Statistics have been released by the NZ Flag Consideration Panel on the makeup of the flags submitted for review.
Nelson has the third most submissions per population count with 113 flags submitted for consideration from a population of around 46,000. Nelson is behind Northland with 158 flags for 44000 people and Hawkes Bay which has 129 submissions for 12,000 people.
In total 4279 flags have been submitted from around New Zealand with another 1604 coming from overseas.
White is the most predominant colour featured on all submitted designs with 4808 flags featuring the colour.
On the contrary Nelson submitted flags featured black as the most predominant colour on with 67 of the 113 flags using the colour. Nelson is the only region to have black as the highest recorded colour.
Tim Bayley submitted his flag, The 21st Century Kiwi Flag, for consideration. He says although black came out on top for Nelson he did not think it would work for his design.
“I tried my flag in black but it was just a bit grim. The idea for my flag was having a bit of tradition with the blue of the ocean and the red of empire and struggle and blood being shed. Blacks had a bit of a bad name for it since ISIS came along.”
22 Nelson flags featured a fern, 38 the Southern Cross and five the union Jack.
Tim says he is still confident with the use of his silver fern design.
“I think a fern should be in there, it’s a great symbol. A lot of people criticise it and say it’s a sports thing but it’s been around in the wars, it’s on the grave stone of every New Zealander who’s died overseas and it was also on New Zealand butter on the turn of the century.”
He says he thinks it’s time the union jack is gone and is not surprised by the low numbers of Union Jack flags submitted.
“I kept the same colours because I wanted to keep some tradition but I dont think the Union Jack really represents New Zealand anymore. We’re our own country doing our own thing. Compared to most countries this is the most democratic country we’ve ever had in response to a flag consideration.”
Tim believes the high number of flags coming from overseas could be due to the confusion between the current New Zealand and Australian flag.
Barry Pont, president of the Nelson RSA and in opposition to a flag change, says he still thinks the Union Jack is an important part of the flags design.
Only 461 flags submitted nationally featured the Union Jack.
“I’d still favour the union jack on our flag, we’ve had [the current flag] since 1902 and I don’t see the reason for changing it personally,” Barry says.