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Did you know New Zealand has two flags?

June 7, 2023

Te Kara’s official name is the Flag of the United Tribes of New Zealand – Te Kara o Te Whakaminenga o Nga Hapu o Nu Tireni.

As trading grew between New South Wales and New Zealand, there arose the need for an official flag for ships. On 20 March 1834, NZ’s first British Resident, James Busby, held a gathering of 25 northern chiefs to vote on three designs for an official Māori flag. Hundreds of supporters, missionaries, settlers and the commanders of 10 British and 3 American ships were also present. Te Kara was the winning design and was hoisted here at Waitangi accompanied by a 21 gun salute from HMS Alligator.

An interesting fact is that Te Kara has never been decommissioned and is thus still a legally recognised flag of New Zealand, It flies at Waitangi at all times, along with the Union flag and the second NZ flag which has been in use since 1902.