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13 MAY 2011

Flag of the United Tribes of New Zealand

"This flag was made on the Tory during its voyage from England to New Zealand in 1839 and raised at Petone on 30 September. The Tory carried New Zealand Company agents who intended to buy land from Maori. William Wakefield, the principal agent, referred to the flag as the 'colours of New Zealand' and the Tory gave it a twenty–one gun salute. It is possibly one of several used by the Company.

The flag's design was based on a flag adopted by a group of Maori chiefs at Waitangi in 1834 when New Zealand was an independent territory. The flag came to be known as the flag of the United Tribes of New Zealand, a term derived from an 1835 declaration of the country's independence by a group of northern chiefs.

The flag was the New Zealand Company's acknowledgement of the independent status of the country. After chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi with the British Crown in February 1840, the Union Jack was used as the national flag. When the Company continued to use the original New Zealand flag, Lieutenant–Governor William Hobson saw this as a challenge to the Crown's authority and dispatched an armed party to lower it on 30 June 1840. The next day the Union Jack was raised and British sovereignty proclaimed.

Despite the adoption of the Union Jack, the 1834 flag continues to have a special relevance to Maori and to the Treaty of Waitangi."

(Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa)

Fig.1 New Zealand Company flag, 1839, gift made to The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa by Andrew Haggerty Richard Gillespie, 1967

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TAGS

1834 • 1835 • 1839 • 1840Aotearoa New Zealand • British Crown • British historycolonial history • colours of New Zealand • flag • independent status • independent territory • Maori • Maori chiefs • Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa • national flag • national identity • New Zealand Company • Petone • sovereigntysymbolTe Papa Tongarewa • Tory (ship) • Treaty of WaitangiUnion Flag • United Tribes of New Zealand • vexillologyvisual identityvoyage • Waitangi • William Hobson • William Wakefield

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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