Thursday, February 22, 2007

NZ's silver fern

I was thrilled to see a few weeks ago, to celebrate NZ’s Waitangi Day in the US, a 100m Silver Fern sand sculpture on Santa Monica beach in LA, built by several hundred Kiwis. The project helped launch the website promoting New Zealand enterprise.

The silver fern is probably recognized as NZ’s national emblem, perhaps even more so than the Kiwi.

Folks from outside NZ probably aren’t aware of a major campaign underway to change the NZ flag to something more representative of the country and not just our past ownership by the British Empire and our long-term membership of the Commonwealth. What more fitting image, it’s argued, could there be than the silver fern.
Images range from the stylized to the more representative.

Kiwis are generally sport-mad. The silver fern is also the national emblem for all our sportspeople who represent the country on the international sports scene. You’ll always see a wee silver fern on the upper left-hand side of the predominantly black shirt. In fact, pretty much all our national teams’ names relate to the silver fern and the predominant national colour of black.

We have the All Blacks - the world’s best rugby team, the Silver Ferns - the world’s best netball team, the Black Caps – our male not-so-great cricketeers (but we still love ‘em) and Black Ferns – our women cricketeers, the Black Sticks – our hockey team, the Tall Blacks – our slowly-getting-better men’s basketball team, and the Tall Ferns is our women’s team, the Black Sox – our oft-times world-champs softball team, the All Whites – our soccer team, and the Black Ferns – our world champs in women’s rugby. Believe it or not, our world champs in wheelchair rugby are the Wheel Blacks and the NZ badminton team was temporarily named the Black Cocks. Temporarily being the operative word here.

But what does it look like in the real world? Well, the fern is green on one side and, you guessed it, silver on the other. It’s a very evocative plant.

It even made a stamp.


June said...

Hi there love your blog . I actually received it via a Tall Black google alert. All our FERN teams names have always fascinated me so I was chuffed to see you had posted something about it .I will post a link if I can get it to work on my blog page is this alright with you.June N . Whakatane NZ.

Kristen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristen said...

Hi June, I'd be delighted if you'd like to link re the Tall Blacks and the blog itself. And hi to everyone in Whakatane. My mum was born in Thornton and all the Meikles in Whakatane are cousins.

June said...

Hi Kirsten, would you believe I live on the Thornton Road [Main Highway], and I had 1 year at Thornton School. Are you related to the Meikles who owened the Meikles furniture shop. What a small world.My blog has a bit about the Growth of Whakatane in it.
Re The Hub.

Kristen said...

Re: tall Blacks: those are the very same Meikles! My mum's cousins. What a small world, June! What's the link for your blog, so I can e-mail you direct?

June said...;_ylt=AtYNViI.eQScL5Y0BNiI5B7kdeJ3
here is a link to my blog page . Lovely to hear from you again . Cheers June N.joons1twoArnies

June said...

Sorry that piece on the end was not supposed to be there . [after my name]