Story: Ngā haki – Māori and flags

Ringatū flags: Hemi Te Poono with flag (2nd of 2)

Ringatū flags: Hemi Te Poono with flag

Hemi Te Poono of Te Teko stands by a Ringatū flag captured from Te Kooti by government forces during the battle of Te Pōrere in October 1869. One interpretation is that the letters 'WI' stood for the holy spirit (Wairua Tapu). The crescent moon was a tohu (portent) of a new world, and the red cross is the fighting cross of the Archangel Michael. The moon and cross reiterate the first two elements of Te Wepu, the flag of Ngāti Kahungunu which Te Kooti captured in 1868. Te Kooti probably took these images and incorporated them into a flag of his own design.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Dominion Post Collection (PAColl-7327)
Reference: EP/1972/2467/5-F

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:

Malcolm Mullholland, 'Ngā haki – Māori and flags - Māori religious movements and flags', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 30 June 2022)

Story by Malcolm Mullholland, published 20 Jun 2012