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Flag It! – Exhibition Opening & Panel Discussion


Date: 25 August, 2014

Flag It! – an exhibition of designs for Aotearoa/New Zealand’s next national flag including artists and designers such as Dick and Otis Frizzell, Michael Smythe, Barry Brickell and Nigel Brown!

In the next parliamentary term, 2014 – 2017, the people of Aotearoa / New Zealand will vote on whether their country flies a new flag. In that case it will be ensured that the public can contribute design ideas.

There have been numerous calls in the last decades for a new flag design. It has been argued that the current flag symbolises a colonial and post-colonial era whose time has passed, and that it ignores Māori heritage and other ethnic groups. It is also very similar to the Australian flag and the two are often confused.

New Zealand is not the first country to address redesigning their national flag; 31 countries have done so since 1990. A flag competition held by the Listener in 1989 showed that most New Zealanders wanted a change. In 2010 the New Zealand Herald ran a front-page article arguing that it was time to change and with the referendum coming up, the time is now.

The Depot Artspace wants to prepare for this process by hosting Flag It! – an opportunity for people to have their say and represent their country, identity and tūrangawaewae/sense of place! The design process will play a key role in the evolution of the Aotearoa / New Zealand flag.

There will be:

– A People's Choice Award where the winning entry will have their flag printed thanks to Flagz Group Limited.

– A panel discussion at 2.30pm during the opening on Saturday 6 September featuring:

Dick Frizzell – Artist

Hamish Keith (CNZM OBE) – Social commentator and art historian

John Retimana – Ngati Whatua, Devonport kaumatua

Michael Smythe – Design strategist, historian and writer

Pamela Stirling – Editor of the New Zealand Listener

– A workshop room in our Project Space for you to create your own flag design during the exhibition thanks to Resene Devonport and The Canvas Company - if you have a group who would like to participate please contact us to book a time.

Flag It! will be exhibited in the Depot Artspace Main Gallery during the month national elections take place, from the 6th to the 18th of September.


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