Red Peak

Written By: - Date published: 8:11 am, September 5th, 2015 - 296 comments
Categories: identity, International - Tags: ,

I’m no fan of the flag process. I think its a waste of money and a distraction from the real issues. I don’t think there has been any public sign of engagement or interest to be worth commenting on. Until now. Now there is Red Peak.

The four officially shortlisted flags have gone down like a lead balloon. Three of them look (sorry) like a cheap corporate logo, and the fourth is (sorry) uninspiring. That is why a genuine grassroots groundswell of support has emerged around the Red Peak design (by Aaron Dustin). See the Tumblr site, Facebook page, Twitter tag, the petition, and other commentary. The campaign has attracted international attention – here’s The Guardian:

New Zealanders offered flag shortlist ask: can we have this one instead?

Days after the government revealed four potential new flags to be put to a referendum, angry New Zealanders are campaigning to recognise a fifth alternative, or to boycott the whole process

New Zealanders have considered their government’s final shortlist of four potential new flags – three ferns, and an unfurling fern frond – and said: can we have another go?

Just days after the government-appointed flag consideration panel announced its final shortlist of four designs, a campaign has been launched to recognise a fifth

Its organisers have vehemently resisted suggestions that the movement is a show against John Key’s government. “Whether you’re pro change or anti change one thing we can surely agree on is that the 4 designs unveiled this morning are fucking terrible,” its founding statement said.

Red peak for the compromise win?

Some images and information:








296 comments on “Red Peak ”

  1. aj 1

    I might have missed missing something but I don’t recall any designs with the Kiwi symbol? surely more widely recognised than the silver fern.
    When I’m overseas the fern means nothing – it is not unique to New Zealand. The Kiwi is internationally recognisable. I can’t help but think the process has been hijcked by a sports logo.
    Red kiwi on a blue background. Simple.

    • GregJ 1.1

      None of the Long List of 40 had a Kiwi on – which I must admit I found a little surprising.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        I wouldn’t want a kiwi on it.

      • Mrs Brillo 1.1.2

        These are the countries who have birds on their national flag (according to Some Bloke on a Forum):
        Papua New Guinea

    • weka 1.2

      “Red kiwi on a blue background. Simple.”

      That is also a logo, not a flag.

    • katipo 1.3

      Like a fern a Kiwi is still a graven image things best kept off a flag.

    • Gaby 1.4

      The original flag is fine and should remain as the NZ flag. There are so many on-going issues such as housing crisis and the Syrian refugees that could benefit from the money, instead of wasting it on a flag. Besides, i feel that the current NZ flag represents New Zealand’s history and people, a change would only mean a loss of identity.

      “The New Zealand flag is the symbol of the realm, government and people of New Zealand. Its royal blue background is derived from the ensign of the Blue Squadron of the Royal Navy. The stars of the Southern Cross emphasise this country’s location in the South Pacific Ocean. The Union Jack in the first quarter recognises New Zealand’s historical origins as a British colony and dominion” (

      Yes, good effort in creativity, however, why the wastage on cost of changing something that nobody had a problem with to begin with, when it could perhaps be invested into the NZ housing crisis for example?

  2. Muttonbird 2

    This flag, should it be added to the ballot, will turn me into a changer.

    • Jartin 2.1

      Likewise I feel.
      Otherwise it is what we have as the others look so terrible and I don’t want to be part of a corporate entity. Never did want to.

  3. maui 3

    I feel more emotional attachment to the kiwi with laser beams to be honest..

  4. TTD 4

    Yes the offerings are extremely embarrassing.

    The ” red peak” one actually works and I would vote for it.
    Easy to draw, looks good any size and is symbolic, it actually look like a flag.

    Now my choice is hypnoflag or spoil the ballot paper.

    My preference would be to give 20 mil to Women’s refuge/ Rape crisis

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    The comparisons make me prefer the silver fern option. The ‘First to the Light’ just puts me off as it comes across as arrogant and egotist and, although I originally liked the Red Peak design. I don’t now.

    • Muttonbird 5.1

      First to the light is not a caption.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1

        I get the feeling that they want NZ to take it up as part of our national identity.

        • Kevin

          I don’t get that vibe at all Draco. The ‘First to the Light’ is just part of the explanation of the flag. This type of sentiment was used extensively around the time of the millennium.

          I have been anti-flag change until this design came along. It has elements of the past and the future, symbolic of the mountains and volcano’s that shaped this land and colours that would satisfy both cultural sides of New Zealand.

          Even if it is not chosen. I am getting one. It is a flag I can identify with.

          • Draco T Bastard

            The ‘First to the Light’ is just part of the explanation of the flag.

            Not really or, to be more precise, it’s more that the promoters of this flag are trying to get NZ to see this in themselves.

            This type of sentiment was used extensively around the time of the millennium.

            I know that and it’s actually been around longer than that. In fact, I think you’ll find goes back to the recognition of the International Date Line. Thing is, it’s bollocks and I think most people actually recognise that. There’s no ‘first’ as to when the dawn comes.

            • greywarshark

              Come on DTB. Why should you dislike the flag because it’s bollocks. The whole of the output from our politicians is bollocks, or perhaps not, say a rough 90/10 ratio. The flag shit just takes attention from all the other bloody things that are being done and not done, the sins of omission and commission etc.

              My prescription for the flag illness is similar to what I get for my cold and cough. It’s a virus, there isn’t much that can be done. Carry on as well as you can, keep hydrated. That usually means water, with a twist of lemon, but flags can drive you to drink I think.

            • mikesh

              Japan is already using the “rising sun” motif.

          • BLiP

            . . . It has elements of the past and the future, symbolic of the mountains and volcano’s that shaped this land and colours that would satisfy both cultural sides of New Zealand . . .

            While I accept that constitutionally New Zealand can be considered bi-cultural, at least until such time as The Treaty has been honoured in full, our society is multi-cultural.

            I only mention this because I can’t understand why 100% Pure Clean Green New Zealand would not have the colour green on any new flag. As well as pleasing my cultural bias, and reflecting the most dominant colour seen in New Zealand, the colour green would represent our environment and our (regretfully flimsy) concern for it as essential to our existence. Also, as far as I can tell, there are only about a dozen other countries which have the colour green so it would help distinguish New Zealand even further.

            So far as Red Peak is concerned, it doesn’t do much for me at all. All those straight lines and all the colours, each in their own space, feels constricting and far too orderly. And since when did New Zealand have pyramids?

            • CnrJoe

              ahh green green greeen…cowshit green creeks, greenybrowny didymo snot rivers..our nationwide roadside concentration camps for animals seeded with green green clovers and ryegrasses – The least palatable for the stock……I recall a study (studies have shown..) where they put (sheep?) in a paddock with everything from parsley to nasturtiums – wiiide range of grazing…and the clover and ryegrass were the least favourite left-to-last option….
              I look up to the blue, whites and greys to relieve the unrelenting multi-sensual steam-roller of the deforested green green green

    • Lanthanide 5.2


    • weka 5.3

      “although I originally liked the Red Peak design. I don’t now.”

      I really like it, but I am also cautious. I’ve only been looking at it a few days, and I definitely don’t think choosing the flag should be based on our first impressions or reactions against the other four (or the process). And let’s not forget that John Key chose to change the flag, not us, and his reasons are highly suspect.

  6. ianmac 6

    Yes. Would get enthused with the Red Peak.
    Or Tino Rangatiratanga flag. It also has simplicity and movement and colour and symmetry.

    • Karen 6.1

      Tino Rangatiratanga flag is is by far the best IMO. It is the only one I would consider voting for as an alternative to what we have already .

      What particularly offends me about the process which left the creation of a short list to a flag consideration panel without a single designer, plus a few MPs not known for their appreciation of art. It is typical of the lack of respect for intellect and/or qualifications within this government and by a large percentage of New Zealanders.

      Good design is not something anybody can do; nearly all the short list were incredibly amateurish. The final 4 are some of the worst flag designs on the short list as none are fit for purpose.

  7. compromise option – I give it kudos for that

    personally it doesn’t really do it for me next to my preferred option – which has glaringly not even been in consideration

  8. Pasupial 8

    From the quoted Guardian article:

    The campaign was launched by Rowan Simpson, a software developer and investor who has held senior roles in some of New Zealand’s biggest tech companies, including Xero – whose chief executive, Rod Drury, was one of the 12 people on the Flag Consideration Panel. (Red Peak designer Dustin is also of Xero.)

    Collusion or coincidence? I continue to support the hypnoflag.

    • weka 8.1

      thanks Pasupial, even though I like the flag, I’m cautious about the whole thing and knowing more about the designer would be good.

      Nice to see you back btw.

