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New Zealand - Flag proposals for the North Island

Last modified: 2013-06-09 by ian macdonald
Keywords: new zealand | proposal | north island | southern cross (white) | stars: southern cross (white) | te ika a maui |
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Dean Thomas' proposal

image by Dean Thomas, 15 October 2005

This is the flag I designed earlier this year as an imagined flag for New Zealand's North Island. There had been some debate about New Zealand competing in various events like the Commonwealth Games around the same time as Australians mulled competing as separate states in similar events. I used red as the basic color for the flag to represent both the volcanic origins of the island and the color sacred to the Maori and the British Empire. The white lower stripe represents Aotearoa (the Long White Cloud) which is the Maori name for New Zealand. The inscription 'Te Ika A Maui' is the Maori name for the North Island and copies several Maori flags that bore similar inscriptions. The New Zealand Red Ensign was chosen for the canton as to blend into the red background, as well as to represent what nation the North Island belongs to.
Dean Thomas, 15 October 2005

Te Ika A Maui means "The fish of Maui". Legend has it that the great Polynesian explorer Maui caught a giant fish, which he wrestled to the surface of the ocean, where it becme the North Island, with its head in the south, its tail in the north, and Maui's hook caught in its left side. Oddly, the North Island is shaped very roughly like a fish, and Hawke Bay on the east coast is shaped almost exactly like a traditional Maori fish hook.
James Dignan, 15 October 2005