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Māori sovereignty flag, 1990

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Acknowledgements:
Copyright Reproduced courtesy of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Creator Hiraina Marsden, designer, 1990 Linda Munn, designer, 1990 Jan Smith, designer, 1990
Identifiers Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa number ME017399 TLF resource R4716
Source Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Description:

This is the flag of the Māori tino rangatiratanga (sovereignty) movement. Designed by Hiraina Marsden, Jan Smith and Linda Munn in 1990, the flag consists of three sections - black over white over red. The white stripe is broken by a circular, spiral-like koru pattern. The flag is made of nylon and measures 135 cm x 75 cm.

Educational value:
  • This asset is a flag that has become an important symbol of the Māori tino rangatiratanga (sovereignty) movement, and has come to represent an alternative national flag, especially for Māori nationalists.
  • It presents a design that represents the balance of the forces of nature and symbolises a white cloud rolling across the face of the land, as in the Māori name for New Zealand, Aotearoa (land of the long white cloud).
  • It is a contemporary expression of Māori tino rangatiratanga (sovereignty) that has become an instantly recognisable symbol of Māori nationalism.
  • It is a flag that has become a focal point for Māori protest, especially with regard to differing interpretations of the Treaty of Waitangi by Māori i and Pakeha (European New Zealanders) and the overall position of Māori in New Zealand society.
  • It is an example of a protest item that has become a feature of the commemoration of Waitangi Day on 6 February each year, when Māori highlight grievances and call for the government to honour the Treaty of Waitangi.

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