      • Pasupial 8.1.1


        Stuff only mentions the Xero connection in passing. They’ve closed the comments section, but this was the most liked:

        When all is said and done it at least gives an alternative to silver ferns. I ca’t believe the great flag choosing committee gave us three silver fern choices out of four possibles. What kind of choice was this in a once in a lifetime exercise? They do need to re examine this pathetic offering of what they’re saying we can vote for.

        My time is a bit limited and NZ politics just gets me too angry of late to be able to compose rational arguments (especially regarding the health system). This flag thing is light enough that I can maintain a bit of perspective. I still visit TS to read and get links though.

  9. Matthew Hooton 9

    Each to their own of course, but I find this one too masculine. All straight lines. Arguably a phallic symbol. Prefer a flag with curves to create a sense or movement.

    • Paul 9.1

      Well, thanks for telling us what John Key thinks.

        • Jartin

          LOL ..and by the Matthew..when will you learn not to be such an oppressive bully on TV and radio comment progs.? It is very embarrassing to watch and hear..
          I’m all for balance but…

    • Muttonbird 9.2

      Number of successful flags with curves = 1 (South Korea)

      You must really like all the Islamic flags with the crescent moon because they are the only others with curves.

      You must also dislike the flags of the US and all of Europe.


      • mikesh 9.2.1

        The hammer and sickle also has a curve. This is a good emblem, incidentally, because, even if one doesn’t like communism, one has to admit this emblem provides a good expression of the political philosophy of the countries that use it. Something similar could of course be said of the crescent.

    • eszett 9.3

      Straight lines are actually one of the good principles of flag design. I think the point is to have a choice. None of the 4 alternatives have straight lines or just shapes.

      All the choice we have now is whether we want a red corner or a black corner.

    • CnrJoe 9.4

      more pudenda I should think M.H but if you see dicks all round i’m not suprised:-)

    • North 9.5

      But Mr Hooton, does the flag HAVE to reflect ‘him’ ? If so ‘he’ should be fronting up with the 26 mill’.

      As long as we accept that it doesn’t then there’s nothing wrong with “masculine”, surely ? As there is not in respect of ‘feminine’ when there’s no charade attached.

      Richie agrees.

    • Clemgeopin 9.6

      Which of the flags do you prefer?

      • Matthew Hooton 9.6.1

        The black and blue fern one. Black because national colour, blue for the sea. Stars representing navigation – immigration over 1000 years. Fern as national symbol, and representing natural environment. But that’s just my opinion. One vote and all that.

        • b waghorn

          Black because its not labour red ! Fify

        • Clemgeopin

          I reject all the three fern flags because they are basically the same with minor variations. In effect just ONE choice. The token Maori Koru design is a dull and poor offering.

          Besides, the three fern flags have nothing about our Maori heritage/culture in them. Also, the fern leaf is not unique to NZ.

          Don’t know why you think that black is the National colour. It is the colour used by the Rugby team and some other sports teams. It is also the colour used by pirates, terrorists, ISIL and for funerals and mourning.

          Blue is not unique to NZ as most countries have seas, not just NZ.

          Having something to represent the immigrants is fine but excluding Maori culture is not.

          Give me a simple flag which is easy to draw for even a child, and yet represents NZ culture and uniqueness.

          None of the four choices cut it. I will vote to retain the present flag for now.

          • Clemgeopin

            Hooton, here, get some free education.


            You are welcome!

          • Clemgeopin

            For your information, blue is not really the colour of the sea. It is the reflection of the sky into the sea. Blue is the colour of the sky. Sea gives the appearance of being blue. Just a minor point.

            • weka

              What colour is the sea then?

              • Clemgeopin

                Sea is made of water. Water is colourless. It may get different hues depending on what materials get dissolved in it and sometimes by what the sky above it looks like most of the time.

                The Yellow Sea is situated between China and the Korean Peninsula. Several major Chinese rivers that contain golden-hued silt empty into this sea. This silt alters the color of the water.

                The Red Sea may also be named after a natural process. Seasonal blooms of a bacteria commonly called “sea sawdust” turn the water red. These bacteria, Trichodesmium erythraeum, help process nutrients in the ocean that certain small marine creatures depend upon.

                The dark, sudden storms that would strike and cloud over the skies giving you the ‘black’ sea.

                The White Sea is located on the northwest coast of Russia. You can probably guess the reason for its name: ice and pale light.

                Most of the world’s seas look blue because the sky is mostly blue.

                Thank you, Google.

    • Clemgeopin 9.7

      “Prefer a flag with curves’

      May be a snake to represent the right wing?

  10. Lanthanide 10

    How does a bunch of triangles represent NZ?

    • Muttonbird 10.1

      Read the description, it’s all right there. I can’t believe how wilfully blind some people are.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1

        For a symbol to represent a people the majority of those people would have to see themselves in that symbol without it being explained. Personally, even after reading the explanation I didn’t think it represented NZ.

        • Muttonbird

          Let’s take the flag of Ireland. Green for Catholic, Orange for the Orange Order, and white supposedly to represent the peace between them. So in this case the peoples of Ireland are represented by blocks of colour and nothing more. Most flags use similar methods of design.

          Now read Rowan Simpson’s open letter to Key.

          In it is described the colour representation in Aaron Dustin’s design. If you cut Red Peak into two fields the left has the Red, White, and Black which are Maori colours used throughout their art and which also are the national colours of New Zealand. The right panel has the Red, White, and Blue of the colonists via the palette on the New Zealand flag as it is now.

          When they are place together it is seamless and beautiful which is what most New Zealanders want their country to be.

          Honestly, the FCP was so hopeless that none of this information was put in from of the people of New Zealand before they chose the meat factory logos.

          • Draco T Bastard

            The red, white and black work. I think most people would get that. They may even get the blue but because we’re an island nation and not because of colonisations which means that it’s in the wrong place.

            But the shape is all wrong and that’s what puts me off about it. It simply doesn’t flow the way a flag should.

            Using the suggested colours and symbolism we could get this but, personally, I prefer the Tino Rangatiratanga flag.

            • Pascals bookie

              The Tino Rangatiratanga flag. is beautiful, but stealing it for use as the national flag would be an awful symbol.

              • Pasupial


              • Draco T Bastard

                It wouldn’t be stealing – it’d be symbolic that we would have become a single nation and no longer tied to our colonial past.

                The Past: Remember and learn from it but don’t drag it along with you.

                • Yep the day we are ready for and accept that flag is the day we have grown up, understood the past and stand ready for the future. I don’t think I’ll see that day in my lifetime.

              • Many activists would curl up if that flag was accepted and co-opted before the country and people were ready and I’d be one of them. It is my flag and until we are enlightened enough to understand and respect what it is saying then we just are not ready to use it.

                • joe90

                  United Tribes it is marty.

                  • I’ve moved on this debate now. Initially I thought anything is better than the old one. Then I thought, “why is my flag not included”, then I thought “hey I’m glad it’s not”, now I think I’ll just vote for the old flag – and keep doing that until we (the country) are ready for a proper debate and key has fucked off.

            • Clemgeopin

              The triangle frame could be said to represent the front of a Marae…which is a good thing?

              I will still vote to retain the current flag for now. This issue should be revisited sometime in the future when the PEOPLE (not the PM) indicate through consistent media polls (60%+) that they wish to change the flag.

              For this present wasted process now, let Key, the National Party and their large number of rich millionaire friends pay back the $26 million!

              Dumbwits who have initiated such a divisive, wasteful, distracting and manipulated process!


        • weka

          For a symbol to represent a people the majority of those people would have to see themselves in that symbol without it being explained. Personally, even after reading the explanation I didn’t think it represented NZ.

          I think that’s more about branding and logos. What about the existing NZ flag would someone looking at it understand without an explanation if they weren’t told what the Union Jack and Southern Cross are? We only know those things because we’ve been told, they’re not intuitive (well, the Southern Cross is for people that spend time outside at night, but that’s not many now).

        • weston

          like a kiwi with its head buried in the sand ?

        • ankerawshark

          DTB @ 10.1.1 100+

    • Rodel 10.2

      put in a couple of eye holes and its the Ku klux Klan hoodie.

  11. GregJ 11

    I’m not a fan particularly – the proportions on the chevron is wrong which unbalances the flag making it too blocky – see the North American Vexillological Association flag (which is an inverted but similar design) which has better proportions.

    Actually the Tino Rangatiratanga flag is a much more compelling design – I’d be quite happy with a simple horizontal tricolour flag in those colours.

    And the numbers signing up to the facebook page aren’t particularly spectacular.

    Actually they whole thing looks more like a plug for Xero and its product design director than anything else. 😐

  12. rob 12

    looks just as pathetic as all the others IMO. keep the current flag over these other embarrassments.

