New York-based Kiwi expat Ronnie Peters left New Zealand in 1989. Like most expats, Ronnie is still heavily invested in Kiwi culture and identity despite living offshore. With the current debate about changing New Zealand’s flag, he wants to know what expats think.
Ronnie is the President and CEO of Planet Three Sixty, a digital design agency that build websites, apps, and digital solutions for top bands including American Express, The New York Times, Time Warner and Office Depot. Through out his career, Ronnie has made a living turning symbols and colours into globally-recognisable brands. With the impending flag referendums in New Zealand, Ronnie feels Kiwis now have a chance to do the same, to turn the New Zealand flag into something globally recognisable.
Ronnie has launched #MyKiwiFlag, a website, Facebook page, and Instagram account set up for Kiwis around the world to design and publish what they feel the New Zealand flag should look like, even if this is the current flag. Ronnie says by offering a space for Kiwis to show their designs, the debate can be brought into the public forum.
“The act of drawing something forces people to think deeply about the marks they are making and what those marks mean. By asking all New Zealanders to draw their flag, this will make them think about what a flag symbolizes for New Zealand. This is a very big decision that we are being asked to make and before choosing a design, we need to think as a nation what we stand for. We need a manifesto for New Zealand and a rich debate before deciding upon a design.”
Ronnie came up with the idea after realising a popular alternative to the New Zealand flag, a black background with a silver fern, was easily confused with a feather, a bent spear, or could look like a winding road, the New Zealand equivalent of the German symbol for the Autobahn. The entrepreneur wants all Kiwis wherever they live to think about the different ways New Zealand could be represented in a flag, and share these for public discussion.
“What visual symbol or symbols, colors and shapes best represent our country? What does it mean to be a New Zealander and how should our country be visually represented to the world for all time?”
The #MyKiwiFlag website allows anyone to upload their design and share their thoughts on the New Zealand flag. Find out more about #MyKiwiFlag below.
Ronnie Peters is a member of the World Class New Zealand network, a group of influential New Zealanders helping fellow Kiwis succeed in business around the world. If you wish to connect with Ronnie, or find out more about his work, please email us.