British * Maori * Settlers * Southern Cross * Union Flag * Union Jack * Blue Background
New Zealand’s Flag
New Zealand’s National Flag contains three basic elements. These are the Union Flag, The Southern Cross and the blue background. Each of these elements has significance.
The Union Flag signifies the ancestry of a large majority of New Zealanders and the source of New Zealand’s democratic traditions.
The Southern Cross represents the guiding stars by which both Maori and European settlers found New Zealand.
The blue background represents the ocean that was crossed by all of New Zealand’s original settlers and which is still being crossed today, albeit more quickly and in greater comfort than ever before, by everyone who comes to make their home in New Zealand.
Some people want to change the flag. Others wish to keep it. In opinion polls a majority of New Zealanders tend to favour retaining the current flag.
New Zealand’s Coat of Arms
The symbols on New Zealand’s Coat of Arms are as follows:
The crown in the upper middle represents the crown of New Zealand’s current monarch, Queen Elizabeth.
The people on either side of the shield are a European woman holding New Zealand’s flag and a Maori Warrior bearing the Taiaha, a traditional Maori weapon.
The central shield shows the Southern Cross stars which helped guide explorers to New Zealand; the golden fleece represents livestock farming; the wheat sheaf represents agriculture; and the hammers represent mining. The ships in the middle of the shield represent New Zealand’s dependence on sea trade.
At the bottom of the coat of arms are New Zealand fern leaves.