  13. greywarshark 13

    I think it’s okay and I like the symbolism explanation. I could accept that as an alternative to the other pathetic four. And the red peak has a relation to climate change and what we are working to cope with and control. It can also represent the energy and strength that are lying nascent in the NZ population that will rise to make us able to take on the giant problems we face.

    My thought is that it does for now, as a transition flag. Then if we find our feet and our mojo in the future and start working as a country of co-operative clever responsible and economically wise people, we can choose another one suitable for that period. If.

  14. Bill 14

    I really want the bairn to eat the broccoli. So I offer the bairn the choice between stewed cabbage, stewed onions and stewed something or other that’s also disgusting.

    When they’ve registered their face curdling disgust at all the choices on offer and maintain they’d rather just stick with the status quo of hunger, I pop the tenderly steamed broccoli in front of them.

    Funnily enough, they’re thinking about it. Mission almost accomplished.

    • weka 14.1

      You think it’s a set up?

      • Bill 14.1.1

        Just saying that I think the bairn might eat the broccoli now 😉

        • weka

          sorry to be a pain on a Saturday morning then, but we aren’t hungry, we’ve been fed some semi-disguised bullshit that the nanny bought from the visiting door to door salesman. No-one’s been willing to swallow it except for bullshit designers.

    • greywarshark 14.2

      Your psychology is superb. If change is inevitable but unpopular, then perhaps Gnats will give the peeps some alternative as a sop. (Is the red peak a Gareth Morgan initiative as some have suggested, I’m iggorant on this?)

      Broccoli is good for you, and if tenderly steamed it will have all its nutrients intact. Some suggest a squeeze of lemon juice for piquancy! Connossieurs of political tactics will appreciate the flavour.

      I’d accept the political maneouvring, and finish the crap and increasing expense, and we can then get on to dealing with the country’s problems. There seems to be a lucky dip bucket that yek has got and I want to keep fishing into it to look for a lotto ticket marked “to help the peeps with what they choose in the most kindly effective way.”

  15. Olwyn 15

    When nations decide to change their flags, is it normally this inane? There are a few examples, none of them on the short list, that have a meaning that you do not have to dig around to find – the United Tribes flag, the Tino Rangatiratanga flag, the flag we already have. And yes, the silver fern does have meaning, but as a sports logo. The flag favoured by the PM, with three of the four contenders being variations on the same theme, seems to be favoured mainly because he sorta likes it. The whole exercise has about as as much gravitas as if the whole nation were asked to participate in naming the streets in a subdivision, or the lipsticks in a new L’Oreal range.

    • greywarshark 15.1

      Right on Olwyn.
      But don’t give the developers ideas. They already are searching for street names in strange places, and ones foreign to the land predominate. Heaven forbid that they should be Maori. More, Windermere Waters has probably cropped up somewhere in NZ. We have a Valhalla Street (I’m not sure whether it is near the cemetery). The names of prominent people could be used more often. Olwyn Way sounds nice, for a little residential nook.

      But your idea is definitely commercial. A permanent name branding through the street name. There’s money in that.

    • weka 15.2

      “The whole exercise has about as as much gravitas as if the whole nation were asked to participate in naming the streets in a subdivision, or the lipsticks in a new L’Oreal range.”

      Spot on Olwyn, but it’s purpose is deadly sersious. It’s the final branding of NZ Inc and the subsequent sealing in our national psyche that we are owned. We should be resisting it utterly.

      • arkie 15.2.1

        The process is an X Factor for the Flag, I’m surprised it’s not a text-in referendum.

      • greywarshark 15.2.2

        We are resisting, the natives are revolting. But we can also be sneaky, adopting long-term guerilla tactics with a twist of lemon on top. (That idea seems to have caught my imagination this morning.) In the films, it is when the enemy feels most in control that it gets careless, and then we will sneak up and cut down the flagpole.

    • mikesh 15.3

      Perhaps we could have just a plain black flag. We could call it the “all black flag”. 🙂

    • Clemgeopin 15.4

      “When nations decide to change their flags”

      Get with the programme at play here, Olwyn!

      The nation DID NOT decide to change their flag! A visiting NZ resident who normally lives abroad gambling with foreign exchange currency trading got chosen by a couple of people in the National party to be their party leader, became a PM, and decided to unleash the quite expensive, unnecessary and distracting flag change stunt all on his own for whatever ulterior reason he had in mind.

      I say, reject this manipulated process and stick with our current flag for now….

      This issue should be revisited sometime in the future WHEN the PEOPLE (not the PM) indicate through consistent media polls (60%+) that they wish to change the flag.

      • Olwyn 15.4.1

        I agree. Stick with the flag we have until a majority can see a reason for changing it. Prime Ministerial whim is no reason for changing a flag, and its design should not be determined by trivial likes and dislikes.

  16. arkie 16

    I prefer Dustin’s United Tribes version to Red Peak, and I prefer the United Tribes of Aotearoa flag to all of the options including our current one. The first and still best of Aotearoa New Zealands flags.

  17. Bill 17

    Some people have an emotional reaction to flags, yes? So, I’m not a New Zealander and have no attachment to the current flag and won’t have any attachment to any potential replacement.

    Here’s a thing though. Some of the people who had the strongest emotional response to the flag also died fighting under the present symbol.

    So leave it be.

    Caveat. In terms of national identity, the only flag that should possibly replace the current one is the flag of tino rangatiratanga. But for a number of cultural and political reasons, that ain’t going to be happening any time soon.

    • Olwyn 17.1

      There is also a case for the United Tribes flag – as arkie points out, it was NZ’s first flag. It would be my favourite if the flag were to change, but it also has a political disadvantage – it was used prior to NZ officially becoming a British colony.

      • Bill 17.1.1

        Curious as to what the other two designs were that were placed on the table back then. Any ideas/links? Dunno about the George Cross. Very, um…English. But hey.

        • Olwyn

          Well, so is the union jack 🙂 But in common with the current flag and the tino rangatiratanga flag there is a stronger case for it than “John Key kinda likes it.” You can find one of the rejected flags here – the other seems to have been the union jack.

          • Bill

            Thanks. And yes, so is the Union Jack. As are those “three cheers for the red, white and blue’ triangles.

            Maybe they could symbolise “NZ – the land of the interminable political triangulation”?

      • Muttonbird 17.1.2

        The United Tribes flag is a forced piece of design but still works because it is graphically dramatic.

        However, the only thing worse than one St George’s Cross on a flag…

        …is two.

        • Olwyn

          I see your point re the two St George’s crosses. I have a soft spot for it because, having come from Australia originally, it reminds me of the Eureka flag. It also indicates the starting point for demonstrations when I am confused about it – I look around for a milling crowd and a United Tribes flag. 🙂 However, I think it should be regarded as a serious contender because it is the first NZ flag, and from what I understand it came about with Maori and Pakeha consent.

          Edit: When I say it reminds me of the Eureka flag, I do not mean it could be mistaken for it – it simply evokes similar emotions.

      • dukeofurl 17.1.3

        Dont forget , it was borrowed from the very very similar Shaw Saville Shipping company for shipping flag
        and the flag of United Tribes , more correctly the Tribes of the Bay of Islands

        • Olwyn

          Indeed it is. I didn’t know that – thanks for the info. But was still NZ’s first flag.

    • weka 17.2

      That’s my feeling too Bill, we shouldn’t be changing the flag until we have a reason to, which possibly might be when we leave the Crown, but it certainly isn’t on the whim of the current PM.

      But this process does raise the question of how NZ would choose a new flag if it had to, and I think we’ve just seen an excellent demonstration of the cultural values that now have supremacy here.

      • Draco T Bastard 17.2.1

        That’s my feeling too Bill, we shouldn’t be changing the flag until we have a reason to,

        Which is why I will be voting to keep the present flag in the second referendum no matter what other flags are put on the voting paper.

        IMO, this whole process is a manipulation of the NZ peoples by the National Party to build desire for a change in flag so that they can then keep the same failed political system.

        • Psycho Milt

          Same here. Even if I didn’t feel intense reluctance to endorse a John Key vanity project, changing the flag should be the outcome of some constitutional change – a republic, a new accommodation with Maori, implementation of a constitution etc. “Rebranding exercise” doesn’t fit the bill.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Considering the concept of ‘rebranding’ it should be noted that corporations tend to rebrand when they’ve given themselves a bad name. Now, a while back John Key pretty much gave us a very bad name when he showed that this government just doesn’t care about the environment thus shitting all over our clean, green brand. I suspect that all this effort to change the flag may have something to do with disassociating NZ from that bad environmental image.

    • marty mars 17.3

      + 1 Bill

      ” In terms of national identity, the only flag that should possibly replace the current one is the flag of tino rangatiratanga.”

