In this morning Dominion Post, Richard Long reveals who it was who gave Maori such a poor choice of flag options: none other than Hone Harawira.
This explains why there was no real choice other than the flag Hone and his mum have been waving for years in the cause of a separate Maori nation.
As I said yesterday, the United Tribes flag is hardly a goer, given that it features the English cross not once, but twice.
Yes, the New Zealand Natives rugby team did seem happy to play under it. But that may have been because the only other option was the Union Jack – which they also played under, as some of the players were non-Maori.
New Zealand Native Rugby Team 1888
The Natives were also the first sports team to adopt the silver fern as their emblem, and to wear the colour black.
Why black? Apparently because it provided the best contrast with the white.
(This seems plausible, as New Zealand’s original rugby team of 1884 had worn a gold fern on blue jerseys – and the fern didn’t show up in black and white photos.)