’s see how it happened and find out the meaning of the Maori flag as well.
New Zealand Flags
In fact, New Zealand has five official flags. They are:
- The Governor-General’s Flag. It appears at all events that the Governor-General is attending. It even takes priority over the New Zealand Flag.
- The New Zealand Red Ensign. People fly it on land in locations or on affairs of Maori significance
- The New Zealand White Ensign. You’ll see this flag hanging on ships and commissioned seaside establishments of the Royal New Zealand Navy.
- The Royal New Zealand Air Force Ensign. Air Force establishments fly it on a daily basis. It is also raising in Royal New Zealand Air Force airplanes.
- The New Zealand Civil Air Ensign. It can be flown on any New Zealand plane, licensed airport, or place assigned as an airfield.
Waitangi Day in 2010 witnessed the very first official identification of the national Maori flag. It is flown together with the New Zealand flag on many government sites. For example, the Beehive, Parliament, and especially Auckland Harbour Bridge.
History Of The Maori Flag
In January 2009, the Minister of Maori Affairs announced that there should be a Maori flag on the Auckland Harbour Bridge on Waitangi Day. He supposed that this action would improve the relationships between the Crown and Maori.
He eventually got the agreement from the Prime Minister. However, the condition of flying the two flags together was that they had to pick a preferred flag in common.
As a result, from July to August 2009, 21 public hui were carried out nationwide. There are also online submissions invited from Maori and New Zealanders.
At last, they identified four considerations for the flags:
- the Maori (Tino Rangatiratanga) flag
- the New Zealand flag
- the National (United Tribes of New Zealand) flag
- the New Zealand Red Ensign
In December 2009, Cabinet officially recognized the Maori (Tino Rangatiratanga) flag as the preferred national Maori flag. They also stated that it’ll complement the New Zealand flag.
The Symbolism Of The Design
There is of course meaning behind the Maori flag. The details on the national Maori flag basically symbolize the three realms:
- Black at the top: Te Korekore, potential being
- White in the center: Te Ao Mārama, the realm of light and being
- Red at the bottom: Te Whai Ao, coming into being
The koru is figurative of a curling fern frond. It represents opening out of new life, the process of renewal, and hope for the future.
Principles When Flying The Maori Flag
Undoubtedly, just like other national flags, the Maori flag has its own flying principles.
- Firstly, respect the New Zealand flag’s status as “the symbol of the Realm, Government and people of New Zealand”
- Secondly, respect its status as the preferred national Maori flag
- Finally, show a spirit of joint nationhood and respect
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