      I’d only change should to could.

  18. happynz 18

    The red peak design looks to me like an upside-down rugby league jersey. I’d not be surprised if a Sydney club wears a kit that resembles this design.

  19. eszett 19

    It would be great if it at least makes it on the ballot as a proper alternative to the Lockwood designs

    • Draco T Bastard 19.1


      • Pascals bookie 19.1.1

        Because loads of people seem to like it, and the ‘choices’ don’t actually offer much choice. One of the Lockwood designs will win because even if it’s a close call between all four designs, all those who like Lockwood will rank them one and two, and everyone else will have to rank one of them at three.

        The fact that it’s a pig of a design that, like most brands, will need refreshing in ten years or so because it looks stale, is beside the point.

        • Muttonbird

          Thank you. At the very least the inclusion of this design would disrupt the rigged process which has seen two chip packet designs in the final four.

          That is no coincidence, as Pascal’s bookie has said.

  20. ankerawshark 20

    Not particularly impressed by this new option It looks like triangles to me. Something that has to be explained (like Gareth Morgans choice) doesn’t cut it………Don’t want to change the flag. Very low priority and superficial imo c/p with the real issues we have…….and that is aside from the whole process, JK’s vanity project and ditto to Karen’s comments about no designers involved……..

    I want to sabotage the whole process. I am thinking of voting for hypno flag to ensure JK doesn’t get his wretched fern. Then vote for the old flag.

    If or when we become a republic, then that is the time to have the flag debate. Not when someone from Saatchis tells us it will make us millions……where’s the evidence for that? And not when JK wants to stamp his brand over us as his legacy.

  21. ianmac 21

    Someone on Facebook has lined up Red Peak with 5-6 others which show the simplicity of design of all.
    Then lined up the red fern flag with the same others, but added 3-4 items on each which show the “identity” that those other countries might stand for.
    This underlines how fussy the fern flags look to me.
    Wish I could link to it.

    • swordfish 21.1

      Yep, the Kyle Lockwood designs are a total dog’s dinner – essentially 2 flags awkwardly merged together. And, if the desire really was to change to a new flag then at least have the bloody courage to go the whole hog. Instead of settling for this pointless half-way house where you end up keeping half the old flag.

      As far as Red Peak goes……I’d be interested to see how it looks if the black was replaced with the colour I’ve always associated most with this Country – Teal Blue.

      • swordfish 21.1.1

        Red Peak

        Like Muttonbird (the artist formerly known as weepu’s beard), I can immediately see the significance to this Country, it doesn’t need explaining, and it looks like a real flag. Compared to the “fab” final four, it’s a solid piece of design. But, then again, like GregJ,
        to me it just intuitively feels a little unbalanced and “blocky”.

        Massive improvement on the Lockwood designs, though.

        • swordfish

          Out of 10
          (1 = Crap / 10 = Brilliant)

          Hypnoflag 1
          Red Lockwood 2
          Black Lockwood 3
          Kanter B&W 4.5
          Red Peak 7

          (Canada / Barbados / South Korea / Bosnia & Herzegovina / Cuba / North Korea / Nauru / South Africa / and one or two others = 10)

          • greywarshark

            What’s the hynoflag? And green is a colour I have always connected with NZ.
            Bloody black I’m sick of it. Though as part of Tino Rangatiratanga it is right.

            • Pasupial


              Hypnoflag is Fyfe’s Koru design, it even has its own twitter account:


              Personally I like the idea of having multiple official flags as we have three official languages (through a braille version would be difficult). The 1867 flag was so meh that many people just went on using the United Tribes flag (even in Boer war medels). Plus it’s already accepted practice (since 2009) to fly Tino Rangatiratanga on Waitangi day:


              • greywarshark

                Pasupial Thanks, must keep up.
                The Boer War eh. What a useful little colony we are. We’ll fight behind anything but a large white handkerchief.

  22. Paul 22

    I’d prefer we spend $26 million on Syrian refugees.

    Add your own ideas.
    I’d prefer we spend $26 million on…

  23. RedBaronCV 23

    Bit off to the side here but I’ve been meaning to post about the Flag budget -the $25.7m which probably everyone remembers. I’ve been adding it up

    Now the asset sale referendum vote cost $9M

    – so two referenda on the same issue should have some economies (and even savings if it updates the electoral roll for the local body elections)
    say a generous $17m

    which leaves $9m for the overheads which is a lot

    I’m struggling to get up to $1m from this:

    -cost of panel say $0.25m. It’s about $7000 for the lot for a day for say 40 days ( but apart from the chairman they seem to have been curiously inactive)

    – cost of the roadshow $0.2m (around 750 people attended- many Nact party faithful I imagine)

    – cost of website $0.1m -it has to be cheaper than Mobie’s

    – cost of staff $0.15K 5-6 underpaid staffers for 6 months

    – cost of staffer from John Key’s office supporting a flag support group?

    which leaves a Media spend on the $8m

    Questions we could ask

    Have the jobs for this all been openly advertised – can’t be seen to allocate them to any one party now – that would be patronage.

    Are there any staff in the office of the prime minster or any other minister’s office being paid wholly or partly from the flag budget – if so whom, how much and what are the tasks? Are they career civil servants. Can’t be subsidising any spin meisters from public money now or using any of it for hidden media spin

    Where are the advertising dollars being spent- can we be sure that they are being spent for geographical and demographical coverage not with outlets that promote favourable flag change articles or favourable government stories. Can’t be promoting any kickbacks here.

    So could we have an open budget for this process please with the names of the successful tenderers and the amounts. Nothing to fear nothing to hide

    Or more basically “who’s nose is in this trough and for how much.”

  24. KJT 24

    I think we will change the flag, eventually.

    When we want to!

    Not when Key tells us to, as a “re branding exercise”.

    The Silver fern is emblematic of New Zealand as much as the Canadian maple leaf.
    Maples also grow elsewhere.

    Also was on soldiers graves, arm patches and emblems.

    I like the Kyle Lockwood, blue black Silver Fern and Southern cross, myself. Both past and future.
    And distinctive.

    If we are ever mature enough, the Tino Rangatiratanga Flag?

    Why chose a flag just because it is the one Key doesn’t like. As bad as choosing one because Key says he likes it!

    • Muttonbird 24.1

      The black and blue Lockwood flag (it doesn’t even have a name!) is a mashup of the All Blacks and the National Party logo so no wonder Key’s support base loves it to bits.

      As for the Lockwood being a nod to the past and future – it’s more like a smack between the eyes with the right panel not changing at all and the left incorporating a fern which you’ve already used to illustrate NZ’s past and which has since been highjack by corporates.

      Red Peak’s right panel assimilates the past in a well thought out design as part of a seamless whole. Read the description, FFS!

      The ignorant refuse to look deeper into the design method of Red Peak but that’s not a surprise as the ignorant don’t look deep into anything and that’s why they’ll choose something shallow like a Lockwood. The argument that people are rushing to the perfectly designed Red Peak because they don’t like John Key is fully reflective of the way the ignorant think.

      Sure the fern is emblematic of NZ – so keep it that way! Which combo looks better?

      • KJT 24.1.1


      • Draco T Bastard 24.1.2

        Red Peak’s right panel assimilates the past in a well thought out design as part of a seamless whole. Read the description, FFS!

        No it doesn’t and I did read the description – probably before you in fact.

        • Muttonbird

          He talks about the right panel using the colours of the New Zealand flags elements the Jack and the Southern Cross. If this flag were successful then these elements would certainly be in the past.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Can you try putting that in some semblance of order so that it makes sense?

            • Muttonbird

              Sorry, I was in the supermarket replying to you on my phone.

              This time I’ll quote straight from the site and link to the image for the second time:

              On the right a reference to the stars and Union Jack from the current flag:


              You say you’ve read this already but apparently you have had difficulty in comprehending it because I cannot see any other reason for you not understanding.

              The colours of the right field reference past New Zealand.

              • Draco T Bastard

                The colours of the right field reference past New Zealand.

                No they don’t.

                The explanation may say it does but that doesn’t make it so. You’re the one having difficulty understanding this.

                • Muttonbird

                  That is what the designer intended so that does make it so, by definition!

                  I’m not sure how you can dispute that, and indeed sir you have provided no explanation whatsoever as to why you dispute that.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    That is what the designer intended so that does make it so, by definition!


                    It really doesn’t matter what the designer intended but what people actually think.

                    • Muttonbird

                      You still have to have a coherent and simple design with 2 to 4 colours and something which adheres to the principles of good flag design. People will get to know their flag without being bashed over the head with it which is strangely what you advocate here and what the majority of middle New Zealand National voters advocate too.

