Jeffy James’s flag – minus the Southern Cross
I have no problem with Maori flying their own flag on Waitangi Day. But the Maori sovereignty flag is the wrong choice.
The above adaption of Jeffy James’s New Zealand flag (see below) would serve Maori better – on both political and aesthetic grounds.
The Maori sovereignty flag
What message will it send on our day of national unity when Maori fly the banner of those wanting a separate Maori nation?
But it’s hardly Maori’s fault. They were given only four options, and the other three were either British or English-based.
They were hardly going to choose the existing blue ensign flag, or the equally colonial red ensign.
Which left the United Tribes flag of 1835 – which features the English red cross of St George not once, but twice!
The United Tribes flag – two symbols of England
Some choice for a proud people. They had no choice but to endorse the Tino Rangatiratanga flag, even though many would have preferred a less divisive emblem.
And all the while, there was this more beautiful and less political option that they were never shown…
Jeffy James’s koru and stars
It’s on the nzflag.com website and it’s by Jeffy James – one of the few really good flag designers among our artistic community.
Now bear in mind that Jeffy designed this as a New Zealand flag, not a Maori flag.
Were he asked to create a Maori flag, would he have simply removed the Southern Cross, as I have done above? I suspect so, but I don’t know.
He says in his bio on nzflag.com that he likes the Tino Rangatiratanga flag. I worry that my cheeky redesign may offend him - in which case I apologise.
But could there be a simpler, more beautiful symbol of Maoridom than Jeffy’s flowing white koru on red and black?
Note for fern lovers: the koru and silver fern are different representations of the same New Zealand native plant: the ponga.