Proposed flag of New Caledonia / Drapeau proposé de la Nouvelle-Calédonie


The current situation / La situation présente

Flags of New Caledonia / Drapeaux de Nouvelle Calédonie

New Caledonia’s strange and controversial flag situation: The flag of FLNKS party (left) and the flag of France (right) are co-official… but there is no single flag for the whole of New Caledonia itself.
Situation étrange et controversée en Nouvelle-Calédonie: le drapeau du parti FLNKS (à gauche) et le drapeau de la France (à droite) sont co-officiels … mais il n’existe pas de drapeau unique pour la Nouvelle-Calédonie.

New Caledonia’s flag situation is bizarre by world standards. Instead of a single flag, it currently has two co-official flags, neither of which represents the whole of New Caledonia. One is the flag of France itself. The other is the flag of FLNKS, the political coalition that represents the Kanak indigenous people. This compromise was condemned as clumsy, divisive, controversial and unrepresentative. The situation was even spurned by important leaders at the time like the President of the Government of New Caledonia, the representative of New Caledonia to the National Assembly and the mayor of Nouméa. Critics pointed to the principles of the Nouméa Accord (the 1998 agreement between the French government and FLNKS) which expresses the wish for a “common destiny” for all communities. Many New Caledonians have demanded a single new flag that would express a common identity for all of New Caledonia. There have been existing proposals, but these designs are quite complex. Therefore, here is my proposal.

La situation du drapeau de la Nouvelle-Calédonie est bizarre par rapport aux normes mondiales. Au lieu d’un seul drapeau, il possède actuellement deux drapeaux co-officiels, qui ne représentent ni l’un ni l’autre toute la Nouvelle-Calédonie. L’un est le drapeau de la France elle-même. L’autre est le drapeau du FLNKS, la coalition politique qui représente le peuple autochtone kanak. Ce compromis a été condamné comme maladroit, source de discorde, controversé et non représentatif. La situation a même été rejetée par des dirigeants importants tels que le président du gouvernement de la Nouvelle-Calédonie, le représentant de la Nouvelle-Calédonie à l’Assemblée nationale et le maire de Nouméa. Les critiques ont évoqué les principes de l’accord de Nouméa (l’accord de 1998 entre le gouvernement français et le FLNKS), qui exprime le souhait d’un «destin commun» pour toutes les communautés. De nombreux Néo-Calédoniens ont réclamé un nouveau drapeau unique exprimant une identité commune pour toute la Nouvelle-Calédonie. Il y a eu des propositions existantes, mais ces modèles sont assez complexes. Par conséquent, voici ma proposition.

Note: My choice of designs do not reflect my political opinions.

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

My proposal / Ma proposition

Proposed flag of New Caledonia / Drapeau proposé de la Nouvelle-Calédonie

Proposed flag of New Caledonia / Drapeau proposé de la Nouvelle-Calédonie

Proposed flags of New Zealand



Here are the flags that I and James Fitzmaurice have designed over the years for New Zealand. We based these on extensive research, analysis of thousands of designs and comments, consulting surveys and social science research, and more. We believe our designs surpass those of the notorious 2016 referendum which was widely regarded as a fiasco – The judges had no relevant qualification or experience, the process was mishandled and the finalist designs were hated, among many other problems. Is this a product of raging narcissism or qualified judgement? For the first time, we have collected all of our designs in one place so you can decide!

The Blue Sky flag (first in the gallery below) and an expanded part of this analysis were presented at the 55th annual conference of the North American Vexillological Association (the largest flag organisation in the world), winning an Honorable Mention for the Driver Award.

01b New Zealand flag design summary


As with all design, the how and the why is more important than the what. This article begins by describing our extensive design process. Firstly, it describes our overall methodology and guiding principle. Secondly, it lists all of the common flag design traps that we tried to avoid. Thirdly, it explores New Zealand’s national symbolism and how to effectively express it in a flag design. Afterwards, this article covers each flag design with commentary, larger graphics and construction sheets.

Proposed flag of Michigan


2020 update

Michigan proposal flying outside Larry's house

Michigan proposal flying outside Larry’s house

Larry from Michigan reached out with a nice surprise. He sent me a photo revealing that he actually manufactured the proposed flag design which now flies outside his house! He said, “the redesign is better and the flag will stay in my family for generations. Thanks so much for the design.”

The current design

flag of michigan, usa

Current flag of Michigan

The current flag of Michigan is a typical American-style seal-on-blue-bedsheet design; as a result it is convoluted, unmemorable and uninspiring. It scored 3.46/10 in NAVA’s survey, making it the fourteenth worst flag in North America. In 2018, a state senator introduced a bill to replace it with a new design. Although nothing came of that, below is what I would have proposed:

My proposal

02 proposed flag of michigan [recoded]

Proposed flag of Michigan

Proposed flag of Fiji


The current design

Flag of Fiji

The current flag of Fiji

The current flag of Fiji is almost unchanged from its colonial predecessor, a defaced British Blue Ensign. Since becoming a republic, the prime minister Frank Bainimarama called for a new flag design to reflect a new, genuine, confident Fijian identity without inheriting old colonial symbols. The Fijian government called for submissions throughout 2015 and 2016 but this plan fell through. This was the proposal designed by myself, James Fitzmaurice and Rachael Radhika-Hart.

Our proposal

Proposed flag of Fiji by Brian Cham, James Fitzmaurice and Rachael Radhika-Hart.

Proposed flag of Fiji by Brian Cham, James Fitzmaurice and Rachael Radhika-Hart.

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


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)


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


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