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Michael Smythe floats abstract koru flag design

2014 koru flag design michael smithe?Sick of the never-ending flag debate yet? 

It doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon, so in the meantime, have a gander at this flag design by designer Michael Smythe.

The silver fern is often raised as a possible replacement but Smythe thinks a silver fern wouldn’t be as effective as an abstract design. 

“Apart from the ‘white feather’ problem, a black flag with a white motif will be seen as the pirates’ Jolly Roger from a distance. But black and silver are recognised as our national colours and can provide a clear point of difference on the global stage.” 

He says he’s long felt that the abstract koru paintings of local artist Gordon Walters provide a unique visual language that can distinguish New Zealand in a global context. 

“The New Zealand flag should reflect the fact that our nationhood is grounded in the Treaty of Waitangi,” says Smythe. “And we should dare to be different by being black and silver.”

He says his ‘Walters koru’ flag concept represents the synergy made possible by the treaty with the presence of each culture made clearer by the existence of the other. 

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