I was looking for a flag with a beaver on it. Why?
So you could see what the Canadian flag might have looked like had lovers of their national animal had their way – and why it would be just as nutty to put a kiwi on our flag.
And what did I find? That the beaver is also the state animal of Oregon (the Beaver State!)
And that Oregonians must have been similarly split over having fauna on their flag, because they’re the only state to have a different design on each side.
This will be ammunition for the day – and it’s only a matter of time – when some helpful person suggests that a New Zealand flag have the Union Jack or silver fern on one side and the Southern Cross, kiwi or koru on the other.
But back to beautiful Oregon, which maybe should be called the Schizophrenic State.
A trawl through their state symbols reveals that they also have:
- a state beverage (milk – believe it or not, so is Kentucky’s)
- a state dance (the square dance)
- a state mushroom (no, not magic – that’d be California’s)
- a state insect (the Oregon swallowtail)
- a state rock (the thunder egg), and even
- a state fossil (the Metasequoia).
And let’s not forget:
- the state nut (the hazelnut).
On second thoughts, make that the Nutty State.
Hey, let’s put a kiwi on our flag – so we can be the Nutty Country.
But seriously, this is why creative people often seem precious: because they know that compromise kills good design.
When politicians think compromise is cool, you get the Oregon flag. And, of course, Wanganui/Whanganui.
I hope we’ll take a leaf out of the Canadians’ book and have the courage to be single-minded.
Scroll down to check out the other flag posts – especially the flag poll, the latest variants, and the plan to fly a gigantic fern flag over the Auckland Harbour Bridge on Waitangi Day.