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Centenary Of New Zealand Flag

Wednesday 12 June 2002

Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Judith Tizard today acknowledged the centenary of the New Zealand Flag, which was first officially recognised by the New Zealand Ensign Act that came into force on 12 June 1902.

“One hundred years ago today, the Union Jack was replaced by the current New Zealand Flag,” said Judith Tizard. “The New Zealand Flag became our official flag amidst the pomp and patriotism surrounding the South African War.”

A website exhibition has been put together by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage to mark the occasion.

The exhibition delves into the maritime origins of the New Zealand Flag and looks at the history of previous flags used in New Zealand, including that chosen by the United Tribes in 1834 to be the first flag of New Zealand.

“The New Zealand Flag has represented New Zealand in almost every arena, perhaps most notably on the battlefield and the sports field,” said Judith Tizard.

“A hundred years on, it continues to provide a tangible link to New Zealand across the world. A New Zealand Flag found in the September 11 rubble of the World Trade Center towers in New York was presented to Prime Minister Helen Clark in New York and brought back to New Zealand, where it hangs in Parliament.”

The New Zealand Flag features, on a royal blue background, a Union Jack in the first quarter and four five-pointed red stars of the Southern Cross on the fly. The stars have white borders.


New Zealand Flag centenary website exhibition: http://www.mch.govt.nz


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