The 7 most popular New Zealand flag proposals (according to the public)

Flags

Note: This post lists the flag designs that are most popular with the general public. For my own judgement on the best proposals, see this post.

When I was thinking of designs for the New Zealand flag competition, I was curious about the preferences of the wider public. No doubt others are too. Unfortunately, polls had a limited selection of designs to begin with, and while the government gallery had social media sharing and suggestions for every submitted flag, there was no way to sort the gallery to show the most popular.

So I made a quick Java script to scrape all entries in the website and identify the most popular flags. This is measured in number of times each design was independently suggested. Ten was the minimum number to get on this list.

Keep in mind that popularity does not equal quality, nor is it a final indicator of public preferences. It is affected by many factors like age, status and prior exposure of the design. Obviously, this list is biased towards well-known older designs rather than newer designs even if they’re great. This list is simply for interest of the data itself.

Flags are listed in ascending order of popularity. Each one lists the three main points of the respondents.

7. Silver Fern Flag – Kyle Lockwood’s ‘New Zealand Colours’

Silver Fern Flag – Kyle Lockwood’s 'New Zealand Colours' Designed by: Kyle Lockwood

Silver Fern Flag – Kyle Lockwood’s ‘New Zealand Colours’. Designed by: Kyle Lockwood.

Suggestions: 13

  • Similar to current flag
  • Black and white are national colours. Silver fern is national symbol. These are already recognised worldwide and have historical significance.
  • Māori represented by black (I think this is a reference to the Tino Rangatiratanga flag which includes black?)

Top 50 New Zealand flag proposals (according to me)

Flags

Note: This post features my own judgement on the best flag designs. For the proposals that are most popular with the general public, see this post.

Now that the New Zealand government has closed submissions for a new flag, I decided to go through and pick out the best. That’s right, I looked through all 10,293 of them. Don’t worry, it only took me 48 minutes to evaluate (about 0.28 seconds per flag; thank god for learning scanning techniques).

It probably helped that the whole gallery was a beautiful testament to Sturgeon’s Law (in this case more like 99% though), Poe’s Law and the futility of crowdsourcing design, making it easy to mentally filter out the crud and parodies. You wouldn’t believe the Nazi, apartheid, North Korea, IsraelPRC, Imperial Germany, Quebec (of all places), meme and My Little Pony based parodies that got through their filters. Seriously, the name “Moswald Osley” didn’t ring any alarms? Well done to the Lautaro joke for subtlety and this thing for sheer insanity though. All in all, an experience I would not recommend.

I automatically dismissed any jokes, offensive statements, political statements and anything too similar to another national flag, no matter how well designed or New Zealand-y it was. I hope the judging panel can do that, but since it has no vexillologists (flag experts) I don’t have a lot of faith.

Anyway, here are the best I picked out, emulating the judges’ process of picking an initial list of 50-75 best designs. There were a lot of duplicates and near-duplicates so it’s hard to know exactly how to count and credit them (I’m sure I’ve missed a few credits, sorry!), but it should be around 50 some way or another.

This list is in no particular order.

Proposed flag of Chad / Drapeau proposé du Tchad / علم مقترح لتشاد

Flags

This design is part of my 2009 flag proposal series (the flag designs from my old site with the most hits and ratings).

Cette conception fait partie de ma série de propositions de drapeau 2009 (les conceptions de drapeau de mon ancien site avec le plus de hits et de notes).

هذا التصميم جزء من سلسلة مقترحات العلم الخاصة بي لعام 2009 (تصميمات العلم من موقعي القديم مع أكبر عدد من النتائج والتقييمات).

Note: My choice of design does not reflect my political views.

Remarque: mon choix de conception ne reflète pas mes opinions politiques.

ملاحظة: خياري للتصميم لا يعكس آرائي السياسية.

The current design / La situation présente / الوضع الحالي

Current flag of Chad / Drapeau actuel du Tchad / علم تشاد الحالي

Current flag of Romania / Drapeau actuel de la Roumanie / علم رومانيا الحالي

The flag of Chad is almost identical to the flag of Romania. This similarity is so close that Chad once asked the United Nations to inspect the issue. However, Romania pointed out that their flag is older, so Chad should be the one to change to make it more distinct. Therefore, here is my proposal.

Le drapeau du Tchad est presque identique au drapeau de la Roumanie. Cette similitude est si proche que le Tchad a demandé une fois aux Nations Unies de se pencher sur la question. Cependant, la Roumanie a souligné que son drapeau est plus ancien, le Tchad devrait donc être celui à changer pour le rendre plus distinct. Ainsi, je présente ma proposition ici.

