Object: New Zealand Company / United Tribes flag
This image has Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons BY-NC-ND
You may download and use Te Papa’s images of this work as long as you meet the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives copyright licence. Fair dealing, as understood under the New Zealand Copyright Act 1994, also applies.
You must include the attribution credit provided when you download the image.
|Title||New Zealand Company / United Tribes flag|
Unknown (sewer (textile worker)), 1839
x 1930mm (Width)
x 45mm (Depth)
Overall: 1295mm (Height) x 1880mm (Width/Depth)
|Credit line||Gift of Andrew Haggerty Richard Gillespie, 1967|
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 Mäori. 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 Mäori 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.
Mäori attachment to flag
Despite the adoption of the Union Jack, the 1834 flag continues to have a special relevance to Mäori and to the Treaty of Waitangi.
Find additional information about this object at these sites
- 'Kotahitanga – unity movements - The first Kotahitanga movements, 1834 to 1840', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand
- New Zealand Company flag, 1839, at 'Kotahitanga – unity movements - The first Kotahitanga movements, 1834 to 1840', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand
- 'Flags - New Zealand flag', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Results from DigitalNZ
Searching 27 million digital objects from over 150 content partners across New Zealand
- United Tribesâ€™ flag: New Zealand Company flag, 1839 - Ministry for Culture and Heritage
- United Tribes' flag: New Zealand Company version - Ministry for Culture and Heritage
- United Tribes flag from Te Papa - Ministry for Culture and Heritage
- New Zealand Company flag, 1839 - Ministry for Culture and Heritage
Disclaimer: This information was created from historic documentation, and may not necessarily reflect the best available knowledge about the item. Some collection images are created for identification purposes only and may not be of reproduction quality. Some images are not available due to copyright restrictions. If you have information or questions about objects in the collection, contact us using our enquiry form. You can also find out more about Collections Online.