Magazine article Geographical

Between Four Ferns: The New Zealand Government Has Unveiled Four Potential Alternative Designs for the Country's New National Flag, Chosen by a Select Panel from Thousands of Entries Submitted during a Process Open to the Public

Magazine article Geographical

Between Four Ferns: The New Zealand Government Has Unveiled Four Potential Alternative Designs for the Country's New National Flag, Chosen by a Select Panel from Thousands of Entries Submitted during a Process Open to the Public

Article excerpt

Across three weeks in November and December, New Zealanders will go to the polls and collectively pick one design from four available options to become the alternative New Zealand national flag. Another referendum will then take place in March next year, when the population will make a final decision between the current flag and the elected alternative.

The final four designs provide fascinating insights into how national identity and nationalism is "flagged" in a literal and figurative sense,' said Klaus Dodds, Professor of Geopolitics at Royal Holloway, University of London. 'The New Zealand government, and agencies responsible for New Zealand tourism and exports, will want the winning flag design to be both something memorable and be capable of being marketed around the world. All four finalists pick up on highly evocative symbols associated with the country; the fern, the Southern Cross and the Koru--Maori for "loop" and indicative of a furled fern frond.'

The process of changing the country's flag began in early 2014, when Prime Minister John Key declared: 'It's my belief, and I think one increasingly shared by many New Zealanders, that the design of the New Zealand flag symbolises a colonial and post-colonial era whose time has passed. …

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