                      I take it though that you will not vote in the first and vote for the New Zealand flag in the second?

                      If Red Peak does not make the ballot, I will do the same. I just want to see it there, that is all.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      You still have to have a coherent and simple design with 2 to 4 colours and something which adheres to the principles of good flag design.

                      Sure and I don’t think that Red Peak actually does as it has neither symmetry nor flow and it’s messy.

                      I take it though that you will not vote in the first and vote for the New Zealand flag in the second?


                      If Red Peak does not make the ballot, I will do the same. I just want to see it there, that is all.

                      To me it doesn’t matter which flags are included as the fact is that the first referendum should have been asking if we wanted to become a republic. As I say up here, asking which flag we like first is pure manipulation.

    • greywarshark 24.2

      We are going to have a new flag.
      Because Key wants it and we don’t have the right to question vot der Grose Leader vonts.
      Because he can. So there. Spike Jones will tell you so.

      • Wayne 24.2.1


        You seem to have forgotten that there are two referenda. John Key can’t force a new flag on you. Only your fellow New Zealanders can.

        • weka

          Who decided to change the flag?

        • Muttonbird

          That is pretty naive for a former minister.

          Some heavy financial and celebrity clout will be brought to bear upon this campaign by John Key.

          He’s not even started yet.

          What I find really distressing is that some people cannot see what an amateurish design the Lockwood’s are. He hasn’t even given them a name and that is probably because they do not deserve one. We are left calling them the black and blue Lockwood, and the Red Lockwood as if Mr Lockwood is the most important piece in this.

          Mr Lockwood does not even live in New Zealand, and has not done so for six years.

        • greywarshark

          Which is the refernda that we can ask for the flag idea to be dropped? If we got a petition and thousands to sign it does that over-rule the referenda? And why wouldn’t NZs vote for the flag, there is constant media pressure about it. Get people all excited and who knows what they will vote for, so we are being directed to enter in to it, or be called bloody poor sports, unpatriotic, and bed wetters.

    • AB 24.3

      “War graves’ – that’s the new defence of the silver fern. Heard it from Sean Plunkett on Friday morning on his Radio Meathead show, and Hooton this morning (Sunday) on tv (The Nation, Q&A? forget which).

      Both spinning furiously, trying to de-emphasise the sporting legacy of the fern. Plunket had Boag on – both suggesting that opposition to the chosen designs was really just opposition to Key and dishonest. Plunkett making ejaculatory remarks about really wanting just the fern on a black background.

      Made me worried we are going to get a flag that suits these jingoists. It’s going to get a touch ugly

      • Matthew Hooton 24.3.1

        Do you think you may be hearing the war graves argument because it is true, and demolishes the “corporate logo” “sporting symbol” nonsense quite powerfully?

        • cogito

          The fern has been used on just about everything, and there are plenty of opportunities for its future use.

          Does not mean it needs to be on the national flag.

        • AB

          No – because the nation is more than sport and war.
          Look at how the centenary of Anzac day was handled. Lots of stories of (undoubted) individual heroism and tragedy, endless repetition of the ‘birth of a nation’ fable, but nothing on the origins and effects of WW1 and what an unnecessary tragedy it was and how it poisoned the whole century. (We even got the ‘they were fighting for freedom and democracy” nonsense)
          The fern symbol I fear plays into this a-historic nationalism. I would like something more sober and reflective of our whole history.

          “War graves” s being used as emotional blackmail in this argument – if you don’t like the fern you are dishonouring the dead who “died for freedom and democracy”. I could hear it in the unctuous glee of the repellent Boag’s voice.

          • Matthew Hooton

            No one has to like the fern or want it on the national flag. But to dismiss it as a corporate or sports logo is inaccurate and offensive.

            • Muttonbird

              The silver fern has been highjacked buy a succession of corporations and governments. That is what is offensive.

            • maui

              Then again it’s our leaders and corporates that are pushing the fern on the populace as well as both captains of our two biggest sports teams. The RSA and veterans aren’t doing this.

            • vto

              “But to dismiss it as a corporate or sports logo is inaccurate and offensive.”

              what a load of utter baloney

              the silver fern is already a corporate and sports logo – best you let the All Blacks (ultimate corporate-sport combo) know you think they are being offensive with the silver fern …

              … which silver fern not a single person in the rest of the world will recognise as a fern frond. It is a frikking feather Matthew – a feather. That is what people see – a feather.

              • cogito

                “It is a frikking feather Matthew – a feather”

                I’m surprised that no-one has suggested using one of our native trees on the flag – eg the kauri or totara, which are such symbols of strength, or even the kowhai or pohutukawa which have such lovely flowers. The focus on the silver fern gives the impression that it’s all we’ve got!

                I’ve always liked the Lebanese flag, with the cedar at its centre – simple and effective, not unlike the Canadian flag.

                • weka

                  That’s is a nice flag.

                  No kauri or pōhutakawa down south, so best not to use them 😉

                  Kōwhai is nice, the flower has a distinctive shape, and the yellow stands out but hard to fit that with other elements esp the colours of NZ.

            • Rodel

              The fern is a logo..It is not a flag design element..To dismiss it as a logo is quite the correct thing to do.There is no rationale for the fern to represent New Zealand.
              I think I’d prefer a weta.

              • weka

                it’s been made into a logo, but there’s not reason it couldn’t be used well on a flag if that hadn’t happened. My objection to it is that it’s now firmly entrenched as a sports symbol. The NZ flag needs more to be more serious than that.

            • les

              it is a corporate or sports logo according to the evidence readily available.The NZRU have trademarked it and it is associated with NZ sport …Silver Ferns,Black Ferns etc..why do you find reality so offensive?

      • GregJ 24.3.2

        Sigh – the amount of bullshit spun by both sides of the debate is ridiculous – from the stupid “Due Authority” conspiracy theory to the oh so “right on” “Union Jack represents colonialism” argument to the jingoistic “soldiers died for the flag” and to this faux national symbols one about the silver fern on gravestones.

        As far as I can tell the “war graves” arguments effectively tries to obfuscate and imply the current national flag wasn’t placed on war graves because somehow the silver fern represents us better (or similar arguments about the ubiquity of the fern or how its recognized the world over – see my comment here on that).

        No Commonwealth War Graves have national flags on them. They have the regimental, corps, service or formation badges. NZ Aircrew have the RNZAF or RAF badge. The silver fern was the emblem of the NZ Contingents to South Africa (before the current flag was officially adopted) and then the NZEF & 2nd NZEF which is why, as the formation badge, it is on the gravestone (Australian soldiers have the AIF badge for example). The tradition was carried on for those killed in Korea, Malaya and Vietnam. Even the Americans don’t put national flags on headstones. The flags however do still fly over the cemeteries though. When the Canadians changed their flag in the 60s the veterans insisted that the old Canadian Flag continued to fly at the war cemeteries alongside the new one.

        I’ll be happy to see the end of this bullshit argument as much as the trite “they died for the flag” one.

  25. Henry Filth 25

    I’d rather you spent 26 million bucks in Jordan to help Jordan cope with the millions of Syria and Iraqi refugees in Jordan.

    Your country has spent enough blood and treasure on Europe’s problems. Let the Europeans cope on their own.

  26. ianmac 26

    I would love to see someone from the Panel, who is honest, such as Beatrice, being asked how did they choose the final four.

    Was it a vote from each of the twelve?
    Was it by a sub-committee?
    Was it handed over to the Cabinet to choose the final four?

    • Muttonbird 26.1

      The one flag “expert” on the FCP is a disgrace, saying they didn’t think people responded to abstract design.

      Helloooooo, people didn’t respond to anything the FCP did!

  27. Muttonbird 27

    At least the black and blue Lockwood reflects New Zealand’s appalling statistics on, and reputation for domestic violence and child abuse.

    Quite fitting, really.


  28. Muttonbird 28

    Phil Quin shitting all over the shop. He likes the meat factory logo!

  29. sabine 29

    We have a perfectly good flag.

    this one is as uninspired as the others.
    the only ones that got a bit of character are laser kiwi or hypno flag. the rest, gosh, building blocks. Lego stones. triangles. primary colors. boring. uninspiring. overpriced, underwhelming. waste of money.

    fuck it looks like out of some dystopian end world movie from holiwood with some washed up middle aged to 65 year old bloke that gets the 25 year old dizzy blond.

    divide and conquer and everyone is falling for it. And we wonder why we can’t have nice things. Wonder no more…..everytime we discuss these shit tea towels Dear Leader, his wizard of the increasing debt, and his minister of Ministery of the Antisocial Development Department laugh and have another glas of chardonney.

    this country is truly fucked.

