Māori beneath United Tribes flag

Māori beneath United Tribes flag

This sketch by Edward Markham shows two Māori figures beneath the United Tribes flag chosen by northern Māori chiefs in 1834.

Descriptions of the flag

The drawing of the flag's design sent to the King by Governor Bourke shows a large flag with the red cross of St George on a white background, and a smaller red St George's cross in the top left-hand corner on a blue background. The smaller cross has a wide black border and a white eight-pointed star in each of the blue quarters divided by the cross.

Descriptions of the flag published in the New South Wales Gazette, the Admiralty's flag book of 1845 and William Yate's account of New Zealand in 1835 differ in the colour of the border around the smaller St George's cross and the number of points on the stars. A version with a white border around the cross and six-pointed stars was hoisted by the New Zealand Company when Colonel William Wakefield and the Tory landed at Petone beach in September 1839. The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa holds a flag believed to be that used by Wakefield. The Shaw Savill and Albion shipping company adopted a very similar version as its house flag.

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