Seven flags other than the New Zealand Flag are shown for official purposes in New Zealand:
- The Governor-General's Flag
- The New Zealand Red Ensign
- The New Zealand White Ensign
- The Royal New Zealand Air Force Ensign
- The New Zealand Civil Air Ensign
- The Union Flag
The Governor-General's Flag
The Governor-General's flag is flown on all occasions when the Governor-General is present and takes precedence over the New Zealand Flag. It is flown continuously over Government House when the Governor-General is in residence and on vehicles used by the Governor-General for official occasions.
Find out more on the Governor-General's website.
New Zealand Red Ensign
New Zealand Government ships must fly the New Zealand Flag. New Zealand ships other than Government ships may fly the New Zealand Flag, the New Zealand Red Ensign or any flag authorised by either the Sovereign or the Governor-General.
The New Zealand Red Ensign is based on the Red Ensign usually flown by merchant ships registered in the United Kingdom. The Union Jack appears in the first quarter and the Southern Cross, represented by four five-pointed white stars, is featured in the fly.
The New Zealand Red Ensign has sometimes been flown incorrectly, both in New Zealand and overseas, in the belief that it is New Zealand's national flag.
However, it may be flown on land in places or on occasions of Māori significance. The Flags, Emblems, and Names Protection Act 1981 allows for the continuation of this traditional practice.
New Zealand White Ensign
Ships and commissioned shore establishments of the Royal New Zealand Navy fly the New Zealand White Ensign. This flag has the Union Jack in the first quarter, on a white background. The Southern Cross, represented by four five-pointed red stars, appears in the fly.
In 1968 the New Zealand White Ensign replaced the British White Ensign previously used by New Zealand naval ships. The New Zealand White Ensign is usually flown only during daylight hours, but in the event of war it would be flown continuously.
Royal New Zealand Air Force Ensign
The Royal New Zealand Air Force Ensign is hoisted daily at Air Force establishments. It is also flown on Royal New Zealand Air Force aeroplanes carrying Foreign and Commonwealth Heads of State and Heads of Government, the Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers, Chiefs of Staff, Ambassadors and other distinguished people.
The ensign has a light blue ground with the Union Jack in the first quarter and the Air Force roundel on the fly.
New Zealand Civil Air Ensign
The New Zealand Civil Air Ensign may be flown on any New Zealand aircraft, licensed aerodrome, or place authorised as an aerodrome. Airlines owning New Zealand aircraft may fly the ensign upon or close to their main office or place of business.
The Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand may also fly the New Zealand Civil Air Ensign on its buildings and aircraft. To fly the Ensign you must get permission in writing from the Director of Civil Aviation (address below).
The New Zealand Civil Air Ensign features a dark blue Latin cross edged with white on a light blue background. A Union Jack appears in the first quarter and four five-pointed red stars in the lower half of the fly.
Send any inquiries about the New Zealand Civil Air Ensign to:
The Director of Civil Aviation
Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand
PO Box 3555
The Union Flag, more commonly known as the Union Jack, is the British national flag. It appears in the first quarter of the New Zealand Flag and the other ensigns referred to this section, as a result of the historical ties with the United Kingdom.
Today the Union Jack is of an equal rank when flown with other national flags. It is only appropriate to fly the Union Jack where a direct link exists with the United Kingdom or in recognition of a distinguished British visitor.
The New Zealand White Ensign, The Royal New Zealand Air Force Ensign and The New Zealand Civil Air Ensign images on this page are courtesy of Flags of the World.
Updated on 12th September 2022