New Zealand’s official badge/emblem consists of the four stars of Southern Cross. These four stars guided first the Maori then the Europeans to New Zealand.
Stars symbolise heavenly light, guidance, hope, immortality and the soul. The 5 pointed, upright star symbolises both the Universe and Mankind.
The four stars united represent the union of values that all New Zealanders can share. The shape formed in the centre of the stars shows a distinct resemblance to the Maori hut and the pioneer shelter that signifies ‘home’. Elements of the design show kinship to elements of Maori art, for example the glaring eyes and protruding tongue of the Tiki.
The honoured Red, White and Blue of our flag are colours with symbolic values important to Europeans and non–Europeans alike: Red is hot, virile and active, with power and mana. White suggests purity, and a silence full of living possibilities. Blue is ‘female’, serene and spiritual, the benevolent aspect of sky and ocean.
The horizontal bands or stripes below the Southern Cross reflect two very basic but highly distinctive New Zealand images: The white symbolising Aotearoa and the green band obviously the green, verdant countryside.