  30. KJT 30

    The most appropriate Flag for New Zealand at present, is a “For Sale” banner from a used car lot.

  31. Paul 31

    Discussing Red Peak just another distraction from the real issues.

  32. infused 32

    I personally think it’s crap.

    My fav is the black red one (reversed)

  33. Anne 33

    This design speaks to me. It talks of the beautiful Southern Alps and the scenery which goes with them. And the red cone could represent Mt. Taranaki.

    When we are ready to become a republic and have our own constitution I could accept this flag design because it is simple and also meaningful in a ‘majestic’ sort of way.

    • sabine 33.1

      what about the beaches, the plains, the forest? What about the rest of NZ that is not the beautiful Southern Alps of the south Island?

      • Anne 33.1.1

        You can’t include everything. So, go for the well known peaks which stand out and define NZ in the eyes of the rest of the world.

        • sabine

          so we are going to promote a national flag that leaves out half of the Nation?

          might aswell go with the commercial red/blue version then, Labour / National, all others need not apply?

          • weka

            Why a silver fern and not a cabbage tree? Why the Southern Cross and not Matariki? Why anything and not everything else.

            The Red Peak doesn’t leave out those things, it simply talks about the peaks of NZ, where is where you fly the flags. Makes sense to me.

            • sabine

              i am a keep the flag guy. but if we have to have a half arsed flag we might as well choose one that we recognise.

              that three peak tea towel really just looks like a corporate logo of a building company or b. a pharmaceutical…non descript half arsed easily forgotten.

              and yes, i would like the flag to represent something more than just some triangular resene patches.

          • Anne

            Come on sabine. Interestingly I made my initial comment @ 33 before I had read the actual post so I didn’t know what was in the mind of the artist.

            Who is talking about leaving out half the nation. That is absurd. Short of producing a Kiwi version of a “Constable” we can’t do it. It stands to reason that the emblem representing out two most outstanding peaks… Mt Cook and Mt Taranaki is a fitting symbol for the republic of New Zealand – when it happens.

            I plan to ‘spoil’ my vote or not vote at all at this point in time. But if the whole charade (because under John Key it is a charade) prompts a proper debate about becoming a republic then that is a positive outcome.

            • sabine

              this charade will prompt nothing but a lot of money changing hands.

              the kiwis – the human ones, for the large part refuse debate, thats hard work, and there is a rugby game to watch and beer to drink.

              sorry, but for me that is what nz has become. Maybe it was always like this, and now it just is not hidden under a thin veneer of civility anymore.

              in saying that, the triangular resene swatches are ugly, and represent nothing.

              its funny cause the only pointy things in NZ are the southern alps, the rest is round, ofent slightly cone shaped and green, soft green rolling hills with big rocks in them.

            • marty mars

              Anne, not having a go – there is no such thing as Mt Cook, but there is Aoraki/Mt Cook – just as Mt Egmont is no more and Mt Taranaki stands proud.


  34. weston 34

    fuck the flag feels like we being rushed into it personly id rather the kids designed one

  35. Reddelusion 35

    I thought the hammer and sickle on a red background would be more of the liking on this site. I know it’s not new but it is not been used any more

  36. Muttonbird 37

    This is part of the Flag Design Terms and Conditions…

    Civil protest is the only way we could bring the required pressure to bear upon this government.

  37. maui 38

    The more I look at this flag the more I feel like I’m looking at Mt Ruapehu waiting for it too erupt. I’m not looking at the sky either side, just the top where the crater lake is bubbling and I’m feeling uneasy.

    • weka 38.1

      My feeling is that once the referenda are over, irrespective of the result, the Red Peak flag will become a symbol of protest.

  38. Robert Guyton 39

    It’s a chevron.
    No thanks.

      • maui 39.1.1

        Sorry Muttonbird, I’m finding it very hard to link this design to Maori culture/design elements at all.

        • marty mars

          + 1 yep – all just pretend stuff, not linked to any whakapapa or Māori cultural concepts imo – even this red hill one – dawn? why that and not something else, anyway the bullshit is pretty deep on this flag issue.

          • Muttonbird

            I’ll ask again. Was Tino Rangatiratanga submitted to this FCP?

            If not, why not?

            This design might not explore as deeply Maori cultural concepts in the way some would like but this design did at least explore them, unlike three of the four shortlisted.

            I don’t think it is pretend stuff at all. As I explained to DTB more than once, the right panel, among other things, refers to the soon to be deceased New Zealand flag.

            The left panel references the traditional colours of Maori art and the flag as a whole borrows from Maori panelling especially if repeated. These are design elements which have been considered and assimilated into a flag which by definition must be both informative and simple.

            I’d like Tino Rangatiratanga to be the flag of New Zealand by default too, it is a beautiful and strong piece of design.

            But the fact remains, even if Tino Rangatiratanga was submitted, Maori are not united under it as I understand, and what’s even worse is New Zealand as a whole is far too immature and anti-Maori to even consider embracing it as a national identity.

            The reason I’m pushing this design of Aaron Dustin’s is that it is strong, he has a certain knowledge and appreciation of the culture and history of the country, and has applied that research within the very narrow framework of flag design.

            Furthermore, I’m not sure how many people realise what danger we are in of having that napkin packet Lockwood fern crap as our national flag for at least the next 100 years because as I’ve said before, the political and celebrity campaign for that flag has not even begun yet.

            From what I’ve heard, one of the rowers will fly it on the podium at the rowing world champs as early as tonight New Zealand time. It will be the black and blue Lockwood representing the All Blacks in the canton and the National Party in the field.

            Do you want that?

            I’m trying to take the fight to John Key’s flawed process before it is too late and it probably is too late but I cannot sit on my hands and watch this car crash without doing something.

            Can you?

            • marty mars

              I applaud your fight and good on ya for that.

              You make good points and we certainly are in alignment about the tino rangatiratanga flag – kia kaha

            • weka

              Thanks Muttonbird. The more I see of this process the more horrified I am. I agree it’s appalling bad and something that must be resisted.

      • Robert Guyton 39.1.2

        Those, Muttonbird, are not on a national flag. I wouldn’t like to see niho taniwha on ours either. What do you mean, “Makes sense”?

    • Graeme 39.2


  39. cogito 41

    Imagine saluting that. Not a chance.

    • Muttonbird 41.1

      You’d rather salute a Lockwood?


      • cogito 41.1.1

        no, the current flag.

        • Muttonbird

          That’d be nice and I agree but I doubt the New Zealand flag will exist in March next year without an energetic fight today.

          We can either fight for the inclusion of at least one good piece of design or vote hypnoflag/monkey butt flag at the first referendum and hope that enough people do so to disrupt the successful candidacy of one of the Lockwood chip packet designs.

          I’m not hopeful enough people will do this.

          • cogito

            The only alternative flag I like is the New Southern Cross by Wayne William Doyle. It is simple, classic and can be used to symbolise the fact that people from all four corners of the globe have made NZ their home.

            • Muttonbird

              Not bad, but hardly a new beginning, is it?

              The FCP process was flawed. We, the public should have been able to have a much longer consultation period, much more descriptive design notes, and a much longer list of options in the booth.

              • cogito

                A new beginning of what?

                It gets rid of the union jack. It cannot be confused with Australia. It is classic and clean, and it is not a sports’ logo. I honestly thought it would be included in the final four.

                What’s more (if I’m not mistaken) the Southern Cross also has meaning for Maori as matariki.

          • weka

            We can either fight for the inclusion of at least one good piece of design or vote hypnoflag/monkey butt flag at the first referendum and hope that enough people do so to disrupt the successful candidacy of one of the Lockwood chip packet designs.

            The other option is to spoil the voting paper at the first referendum, and use the momentum from that to mobilise people to vote against change at the second.

            Howeve I suspect the turnout for the first one will be low.

        • Instauration

          Why any flag ?
          It’s just a “Gang Patch” logo that defines who we are not as much as who we are. Horrible and divisive.

  40. Wayne 42

    Personally I am not impressed by Red Peak. It says nothing to me. So as much as some may criticize the Kyle Lockwood flags, they do speak of New Zealand.

    But I note that many Standardnistas (and fellow travellers) are using Red Peak as part of their general protest against the referenda and against John Key. The theory apparently being that anything that John Key supports is ipso facto bad. So if John Key supports the silver fern, then automatically anything involving the silver fern is a corporate logo/a Crosby Textor plot/a diversion to TPP/just bad.

    However, I do think the silver fern in both the Kyle Lockwood options could be improved. There was a very good item in the Herald by a designer on this point. I hope this can be done.

    • Muttonbird 42.1

      And there you have the government position, folks.

      Starts and finishes with the silver fern for marketing and branding purposes and no other work shall be considered.

      This flag has to last us for several generations, Wayne.

