Story: Flags

Upside-down flag

Upside-down flag

The display of the New Zealand flag is guided by a series of protocols intended to uphold the honour of the flag. In 1988 the Evening Post published a photograph of the flag flying upside-down at the Old Government Buildings (now the Victoria University law school) in Wellington. This treatment of the flag is a breach of protocol. An upside-down flag is usually intended to cause offence, and has also been used as a distress signal. In this case the flag's position was probably not deliberate.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Dominion Post Collection (PAColl-7327)
Reference: EP/1988/3598/3
Photograph by Ross Giblin

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:

Kerryn Pollock, 'Flags - Flag law and protocol', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 17 June 2024)

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