Ansell/Wang silver fern, Flag

Farrar’s impeccable taste in flags

Can’t argue with Kiwiblogger David Farrar’s choice of alternative flag on last night’s Backbenchers. (Click on part 2 of the video – it’s near the start.)

David had told me he was going to be doing the Soapbox spot about flags, and asked me if I could chase down the old and new Canadian flags – to show the improvement.

But he gave me no clue that he was planning to use the above design of Kenneth’s and mine as his preferred NZ flag.

His point was how it would make a better choice than the tino rangatiratanga flag because of the non-racial fern.

It got a pretty good reaction from the audience too, even if one guy did say it looked like the Nike logo :-).

However, my own poll of six Ansell-Wang fern flags currently has this one coming fourth.

If you’re in the voting mood, do take part in my other poll comparing four different styles of fern.

Good also to see Monday’s Herald proclaiming Silver Fern design preferred choice for new NZ flag.

The momentum is running my way on two issues at the moment: for flag change and away from climate change!

Ansell/Wang silver fern, Flag

More blue fern flags

In my poll of six Ansell-Wang fern flags, the white fern on blue surrounded by red stars continues to outpoint the fern on black by 28% to 24%.

Here’s a version with the stars separate from the fern, based on a recent design by Kenneth Wang, but wider.

Are we getting closer?

I clearly made a mistake in pushing my black and silver design, which has failed to catch on. As a result, we didn’t raise enough money for an Auckland Harbour Bridge flyover on Waitangi Day.

This was always a possibility, as it scored only 6% in the same poll, but I thought people might agree that it looked better when animated.

Not many did. Lesson learned!

Here’s a more single-minded design without the stars, but relieved by a white panel.

In an email to the NZ Herald, I  justify it as follows:

Royal blue for the sea and our British heritage, white for the mountains and the long white cloud.

Plus the uniquely New Zealand silver fern, the ponga, chosen by the captain of the Natives rugby team  of 1888 because it brought to his mind the Maori proverb “Mate atu he toa ara mai he toa.  Mate atu he tetakura ara mai he tetakura.”

(“When one warrior dies, another arises. When one fern dies, another arises.”)

A blend of land, sea and air, native and colonial, Maori and Pakeha.

Blogger and artist Lindsay Mitchell says one white panel works better than the Canadian-style panel either side of the leaf, and I agree.

I wasn’t sure why, but she says it’s because the Canadian maple leaf is symmetrical, so suits a central position, while the fern is leaning and doesn’t.

If we want to be totally single-minded, here’s the equivalent of the classic black in royal blue.

Meanwhile, Kenneth’s and my fern is getting royally beaten up by Kyle Lockwood in my latest poll. But we’re outscoring the All Blacks’ steak knives logo, which is just as well.

(Don’t tell my old schoolmate Steve Tew or there could be some serious block-voting from a certain office building on the wharf – not to mention five franchises, twentysomething unions and countless clubs. Mum’s the word.)

For some reason, the fern has completely failed to fire in the poll, which I find strange as I like its dynamism.

Perhaps people are saying that it works as a flag campaign logo, but not as a flag.

Anyway, I’m pleased to see the softer, classical ferns prevailing over the sharp, angular versions.

Feedback welcome as always. Are we getting closer with the blue?

Ansell/Wang silver fern, Cameron Sanders' fern (, Dave Clark's All Blacks fern, Flag, Kyle Lockwood's fern, Silver fern

Fern favourite – but which fern?

Friday night’s Close Up poll of 12341 viewers was a clear sign that when New Zealand changes its flag, it’ll be to a design featuring the silver fern.

Naturally, I’m keen to find out whether Kenneth’s and my design is in with a chance of being that fern.

So I’m testing it here against what I believe are the three most popular contenders: Cameron Sanders’ fern, Dave Clark’s All Blacks logo, and the fern from the well-supported Kyle Lockwood flag.

For ease of comparison only, I’ve put them all on a black background. (I’ve already canvassed people’s colour preferences in this poll.)

To avoid accusations of vote-rigging and bias by adoring readers (I wish), I invite other bloggers, Facebookers etc. to click Share This below and paste this poll into your site.

It’ll be interesting to see whether voting patterns are the same on all sites.

Oh, and if you don’t want a silver fern flag, it would be great if you could  respect the democratic rights of those who do – and by all means vote if you’d like to.

Ansell/Wang silver fern, Flag

My New Zealand flag: the Black and Silver


Just as America has its Stars and Stripes, we should fly the Black and Silver.

This was the first of my black designs. I went off it for a while, but now that I can see it “flying” (if it’s not moving, click the flag), I do think those first instincts were correct.

I’ve adjusted it slightly by making the white fern silver, which to me is one step more stylish – not to mention truer to nature.

And the white and silver bars provide relief for the black, which looks too gloomy by itself.

My fern designer Kenneth Wang has suggested a darker silver for the bars, which does make them easier to see.

This is the flag I’d like to see us fly over the Auckland Harbour Bridge on Waitangi Day, and be adopted as the new New Zealand flag.

Now here it is in a range of ‘locations’, so you can see how it could do double duty as a national logo.

What do you think? Does the moving flag change your mind about this design?

Can you help Kenneth Wang and me raise the $20,000 we need to make a 1000 square metre (10,000 square foot) flag and get a helicopter to tow it around Auckland for an hour and a half?

If so, please email by next Wednesday 20 January.