Story: Tūranganui-a-Kiwa tribes

Te Kooti’s flag (1st of 2)

Te Kooti’s flag

This is Te Kooti’s personal battle flag, known as Te Wepu (the whip). Te Kooti captured it from Ngāti Kahungunu in 1868. The flag was very large, measuring 16 x 1.2 metres. The crescent moon is a portent of a new world, and the red cross is the fighting cross of the Archangel Michael. The mountain represents New Zealand, and the bleeding heart the suffering of the Māori people.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: A-173-031
Ink drawing by Gilbert Mair

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Nick Tūpara, 'Tūranganui-a-Kiwa tribes - Contacts and conflicts', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 19 May 2022)

Story by Nick Tūpara, published 8 Feb 2005, updated 1 Mar 2017