علم تشاد مطابق تقريبًا لعلم رومانيا. هذا التشابه قريب جدًا لدرجة أن تشاد طلبت من الأمم المتحدة ذات مرة فحص القضية. ومع ذلك ، أشارت رومانيا إلى أن علمها أقدم ، لذلك يجب أن تكون تشاد هي الدولة التي يجب تغييرها لجعلها أكثر تميزًا. لذلك ، هذا هو اقتراحي.

My proposal / Ma proposition / اقتراحي

Flag proposal for Chad I made in 2009.

Proposed flag of Chad / Drapeau proposé du Tchad / علم مقترح لتشاد

First off, this design is simple enough to be remembered by a child, yet distinctive enough to be identified at a distance.

Tout d’abord, cette conception est assez simple pour être mémorisée par un enfant, mais suffisamment distinctive pour être identifiée à distance.

أولاً ، هذا التصميم بسيط بما يكفي ليتذكره الطفل ، ولكنه مميز بما يكفي ليتم التعرف عليه عن بعد.

The overall layout represents the geography of Chad. In the south is fertile land, in the north is the Sahara Desert and in the west is Lake Chad, which is important to the country. The eight pointed star represents the sun, warmth, vitality and hope for a bright future. The eight points represent the eight directions, referring to the vast size of Chad. The location of the sun ensures its importance, as the left hand side will be last part of the flag to wear out.

La disposition générale représente la géographie du Tchad. Au sud se trouve des terres fertiles, au nord le désert du Sahara et à l’ouest le lac Tchad, qui est important pour le pays. L’étoile à huit branches représente le soleil, la chaleur, la vitalité et l’espoir d’un avenir radieux. Les huit points de l’étoile représentent les huit directions, faisant référence à la vaste étendue du Tchad. L’emplacement du soleil assure son importance, car le côté gauche sera la dernière partie du drapeau à s’user.

يمثل التصميم العام جغرافية تشاد. في الجنوب أرض خصبة ، وفي الشمال توجد الصحراء الكبرى وفي الغرب بحيرة تشاد ، وهي مهمة للبلاد. تمثل النجمة الثمانية الشمس والدفء والحيوية والأمل في مستقبل مشرق. النقاط الثماني تمثل الاتجاهات الثمانية ، في اشارة الى الحجم الشاسع لتشاد. يضمن موقع الشمس أهميتها ، حيث سيكون الجانب الأيسر هو الجزء الأخير من العلم الذي يتآكل.

Vector files available on request.

Fichiers vectoriels disponibles sur demande.

ملفات المتجهات متاحة عند الطلب.

Mock-ups of the proposed flag of Chad / Maquettes du drapeau proposé du Tchad / نماذج بالحجم الطبيعي لعلم تشاد المقترح

Mock-ups of the proposed flag of Chad / Maquettes du drapeau proposé du Tchad / نماذج بالحجم الطبيعي لعلم تشاد المقترح

Construction sheet of the proposed flag of Chad / Fiche de construction du drapeau proposé du Tchad / أبعاد علم تشاد المقترح

Construction sheet of the proposed flag of Chad / Fiche de construction du drapeau proposé du Tchad / أبعاد علم تشاد المقترح

Proposed flag of Mars

Flags

This design is part of my 2009 flag proposal series (the flag designs from my old site with the most hits and ratings).

The current design

Current flag of Mars

The current flag of Mars is trash. It’s a generic tricolour, the colours all clash, it’s completely unintuitive and the symbolism reflects only a particular vision of Mars’ future. One day we’ll put a flag there and the planet deserves a better design than this. Therefore, here is my proposal.

My proposal

Flag proposal for Mars I made in 2009.

Proposed flag of Mars

First off, this design is simple enough to be remembered by a child, yet distinctive enough to be identified at a distance.

The best symbolism is that which does not need to be said. So I won’t.

I will say that this is better than the current design in all the ways that matter: It’s original, the colours complement each other, it’s easily recognisable and the symbolism reflects Mars in any context.

Vector files available on request.

Mock-ups for the proposed flag of Mars

Mock-ups for the proposed flag of Mars

Construction sheet for the proposed flag of Mars

Construction sheet for the proposed flag of Mars

Proposed flag of Utah

Flags

This design is part of my 2009 flag proposal series (the flag designs from my old site with the most hits and ratings).

Note: My choice of design does not reflect my political views.

