All parts of NZ are represented by this flag, with no group or ethnicity given importance over another. The colours all symbolise an aspect of our country. The blue represents the blue of the sky and sea, which is so important for our country's trade, leisure and beauty. The green symbolises the land on which Kiwis have lived for centuries, and brings to mind life and growth. The silver fern is appropriate for several reasons. It has historically been used on the uniforms and graves of our country's soldiers, and has been taken up by many of our sports teams and other organisations since then. This design highlights the unity of our country, with the larger fronds supporting the smaller. All members, whether big or small, come together to make up something more significant and beautiful than each one of them could alone. The fern can also be seen as a cloud stretching into the distance, recalling our country's name in Maori, Aotearoa. The southern cross provides a point of continuity with our current flag. The red of the stars represents the blood shed in forging our country.