    • Anne 42.2

      Personally I am not impressed by Red Peak. It says nothing to me. So as much as some may criticize the Kyle Lockwood flags, they do speak of New Zealand.

      That shows how limited and narrow is your vision. But that’s a profound failing of most right wing market force fanatics. That beautiful word which has been so sadly degraded in recent decades “awesome” is how one can describe the soaring peaks of Cook and Taranaki from both the earth and the sky. A fitting symbol indeed.

      But the style-ised red mountain in the centre is too much for the blue-rinse brigade and their male equivalents eh?

    • weka 42.3

      “The theory apparently being that anything that John Key supports is ipso facto bad”

      Yeah, but we’re only going on experience.

      “So if John Key supports the silver fern, then automatically anything involving the silver fern is a corporate logo/a Crosby Textor plot/a diversion to TPP/just bad.”

      You’re a bit confused there Wayne. The main problem is trying to change the flag in the way Key has gone about it. That we’ve ended up with 4 choices that are basically logos rather than flags is a direct consequence of that. There’s nothing wrong with the silver fern, apart from how it’s being used in this case (branding). As you note, they can’t even get the design of the fern right.

    • Draco T Bastard 42.4

      The theory apparently being that anything that John Key supports is ipso facto bad.

      I actually quite like the Lockwood designs but I don’t think that they’re flag material for NZ. I’m not against them becoming NZ’s flag because Key wants them to. That said, anything that Key does support has, as experience has proved, generally placed between half-arsed and bad.

    • cogito 42.5

      A national flag should bring people together and unite.

      Key is divisive.

      The two don’t go together.

      Key should leave the flag well alone.

    • Graeme 42.6

      And what does the silver fern say about the constitutional process that brought about New Zealand, or the accommodations between peoples that have brought us to the nation we have now. This is a function of a flag to a society.

      I want a flag that makes that statement, like the UK, France, Ireland, USA and in a way our current flag.

      I don’t want to be saluting a logo that say’s “I like thugby”

  41. rob 43

    after seeing more BS about this abomination of triangular crap on the news? ( sad if is called news):( then I’m thinking is this yet more diversionary statics away from the four bullshit ones to a new bullshit that wont get to be voted on while the real bullshit gets past in disguise because no-no one is watching this snake oil pm! and his band of merry pirates. wake up NZ

  42. capn insano 44

    I don’t care what flags they put to choice, this exercise is still a fucking luxury when we’re told there isn’t money for more important socioeconomic issues yet they can pull $26 million out of their arse for a friggin flag change.

    • Paul 44.1

      I’d prefer to spend $26 million on a lot of other things.

      • Anne 44.1.1

        Yes. Could help re-settle a lot of refugees from war-torn countries.

      • Pasupial 44.1.2

        Those millions are already spent, it seems a shame not to get something for it. The issue there is how much it would cost to implement the changeover to the new flag; with all the official branding, and the various subsidiary ensigns, that would have to be redesigned.

        The estimated cost of updating government flags and Defence Force uniforms is at least $2.69 million. Other unknown costs include updating government ships, updating trademarks and logos, publicity of the new flag, excess stock of old flags (including products and souvenirs containing it), and updating all flags, packaging, uniforms and marketing material in the private and sporting sectors. The government will not provide compensation for the cost of adopting the new flag.

        • cogito

          ” it seems a shame not to get something for it.”

          What we’ve got for it is a lesson in how not to go about changing the national flag.

          If Key had an ounce of integrity, he would put a halt to the whole process now, acknowledging that the issue needs more time and thought. That would be the honourable thing to do. But what he’ll do instead is pull out all the stops in an effort to manipulate and bully the NZ public into giving him what he wants.

  43. Alan Heward 45

    Finally. A flag that looks unique. Not a lame brained lack of imagination sport copy. Thank goodness rugby nz have opposed the copy cats. Come on Key run your ego down the pole and run the red peak up as an option if nothing else but to prove you do listen to the NZ public

  44. Rosemary McDonald 46

    FWIW…any new flag MUST include the colour green. We Kiwis take the green for granted, visitors from overseas quite often see the preponderance of green as our hallmark.

    I was initially don’t give a shitish about the Southern Cross…until I heard that NZ is the only southern hemisphere country in which the Southern Cross can be seen all year round…used as a navigational tool by many of our tupuna.

    Silver Fern???

    I’m anti….merely because You Know Who wants it sooo baad!!!

    Carry on debating folks…

    • Anne 46.1

      That’s a good idea. Change the blue bit to green. That would be red for Labour, green for the Greens and black for NZ First. The next coalition government?

      Wotcha reckon Wayne? 🙂

  45. Gabby 47

    It’s got a broken back. It’s fragmented. It points off in 3 different directions. The black might just as well be blue and vice versa. It works as a symbol of disunity. It’s ugly. It would look less ugly if the bottom half wasn’t missing. Then it would look unified. It would have a centre. We could bang on about the whenua being central to identity or some such.

  46. Dan1 48

    For the last 40 years I have frothed about the NZ flag. Merv Wellington insisted that the NZ flag be flown outside schools. I have never liked the union jack on the NZ flag. Our forebears escaped the British system. I appreciate my dad fought in WWII under our current flag but my understanding was that it was their OE which cost them some of their mates lives. The flag was never part of their sadness.

    And so I am in favour of a change. But the process and Key’s smugness about how important it is for trade leaves me in a dilemma.

    Along comes this new option which I am prepared to support. I endorse all the positives to this fifth option.

  47. rob 49

    the word disunity, sounds absolutely perfect. seems to be a right voting wish.
    well, i hope they get what’s coming.
    and it’s coming to a place near you soon, like a Warner bros. special, care of the Hawaii puppet.

  48. Matthew Hooton 50

    Just looked at comparisons in post. I reckon the fern one looks far better among the other flags than red peak – it is so much more distinctly NZ

    • weka 50.1

      never mind it’s not an actual silver fern though.

    • Muttonbird 50.2

      Never mind that is an incredibly lazy piece of design, or is that distinctly New Zealand too?

      I fear it is.

      • Draco T Bastard 50.2.1

        If I was going to put that description on any of the flags it’d actually be the Red Peak design.

        • Muttonbird

          You claim to have read the detailed description of the design process of Red Peak and I’m sure you have.

          Please tell me whether you’ve read the same detailed process anywhere, if there was one, of the Lockwood ferns.

          Looks like amateur open-source photoshop work done in a lunchtime to me.

        • Pasupial

          Taking the; Wā kāinga/Home, design that won the Morgan foundation prize, reversing two of the colour panels and submitting it as your own original work was pretty lazy on Dustin’s part. Though I always thought that the original really didn’t three people to design it.

          • Graeme

            It’s not unusual for two people to come up with very similar designs independently. Especially in something like this where the designers are expressing basic concepts of nationhood. It’s a bit cheap to make that accusation when there’s plenty of double ups in other designs as well.

            Wa kainga and Red Peak are both strong designs, I’d be happy with either.

            • Pasupial


              Actually looking at the timeline, the Morgan prize was awarded after the closing date for submissions. So you are probably right in saying that it was an example of parallel design rather than appropriation. However, I still think Wā kāinga didn’t need three people to design it.

              • Graeme

                They are both very deep designs, there’s a hell of a lot in both of them. I’d hazard a guess that both have taken a common concept and run with it, both ending up in same place. You can see quite a bit of development / exploration of the concept on Dustin’s website.

                I was stunned when neither made the final 4. Maybe Morgan’s involvement in Te Kainga hobbled both of them.

        • Graeme

          I’d call Red Peak minimalist, which is about refining the design to the absolute minimum to convey the message.

          Rather than the clipart, pile it in, mash up design of the Lockwoods.

  49. HumPrac 51

    The black stands for ‘new’.
    The blue stands for ‘world’.
    The red stands for ‘order’.
    ‘New World Order’.

  50. Hami Shearlie 53

    I’m happy with the flag we have now – but if most want a change then, why not keep most of the current flag, but just substitute a pohutukawa for the union jack? Or a kiwi, or tuatara, any one of those things in the corner instead of the union jack. And leave our southern cross as it is!

    If John Key wants to change the flag so badly and remove the union jack, why is he so very desperate to hold on to the honours system from the UK? He seems to love schmoozing around the royal family, I wonder what they think about his wanting the union jack gone from our flag?? Inconsistent? Hypocrisy? I think we all know the “H” word is very appro-po re the refugee situation at the moment!

  51. James 54

    Perhaps if more of you got off your assessment and went to the flag meetings and had your say, then perhaps this flag may have made it. But instead you laughed about the numbers attending.

    Those who attended had their say and they struggled with abstract designs according to the feedback.

