You probably know New Zealand for its mountains that have served as a backdrop for the Lord of the Rings movies, kiwis or because it is next to Australia. As a result, there seems to have been a rivalry between these two countries for several decades now. New Zealand also seems to be forgotten on world maps, unfortunately. Today, we are going to tackle the saga around the New Zealand flag. This will be proof that it is important to have a unique image to avoid embarrassing situations and to be easily recognized.
Like many Commonwealth countries, the current New Zealand flag, aka Union Jack, originates from the British flag. This is not the first flag for this former British colony. It is the one however officially used since 1902. A few years later, Australia adopted a flag very similar to that of its neighbor, New Zealand. For some, perhaps a little too similar. This has created various problems or mix-ups over the years - including showing the wrong flag at the Rio Olympics during a medal ceremony. Things then seem to have gotten more complicated over the last few years. Fed up with the situation, New Zealanders had a referendum in 2016 regarding a new flag. Following the failure of the referendum, they asked Australia to find a different image for their flag.
The New Zealand flag has the British flag in the upper left corner with a blue background. Other versions of this flag have been used in the navy and for other English colonies, mostly island colonies. The constellation of the Southern Cross is the main emblem on this flag and is what represents this country of Oceania. This a constellation that is only visible in the southern hemisphere.
What is the difference between this flag and the Australian flag? The Australian flag also uses the British flag and the Southern Cross constellation as the main emblem. Australia chose 6 stars instead of 4 to represent the constellation including a large one under the British flag. Another small difference between the two flags is that the New Zealand stars are red with five points, while the Australian stars are white with 7 points. Despite these differences, it is still difficult to differentiate the two at a glance.
As mentioned above, in 2014, New Zealand decided to look for a new image for their flag. The government worked hard to find a new flag for their country. They received several ideas keeping four for the first referendum in 2016. New Zealanders decided to have a silver fern on their flag instead of the British emblem, keeping everything else the same. The silver fern is a well-known symbol of New Zealand. It is their national rugby team logo, represents development, and the plant life found in this country.
Unfortunately for some, the flag went through a second referendum in which the original flag with the Union Jack was elected. The results were 56.6% for the current flag and 43.2% for the new design. According to the latest estimates, the two referendums cost New Zealand $17 million. Recently, the New Zealand government asked Australia to find a new flag since they were the first to have theirs. There has been no response from them and we doubt that Australians are going to change their flag for their neighbors.
When creating your logo, do not fall into the trap of copying something that already exists. You will regret it fairly quickly, in addition to having to constantly fight to stand out. Think about your values and who you are when creating your logo. What makes you unique? As is the case with Australia and New Zealand, you may have a lot in common with other companies or sports teams. In any event, make sure your logo remains easily recognizable, at least in the area where you do business.
A good example of a unique image is that of the Brazilian flag. Each part is directly related to the history of Brazil. Their flag also contains the constellation of the Southern Cross like New Zealand and Australia. However, the country personalized this image to make it unique. They bet on their royal origins, natural resources and the sky seen from Rio which represents the different federal districts. You see, it is possible to be original when developing your logo or a flag.
In conclusion, we hope you will not make the mistake of creating a logo based on something that already exists. As you have just read, this can lead to disagreements and identification problems. Start by making a list of your values, what you like and even important components in your realm. These are good leads to develop a unique logo. Now that you know how the New Zealand and Australian flags differ, would you be able to tell them apart?