(Final edit, the fronds are larger than in previous versions, and the spacings between them refined)
The best flags are the simplest ones. I recently had some visitors to my UK studio, where an early prototype of this flag was hanging. The first thing they said was “Oh New Zealand, what a wonderful place”
But simplicity doesn’t deny depth. In fact, the simplicity of a flag can allow greater meaning for the viewer.
During this process, which I have been rather obsessed about, I have been getting feedback from friends, family and strangers about what this flag represents to them. All felt it was obviously New Zealand, but they all had other ideas about what it represents.
Some of the words that have been evoked are: journey, unity, nature, hope, simplicity, balance, history, the black sands of the west and white sands of the east, a positive future, shadows of the past, strength, vision, culture, diversity, equality, beauty and even the upward inflection of our speech.
‘The Fern’ can represent all New Zealanders, not just those who like playing with their balls.