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New Zealand Royal and Vice Regal Flags

Last modified: 2005-04-23 by
Keywords: new zealand | governor | governor-general | lieutenant-governor | garland | fern | stars: 4 | star: 5 points (red) |
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Personal Flag of HM The Queen of New Zealand

[ Personal Flag of HM The Queen of New Zealand ]
by Blas Delgado Ortiz, 9 May 2001

The Queen's Personal Flag for New Zealand symbolises the fact that Queen Elizabeth II is The Queen of New Zealand. Adopted in 1962, it is flown only by Her Majesty when in this country. The Flag is the shield design of the New Zealand Coat of Arms in the form of an oblong or square. Superimposed in the centre is a dark blue roundel bearing a Roman "E" surmounted by a Royal Crown within a garland of roses all in gold. The central device is from The Queen's Personal Flag which is frequently used by Her Majesty in relation to Her position as head of the Commonwealth.
Rob Raeside, 7 March 2002, quoting from New Zealand’s Government flag page


Governor-General

[ Governor-General of New Zealand ]1:2
by Željko Heimer, crest image by Graham Bartram, 17 March 2001

Circa 1937, the New Zealand Governor's flag was the "standard blue" type governors flag with lion standing on crown above scroll.
David Prothero, 3 July 1997


Dominion of New Zealand

[ Governor-General of New Zealand ]1:2
by Željko Heimer, 20 March 2001

Many years ago I read (sorry, but I don`t remember where I read this) that inscription on the ribbon was: "DOMINION OF NEW ZEALAND"
Victor Lomantsov, 18 March 2001


Lieutenant-Governor (before 1841)

During this time, New Zeland was a dependency of New South Wales.
James Dignan, 7 July 1997


Governor (1869-1874)

[ Governor (1869-1874) ] 1:2
by Martin Grieve, 2 January 2005

New flags were announced in the New Zealand Gazette, Saturday 23rd October 1869, including a Jack with "four five pointed white stars on the red ground of the St George's Cross".

The jack is a misinterpretation of the Order in Council of 7th August 1869; "... Governors ...administering the Governments of British Colonies and Dependencies be authorised to fly the Union Jack, with the Arms or Badge of the Colony emblazoned in the centre thereof." It seems to have been assumed that since the four stars of the Southern Cross on the Blue Ensign were spread across the whole fly and not confined to a small circle, the stars on the Union Jack should be similarly spread.
David Prothero, 2 January 2005

See also: The announcement in the New Zealand Gazette.

Governor (1874-1908)

[ Governor (1874-1908) ]1:2
by António Martins and Jaume Ollé, 25 March 2000

The mistake in the Jack [of 1869] was not corrected until 29th October 1874 when it was announced, "... that the seal or badge to be worn in the Union Jack used by the Governor of New Zealand when embarked in any boat or other vessel shall be the Southern Cross as represented by four five-pointed red stars emblazoned on the white shield aforesaid, and the monogram NZ in red letters in the centre of the Southern Cross."
David Prothero, 2 January 2005

See also: The announcement in the New Zealand Gazette.

Governor (1908-1936)

[ Governor (1908-1935) ] 1:2
by António Martins, fern garland provided by Phil Nelson, 16 March 2000

I recently read an interesting article on New Zealand flags (which seemed to come from a post-1962 encyclopedia - perhaps the "New Zealand Encyclopedia"), which included a small bit on vice-regal flags. This source seems to imply that in 1874, as a result of the actions of (Governor?) Sir James Fergusson, (and in accordance with the directions emanating from the Admiralty in 1869), it was decided [my comments in square brackets]:

the badge to be worn in the Union Jack used by the Governor of New Zealand when embarked in any vessel {shall be the Southern Cross as represented by four five-pointed red stars emblasoned on a white shield, with the monogram "NZ" in red letters in the centre of the Southern Cross}. Succeeding Governors found it convenient to use this flag on shore [as in the rest of the Empire] and it became accepted as the official vice-regal flag. In 1907, following New Zealand's promotion from "colony" to "dominion", New Zealand ministers asked that the garland of laurels should be replaced by one of fern leaves, [which, of course, is one of NZ's national symbols]. With this alteration, the flag continued to be used by successive Governors until about 1935. In January 1931, a new vice-regal flag was designed... [the Royal Crest in Gold, with the name of the Dominion in gold beneath, all on a blue field]. As neither Lord Bledisloe, [whom I assume was Governor in the early 1930s], nor his minsters were sympathetic to the change, the flag was not favoured until after Lord Galway's arrival [whom I assume became Governor General of NZ c.1935].
Glen Hodgins, 23 Feburary 1999

The first official flag with fern leaves appeared in about 1908. In a letter dated 5th January 1908 the Governor-General of NZ requested that the garland around the badge on his flag be changed from the usual green laurel leaves, which had been used until then, to a garland of fern leaves, and referred to the garland of maple leaves surrounding the badge on the flag of the Gov.-Gen. of Canada as a precedent. This was no problem since the original regulations only stipulated that the device on the flags of Governors should be surrounded by a green garland without specifying the type of leaves. (Source: PRO file, ADM 116/1072)
David Prothero, 9 September 1998


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