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Manawatu-Wanganui region (New Zealand)

Last modified: 2023-02-02 by ian macdonald
Keywords: manawatu-wanganui | palmerston north |
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Palmerston North

[Palmerston North] image located by Vanja Poposki, 18 August 2012

A white flag with the arms in the centre, the name above and the country name below, both in black.

2019 proposal

[Palmerston North] image located by John Moody, 10 April 2019

The symbolism is this:
Top green bar = the ranges overlooking the city
Bottom green bar = the Manawatu plains the city sits on
Top white wave = the Mangaone stream to the North of the city
Middle white wave = the Manawatu River cutting through the city
Bottom white wave = the Turitea stream to the south of the city
Black in the middle = this represents the urban form; situated amongst the environment
(All rivers are white as to represent the cleanliness and purity of their waters)

It's not clear who the designer is** - s/he is known as bongeeboy on, and s/he posted the following comment on

A few years ago, I was walking through the city square and as I passed the war memorial I looked up at the flag poles next to it. What I saw was disappointing - four instances of our official city flag (yes, that's cooper black font). I got thinking; 'surely I can design something better than that'. Then, out of the fun of it, started conceptualising what a new flag for the city might look like.
Eventually I decided that waves were a good look.

The city has a bending river running through it, and water is often represented by waves, so it made sense to include this distinctive landmark in the flag. After gaining feedback in my original post and from the city's sub I ended with what you see in the image. Green representing the mountain range and flood plain, white for the river and streams (green and white are the city's sports colours too), and black for the city and local Maori.

I decided to actually do something about the sad flag of our city, and wrote to the mayor and a few councillors about why the current flag ain't flash, why mine is better, and how flags can improve the character and identity of a place. I also sent cheap magnets out to them (including this) and sent a full 3x5 foot print of the flag to the mayor. I didn't ask to present to council (but if you wanna change your city's flag you could try asking the councillors in a letter - it might not work out the same for you) but was invited to present by the heritage and arts councillor.

I ended up presenting to the strategy and planning committee about a month ago. I'm no public speaker so mostly read of paper, but the councillors still got quite excited... and low and behold the mayor turned up with the printed flag I sent him and seemed rather excited. I answered a few questions after and left. I later got photographed for the local paper.

The idea to change the flag is now in the annual plan and the council is taking submissions as to whether it's a good idea for a new flag, and taking ideas on the process for it. So if you're in New Zealand, feel free to make a submission with the link above!
John Moody, 10 April 2019

** The designer's name is Ben Foster, based on this page:
JJ, 22 April 2020