When the designer built Red Peak, he made one half from traditional Māori weaving patterns and one half from the Union Jack and Southern cross of our current flag.
He brought these two equal sides together as a whole. Like a hongi for the Treaty of Waitangi.
Then he looked at his finished design and he saw: The night sky, the blue dawn, the earth and our snow-capped mountain ranges - all tied together with the story of Rangi & Papa.
"Well, maybe that's what the designer saw. But it still doesn't say New Zealand to me."
No worries, because here's the magic thing about this bunch of triangles: They give YOU the power. The power to see the New Zealand you know and love in them. Whatever that might be for you.
Maybe you see: A pohutukawa blooming by a white sandy beach. The wharenui of your marae. A red lantern at the Chinese New Year festival. The All Blacks forming their triangular haka. A container of our finest exports embarking overseas. An Anzac poppy and the dawn of Gallipoli. A red spinnaker puffing out on the harbour. A DOC hut on a snowy mountain...
The point is, we all see New Zealand differently. We all experience being a New Zealander differently. And by embracing that difference, we make this land an
awesome place to be.
Under this flag, every Kiwi is represented equally. And each and every one of us has an equal right to have a say about what's important for New Zealand. It respects us. It unites us.
Now we're talking about something much more important than just selling 'brand New Zealand' to the world - we're talking about something worth putting on our flag.
"But I just want a flag that screams New Zealand, no questions asked."
Fred Peak - 'We don't know how lucky we are!'
Some people think we shouldn't have to use our brains when we look at our flag. But why is that? Kiwi brains got us where we are today, and they can get us to an even better place in the future. Red Peak gets you thinking for yourself about what you love about New Zealand. So the more you think about it, the more 'New Zealandness' you'll see in it.
Maybe you reckon that the silver fern seems like a better solution. No one has to think too hard about it, because it's already an enduring and unique emblem for New Zealand. But for lots of reasons, the silver fern isn't right for our flag.
The fern designs on offer are poorly illustrated and too detailed for a flag. By putting the fern on a multi-coloured background and cramming it together with other symbols like the Southern Cross, we disrespect it culturally.
And with all the different silver fern designs we already have in New Zealand, we're running the risk of overdosing on fern. If we keep it off our flag, the silver fern retains its mana. Our flag can fly alongside it, supporting the silver fern instead of competing with it.
So, let's recap. This little bunch of triangles gets you:
- Picturing what's most important to you about New Zealand
- Accepting everyone has a different experience of being Kiwi
- Treating every New Zealander as equally important
- Using your brain to think for yourself
- Feeling even more patriotic about respecting our silver fern
- Aiming to make this country an even more awesome place to live
"Ok, I guess that's kinda cool..."
Nice one. So now you're coming round, pretty soon you'll be wanting to convert all your friends to Red Peak too. But the problem you'll face is this: It's difficult at the start, when a symbol is new. Newness is different. Difference can be scary. To make a change, not just a compromise, but a real change, you have to be courageous.
Some of your friends will say. "That Red Peak, it's just a bunch of triangles..."
So, you're going to have to tell them what YOU think. You're going to have to tell them why Red Peak is your New Zealand. But if all goes pear-shaped, you can just show them how bloody brilliant it looks flying in the breeze.