Story: Flags

United Tribes' flag: New Zealand Company version (4th of 4)

United Tribes' flag: New Zealand Company version

The New Zealand Company raised this version of the United Tribes' flag at Petone on 30 September 1839. The flag was made out of wool and linen, on the ship Tory during the voyage to New Zealand from England. It was probably based on an incomplete description of the original United Tribes' flag, which had been published in the New South Wales Gazette in 1835. The stars are six-pointed, rather than eight-pointed as in the original, and the smaller St George's cross does not have a border. The flag is now housed at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

After the Treaty of Waitangi was signed on 6 February 1840 the Union Jack became New Zealand's recognised flag, but the New Zealand Company continued to fly the United Tribes' flag. Governor William Hobson described this as high treason, and sent an armed party to lower the United Tribes' flag and hoist the Union Jack in June 1840.

About this item

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Reference: GH002925

Permission of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Kerryn Pollock, 'Flags - New Zealand flag', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/object/33969/united-tribes-flag-new-zealand-company-version (accessed 17 January 2018)

Story by Kerryn Pollock, published 20 Jun 2012, reviewed & revised 20 Apr 2016