Story: Ngā haki – Māori and flags

Māori flags at Waitangi Day, 2008

Māori flags at Waitangi Day, 2008

A large number of Māori flags are being flown as a large group crosses the bridge at Waitangi. At the top is the United Tribes’ flag of 1834 with St George’s cross on a white background and four white stars with a blue background. This was New Zealand’s first national flag. Below that is a flag called Kotahitanga, which has red, white and black stripes. In the centre a patu (club) crosses over what could be a roll of parchment. The Kotahitanga movement of the 19th century had a deed of union to which Māori signed up, sometimes referred to as kirihipi or parchment. There are a number of Te Mana Motuhake o Tūhoe (The independence of the Tūhoe people) flags, which are red, white, black and green. There are also several tino rangatiratanga (self-determination) flags, red, black and white with a koru in the centre. That flag became formally recognised as the national Māori flag in 2009. There is also a US flag featuring a native American wearing feathers in his hair, holding a peace pipe and clothed in buckskin.

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How to cite this page:

Malcolm Mullholland, 'Ngā haki – Māori and flags - Flags and protest', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 5 June 2023)

Story by Malcolm Mullholland, published 20 Jun 2012