    So learn your lesson again – if you don’t get involved and work with the process you lose your choice.

    Typical lefties. Don’t do what was needed at the time then butch they don’t get their own way.

    • dv 54.1

      Hey James how do you feel about SCF then!!!

    • cogito 54.2

      As inane comments go, yours takes the biscuit. The process has been a sham. The four final flags are the ones selected by Key and the Cabinet. More people turning up at meetings would have made no difference whatsoever. Two of the four flags are by the same designer, for goodness sake. And if you take the time to google Kyle Lockwood, you will find that Key already expressed his preference for Lockwood’s designs last year even before the general election…. and then TWO appeared in the final selection. There were over 10,000 submissions and two finalists are by the same designer, who is Key’s preferred designer. SHAM SHAM SHAM.

      The only reasonable course of action is to vote for the current flag, and then revisit the issue down the track when it can be done in a fair, impartial and ethical way, when Key is long gone and relegated to the chamber of horrors where he belongs.

      • Jartin 54.2.1

        LOL..classic reply…and bang on…
        I reckon that in the next few weeks that the demand for twin peaks will become so loud that JK will realize his sliver fern choices are doomed and will probably spit the dummy and pull the plug on the whole 27 million farce..

    • greywarshark 54.3

      Oh how superior. The stern wise parent addressing with equanimity the squabbling children. When will they learn. That is the right wing approach often taken to comments here. Or the spelling and syntax isn’t up to standard. You are so rigid and rule bound and opinionated – about others. Try some scarifying self-analysis.

    • Draco T Bastard 54.4

      But instead you laughed about the numbers attending.

      The numbers turning up to the meetings should have had the whole process cancelled as it obviously wasn’t what New Zealand actually wanted.

      So learn your lesson again – if you don’t get involved and work with the process you lose your choice.

      We haven’t lost our choice at all – we still get to say no to the flag change which will be the result.

      Typical RWNJ: Expecting the process to go smoothly and to get Dear Leaders wish just because.

    • weka 54.5

      “Perhaps if more of you got off your assessment and went to the flag meetings and had your say, then perhaps this flag may have made it.”

      “perhaps”. Only if you believe that this was some kind of democratic process that involved true consultation. Then we could have had a unicorn on the flag.

      The same time as the well publicised flag meetings, there were climate change target meetings that were badly publicised, that many many more more people attended. How much did the govt take note of what those people said? Sweet fuck all. If you want to have faith in this government that’s up to you, but you don’t then get to slag off the people who can’t have faith in it because it’s continually let them down.

    • Pascals bookie 54.6

      “Perhaps if more of you got off your assessment and went to the flag meetings and had your say, then perhaps this flag may have made it. But instead you laughed about the numbers attending.”

      Lol. The meetings happened before the longlist was even released you big numptie. What a lame arse complaint, saying people didn’t take part in the process when you don’t even know what the process was.

      And the main driver of the Red Peak push was some guy who had actually submitted a different flag himself, who has changed his mind after reading the FC’s guidleines on what flags should be. The Red Peak design fits the brief the FC provided, and was explainining at the meetings. The flags they then selected, don’t.

      Also worth noting is that the FC said they’d be releasing the shortlist before mid September, which I suppose technically they did. But ‘At the beginning of September’ would have been more accurate.

  52. Gabby 55

    Typical rottie – whinge about people not proposing changes to something they DON’T WANT CHANGED.

  53. Sabine 56

    the debate is pathetic

    Rangi, Papa, the Dawn, but no Tane
    ………, great, NZ is gonna be a desert, and all the trees are gonna cut down and will be unprocessed shipped to the highest bidder.
    Rangi, Papa, Dawn, but no rivers, no sea…but hey that will be so polluted that they are of no use, will run dry or be pits of poison

    burned soil,

    cloudless skies

    and an endless dawn
    without mercy from the sun, the heat, the dust, and the misery created in a Land without Trees and water.

    For fuck sake, just another all inclusive Flag, that does not give a shit.

  54. Roy 57

    Triangles – really? Old red, white and blue again? The competition isn’t to conform into boringness. At least hypnoflag had a bit of life to it. Sorry, Morgan’s flag isn’t solving anything. We should be able to come up with something as good as tinorangatiratanga at least. One’s own politics aside, that’s a boss flag. You know it.

  55. b waghorn 58

    After careful consideration I think there is room for several flags because as key has pointed out with his many hats it doesn’t hurt to have an diversion.
    We should have the original for when we get second in sport so that the none observant might think its an Aussie who’s failed.
    The silver fern on black for winning because most know who the all blacks are.
    We could have a Lockwood version for marketing nz inc.
    And the red peak for when we’ve done something really dodgy so know one knows where the fuck we ‘re from.

    • cogito 58.1


      But you have a point. My preference would be to give additional recognition to the Maori flag, so that it is flown side by side with the current NZ flag at official occasions, while the silver fern – in whatever guise – could be given semi-official status as the sporting/business flag (which it basically is already).

      After all, if you think of eg the UK, there’s the Union Jack as the official national flag, but there’s also the English rose, the Cross of St George, the Scottish thistle, the saltire etc, each used differently for specific purposes and occasions, but none of which replaces the Union Jack.

      There is no reason why we can’t do the same in NZ. Keep the current flag, but extend the use of complementary flags.

  56. Pat 59

    248 comments…..job done

  57. Smilin 61

    What percentage of the private public partnership will we get if our new flag gets the nod with the Silver Fern on it as AIG gets a rake off with the All Blacks and do we still have the sovereign right to use it or is that gone with the TPPA?
    Just a few totally unfounded worries but I dont give A SHIT cos Im voting to keep the existing flag

  58. vto 62

    My vote goes to the red peak. Was on my list from the start.

    The four cabinet contenders are boring and stupid, covered in feathers and whorly things

    Imo the flag should bear reference to the land only and nothing of the people that have arrived and lived here for the last thousand years or the last ten years or any years in between.

  59. Muttonbird 63

    Even the closest of the government’s ideological supporters calls for Red Peak to be included in the four.

    WARNING: Link to David Seymour’s Facebook page.

    • cogito 63.1

      Good point by David Seymour.

      But if the cabinet can change one of the flag options at the stroke of a pen, I would prefer the current flag to be included instead, ie 3 alternatives + current flag. That’s what should have been done right from the start.

  60. John Wick 64

    I fucking love this flag

  61. keith glentworth 65

    the red peak is AN UGLY flag , not even nz style

    • Pascals bookie 65.1

      Sure it’s NZ style.

      Tukutuku panel style is about as NZ style as you can get. Clearly referenced in way that looks like a flag.

      The options are flag designs from the children’s table.

      Imagine someone asking what our flag symbolises.

      With Red Peak, you can explain the panel effect on the left with the colours reflecting Maori heritage, the red white and blue on the right reflecting our colonial heritage, the mountains, the night and day sky. This would be similar to the answers you get when asking what any of the great flags mean.

      On the other hand, you would be saying something like ‘well the fern represents our national symbol which is a fern, and the stars represent our old flag that had stars on it just like them, and that’s my drawing’.

      • vto 65.1.1

        Oh yeah sure, lets represent the british and maori because you know they are the only peoples who have ever made these islands home.

        This is a complete and utter fundamental flaw in the entire flag debate. There are many other peoples who have made these islands home – but you know, lets ignore them as well, don’t matter …. just like good colonials … ignore what you wish…

        Unless all peoples are represented on the flag no people should be represented on the flag.

        • cogito

          “just like good colonials … ignore what you wish…”

          Boy, what a shallow prejudiced generalisation.

        • Pascals bookie


          The good part of our colonial heritage is all about people coming here to form a new nation v.

          all how you look at it mate.

        • weka

          “Oh yeah sure, lets represent the british and maori because you know they are the only peoples who have ever made these islands home.”

          This has been explained to you before vto. The reason it’s the British and Māori is because Te Tiriti was and is signed between Iwi and the Crown. The Crown happened to be British due to the way history unfolded at that time, but it might just as easily have been a European state. The Crown doesn’t represent British people, it represents all non-Māori. It’s YOU that thinks other people are excluded.

          • vto

            That’s way off-beam and entirely te tiriti focused, which ironically fits my point. Further, the crown absolutely does not represent all non-maori at all, what a strange concept.

      • weka 65.1.2

        “and the stars represent our old flag that had stars on it just like them”

        Not quite. The stars are the Southern Cross, and apparently we’re the only place in the world where you see the SC all year round. It’s a very distinctive constellation, and has as much relevance in NZ as any of the Red Peak aspects. I agree with your general point about Red Peak though (I like it for all those reasons).

  62. Let’s think outside the oblong. Why I’m reluctant to sign the Red Peak petition.

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