Let’s run this up the flagpole

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Two Queenstown artists have nailed their colours to the mast in the great New Zealand flag debate with this design. 

In the past fortnight, Kiwis have been arguing about introducing a new NZ flag after it emerged 11 of the country’s 22 Order of Merit members wanted a change, against five who did not. 

Resort-based artists Trevor Luzmoor and Minhal Al Halabi have stuck their oar in by coming up with an alternative design. 

The local pair’s flag keeps the Southern Cross of New Zealand and acknowledges the country’s British heritage by using the colours red, white and blue. 

They’ve combined this with the silver fern and seven koru to symbolise the country’s Maori heritage and culture, with the shape of the fern suggesting the hull of a waka, or Maori canoe, and Captain Cook’s 18th century discovery ship HMS Endeavour. 

“Our flag looks great when it’s flying in the wind,” Luzmoor says. 

Luzmoor and Al Halabi completed their eyecatching version a few weeks before the national flag debate flared up. 

They plan to put theirs forward if a new one is officially sought.
Prime Minister John Key got in on the act by sketching a silver fern when asked what he would like to see for a flag if it was changed. 

The PM’s doodle fetched $10,150 for charity in an online auction on Monday. 

“John Key might be a big name but we have the better flag,” Luzmoor jokes. 

Copies of the Queenstown artists’ flag are available at the Toi o Tahuna art gallery in Church Lane.