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New Zealand Military Flags

Last modified: 2017-01-18 by ian macdonald
Keywords: blue ensign | new zealand army | canton: national flag | officer cadet school | royal new zealand returned services association | rsa | taranaki volunteers | waireka | crown: guelphic | mount egmont | cross: red on black |
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New Zealand Army

[ National Flag of New Zealand ] image by Sam Lockton, 31 August 2002
Flag ratio 1:2

The New Zealand Army uses the National Flag of New Zealand.

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Officer Cadet School flag

[ Officer Cadet School flag ] image by António Martins, 25 April 2006
Flag ratio 12:15

The size is 3 ft 9 in wide, and 3 ft 0 in deep on the pike, plus gold fringe. The central red circle is almost one third the depth of the flag.
T.F. Mills, 26 March 2000

Taranaki Rifle Volunteer Corps Colour

[Taranaki Rifle Volunteer Corps Colour] image by António Martins, 6 May 2007

The Taranaki Rifle Volunteer Corps was raised in November 1858, and was accepted for service on 13th January 1859. In 1860, during the war against the Maori, it took part in the battle of Waitaka or Waireha, and in the engagements of Waihihi and Mahoetahi Pa. Colours were presented to a number of militia and volunteer units in 1861. The unit was disbanded in 1865, but reformed in 1876.

The badge in the centre represents Mount Egmont, the most prominent feature in the Taranaki area. The battle honour 'Waireha' was unofficial; the honour for the campaign was simply 'New Zealand'. When new colours were presented in 1936, Waireha was dropped and replaced by the 'correct' version.

As a rifles unit, according to British Army custom, the Taranakis should not have been presented with a colour. But it was done nevertheless, and similar, contemporary, units in the UK were also presented with colours, made up by local residents, as is the case here. Because they were unofficial, there are wide variations in style.
Ian Sumner, 8 May 2007

David Prothero, 7 May 2007

I wonder whether anyone can explain the very "continental"-looking crown on this flag.
Peter Johnson, 7 May 2007

I haven't got a definite answer. But in the UK, the Rifle Brigade bore a similar crown on its badge, the only regiment to do so (militaria collectors sometimes refer to it as a Guelphic crown). Perhaps whoever designed the colour thought that such a crown was appropriate for a rifles unit, rather than the version with fewer arches that was the usual Victorian crown on Army badges. The Rifle Brigade's subsidiary title was The Prince Consort's Own, so there is certainly a German connection in there.
Ian Sumner, 8 May 2007

I seem to remember the Taranaki Volunteers were founded by Gustavus von Tempsky. Von Tempsky was once of New Zealand's early military heroes and Prussian by birth.
James Dignan, 9 May 2007

Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association

[ Royal New Zealand Returned Services' Association ] image by Sam Lockton, 08 December 2002

The flag of the Royal New Zealand Returned Services' Association (RSA) is divided into 3 horizonal bars (blue-yellow-blue) with the Union Flag in the usual upper left and the RSA logo centred on the yellow bar.
Sam Lockton, 08 December 2002

I've finally managed to get a close look at this flag - or at least the version of it for my local branch (which has the word DUNEDIN in the bottom stripe), and notice several shortcomings on the logo shown above.

Firstly, the badge is not black, but is rather grey, with the (St Edward's) crown in grey and red with a white background.

Secondly, although the organisation is always known as the Returned Services Association, the badge actually says "Returned And Services' Association", which came as quite a surprise to me.
James Dignan, 22 April 2006

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