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New Zealand - Sport Flags

Last modified: 2018-06-08 by ian macdonald
Keywords: sport | new zealand olympic committee | all blacks |
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New Zealand Olympic Committee

[ NZ Olympic flag ] image by Dean Thomas, 10 September 2004

The New Zealand Olympic Committee uses a flag like the Olympic flag with in base a white silver fern leaf outlined in black overlapping the yellow and green rings.
James Dignan, 15 Dec 1997

When the NZOCGA renamed itself the NZOC in 1994, the flag was changed to a white background with the Olympic rings in its five colors. The Silver Fern was rendered in black. As the Commonwealth Games Federation now has a new emblem (introduced in 2001), the NZOC flag is no longer used to represent New Zealand athletes at the Commonwealth Games.
Dean Thomas, 10 September 2004

James Dignan told us that "The New Zealand Olympic Committee uses the five ringed Olympic flag, with a white silver fern leaf (outlined in black) in base, overlapping the yellow and green rings", but the images above, actually show the fern in chief, overlapping the blue, black and purple rings.

Indeed, the latter is how the flag appears in http://www.olympic.org.nz/sites/olympic/files/photos/IMGP3542.JPG, at http://www.olympic.org.nz/nzoc/news/innsbruck-2012-kiwis-land-in-innsbruck, with the fern over the Olympic Symbol, overlapping the blue and black rings. (I found no photographs where the fern was overlapping the purple ring, though.

[ NZ Olympic flag ] image by Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 17 April 2012

I couldn't find a photograph of the former, but since we're even given the details about the overlapping, I assume it's a description of a real flag. I have therefore made a tentative image, by carefully hacking Dean's 2002 image to bits. It's likely that the fern would have been slightly more horizontal in such a design, though.

I have not found any regulations that define the NZOC's emblem or its flag. I did notice that their website, http://www.olympic.org.nz, is rather based on the emblem on a black background. I'm not sure whether this means that that version too holds official status. It does show the fern over the Olympic Symbol, as do our depictions of it, which makes it more curious if the next flag indeed had the fern below it. I hope there's a way to determine the time line for these flags.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 17 April 2012

See also: National Olympic Committees


The Black Olympic Flag

[ Previous NZ Olympic flag ] image by Dean Thomas, 10 September 2004

The Silver Fern and Rings emblem was first introduced to represent the NZOCGA in 1979 as a marketing symbol. It was intended to be used on the athletes uniforms and on merchandise. It was simply a depiction of the rings and the silver fern in monotone (rings same color as the fern). As the NZ athletes primary team color was black, the background of the NZOCGA flag reflected this symbolism.

The flag was used by the NZ Team at the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow when the NZ Government withdrew permission for (what was left of) the NZ Olympic Team to use the New Zealand national flag as a symbol of protest against the USSR intervention of Afghanistan. This flag also flew from the main grandstand at the 1990 Auckland (NZ) Commonwealth Games to represent the host national sporting association.
Dean Thomas, 10 September 2004


New Zealand All Blacks

[ NZ All Blacks ] image by Sam Lockton, 8 September 2002

Ron Lahav reported a slightly different version of a silver fern flag celebrating the national rugby union team. This version, without the text 'NEW ZEALAND', can be seen on Italian blog. 10 February 2008