Fiji Still Looking for New Flag Designs

UPDATE: Fiji has cancelled its plans to change its flag.

The newfijiflag.com website hasn’t yet been updated, but according to the following media release from late last year, the process to choose a new flag for Fiji is once again moving forward and will be completed this year by the 7th of September.  Note that design submissions are currently being accepted, up until Leap Day, Monday, 29 February 2016.

MEDIA RELEASE: EXTENSION OF FIJI FLAG FEEDBACK PERIOD

The Fijian Government has announced the extension of the feedback period for designs for the new national flag to February 29, 2016.

The Government has received a number of new submissions since the 23 designs were published earlier this year.

From March 1 to 19, five designs will be chosen, through the PM’s Office, for members of the public to vote on. Members of the public will have 3 months to vote on the 5 designs through public consultations, social media and text messaging.

It is expected that the design with the most votes will be announced on 1 July to be our new national flag. The new national flag will be raised on Constitution Day which is on September 7.

Submissions for new designs can be sent to newfijiflag@gmail.com, hand delivered to the Department of Information, Ground Floor, New Wing, Government Buildings, 26 Gladstone Road, Suva or mailed to the Department of Information, PO Box 2225, Government Buildings, Suva.

Furthermore, yesterday Luke Rawalie of The Fiji Times published a short article summarizing Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama’s recent statements regarding the flag change process.  It’s entitled New flag ‘inevitable’, and contains this information of particular interest to anyone wishing to submit a new design:

Responding to calls from members of the public on the island for the retention of the coat of arms because of its symbolic status to the people of Fiji and its history, Mr Bainimarama said the only feature of the flag to be retained would be its navy [sic] blue colour. Apart from that, Mr Bainimarama said everything in the new flag would change and be replaced including the coat of arms.

Designers might also want to consider the aforementioned 23 selected designs from Fiji’s 2015 competition:

Designers might also find inspiration (or, on the other hand, examples of what not to do) from these submissions to Reddit’s /r/vexillology January 2013 contest to design a new flag for Fiji.

 

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Author: SDM

Ethnography * Technology * Design

4 thoughts on “Fiji Still Looking for New Flag Designs”

  1. I still can’t comprehend how Ted Kaye gave the OK to those 23 flags. All those flags with pictograms…come on! It is most unusual to have two shades of the same color on a flag, it seems to be forbidden actually. Also, flags with curves look like logos. Since flags are flying, lines become curves in the wind, so that logos are unnecessary complications. And that pale yellow on pale blue?!? Isn’t there a rule in vexillology against it? I think so… All flags fail miserably in symbolism. The number of sun rays has no signification, and really those flags look like childish. I hope the government will get unbiaised, competent advice from a community of vexillologists next time.

    1. I’d just like to clarify that Ted Kaye served the flag selection committee in an internal advisory role, not a decision-making one in which he would “give the OK” (or not) to any particular design. Regarding vexillological rules and “forbidden” color combinations, I don’t think there are any such things, outside of the western heraldic tradition — there are some guidelines, and there are evaluative judgments (expert or otherwise). I’m waiting to see how the extended process plays out, after which I’m looking forward to hearing more from Ted about what this complex and political process looked like “from the inside”.

  2. I see your point, but in that case we can conclude that the flag committee didn’t get the message obviously. Before leaving Fiji, Ted Kaye said that any of those 23 flags would be great for Fiji… really? I suppose he was just trying to be diplomatic… Anyway, the whole process was just a big farce in Fiji. Not a single design from the public was selected. In the booklet “Good Flag Bad Flag”, it is written that it is a bad idea for the flag committee to actually design the flag. It just kills the whole democratic process, doesn’t? I suppose the public reception in any country would always be better if there is a genuine competition.

    I hope that NAVA or PFA will be contacted again by the Fiji government to get an independent, honest and professional opinion about the 5 designs that may be chosen from the public.

    As for “forbidden” combinations of colors, there are certainly in the western tradition some rules (gold and argent shall not be superposed, etc.) but don’t you reckon that a white star over 3 horizontal stripes of different “strenght” like on the flag of Myanmar creates some eye watering effect? A small yellow sun over a light blue field is somewhat invisible… Obviously, someone on the flag committee loved yellow or brown on light blue… I think there are rules with color, even though cultural factors are to be considered… some combinations are just plain ugly…

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