The current design

Current flag of Utah

Current flag of Utah

The current flag scored a 3.47/10.00 in NAVA’s North American flag survey, which makes it the fifteenth worst flag in North America. In 2019, the Utah House voted to solicit potential flag designs to replace the current flag.

My proposal

Flag proposal I made for Utah in 2009.

Proposed flag of Utah

First off, this design is simple enough to be remembered by a child, yet distinctive enough to be identified at a distance.

This design incorporates features of the current flag, the Mormon pioneer flag and the national flag. The overall layout and thirteen stripes are from the national flag. The colours are from the Mormon pioneer flag and the current flag of Utah. The golden circle is also retained from the current flag of Utah. This aids recognition, establishes continuity and suggests connections with Utah’s history and Mormon influence.

In the canton (top-left corner), the circle represents unity, the star represents the sun and the hexagon represents a beehive. The sun has twelve points, which is the number of perfection. The beehive is the official symbol of Utah and represents hard work, progress and community. The conjunction of the beehive cell inside the sun’s rays sends two messages: firstly that each individual has a chance to shine, and secondly that Utah’s positive influence is known well outside its borders.

The location of this emblem ensures its importance. When a flag wears out, the left hand side will be the last to remain. When it is not flying, that corner will be most visible part of the flag. When it is flying, the eye will be naturally attracted to that region as a starting point.

In terms of colours, the blue represents the sky, the white represents salt and the gold represents the warm sun. The colours are all present on the current flag, so any further symbolism they have can be carried over as well.

Vector files available on request.

Mock-ups of the proposed flag of Utah

Mock-ups of the proposed flag of Utah

Construction sheet of the proposed flag of Utah

Construction sheet of the proposed flag of Utah

Proposed flag of New Hampshire

Flags

This design is part of my 2009 flag proposal series (the flag designs from my old site with the most hits and ratings).

The current design

Current flag of New Hampshire

The current flag scored a 3.18/10.00 in NAVA’s North American flag survey, which makes it the tenth worst flag in North America.

My proposal

Flag proposal of New Hampshire I made in 2009.

Proposed flag of New Hampshire

First off, this design is simple enough to be remembered by a child, yet distinctive enough to be identified at a distance.

This design depicts the “Old Man of the Mountain”, a well-known symbol of New Hampshire, overlooking a starry sky. The dominant circle of nine stars represents how New Hampshire was the ninth addition out of the original states in the US. The form of the stars is inspired by the historic Betsy Ross flag, the flag of New England and the national flag.

By representing the Old Man of the Mountain, New Hampshire’s official nickname “The Granite State” is also accounted for, as the Old Man was composed of granite. The colours are all present on the current flag, so any further symbolism they have can be carried over as well.

Vector files available on request.

Mock-ups of the proposed flag of New Hampshire

Mock-ups of the proposed flag of New Hampshire

Construction sheet of the proposed flag of New Hampshire

Construction sheet of the proposed flag of New Hampshire

Proposed flag of Louisiana

Flags

This design is part of my 2009 flag proposal series (the flag designs from my old site with the most hits and ratings).

This particular flag was rated the best of my proposals 🙂

The current design

Current flag of Louisiana

The current flag scored a 4.98/10.00 in NAVA’s North American flag survey. It could be worse, but it could be better, and I had a great idea I couldn’t wait to try out.

My proposal

Flag proposal of Louisiana I made in 2009.

Proposed flag of Louisiana

First off, this design is simple enough to be remembered by a child, yet distinctive enough to be identified at a distance.

The background layout of this design echoes one of the most recognisable flags in the world, that of France. Louisiana was once a colony of the French Empire and its French legacy and influence is still visible today. The white stripe takes the form of a fleur-de-lis, an old symbol of Royal France that has significance in Louisiana in both historical and modern times. The fleur-de-lis was featured on many flags that flew in that region and is still a popular symbol. For example, it was frequently used as a reminder in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and was made an official state symbol in 2008. A symbol this widespread and iconic deserves the official recognition of being on the flag.

There are also references to Louisiana’s status as a U.S. state. The colours red, white and blue echo the colours of the national flag. The white star on blue in the canton (top-left corner) echoes the canton of the national flag, in which each white star on blue represents a state.

The blue stands for the sky and sea. The white stands for the coastline and peace. The red stands for the blood that we all share and that has been shed in the past. The colours are all present on the current flag, so any further symbolism they have can be carried over as well. Additionally, blue and white are official state colours.

Vector files available on request.

Mock-ups of the proposed flag of Louisiana

Mock-ups of the proposed flag of Louisiana

Construction sheet of the proposed flag of Louisiana

Construction sheet of the proposed flag of Louisiana