December 15, 2015
Fern showing the way for flag choice in the dark
A member of the Flag Consideration Panel, Malcolm Mulholland, says the silver fern is a symbol with considerable resonance for Maori.
The Kyle Lockwood-designed black, blue and white fern is the preferred choice of the first flag referendum, meaning it will be put up against the existing flag in a binding referendum next March.
Mr Mulholland says while people were looking for Maori content in the koru and red peak designs, the fern has whakapapa too.
"Our people used to use it as a homing beacon so if we were walking into the forest late at night we would cut off the frond and flip them up so the silver facing the sky and the moonlight would reflect off that and so they would know how to get home. Of course there's the whakatauki as one frond withers and dies another one fills to take it's place, which is about regeneration another nice story in terms of the flag," says Malcolm Mulholland.
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