Jun 30, 2015

Fiji [2015 finalists]

This June 30th, the public feedback channel of the 23 finalist designs will be closed and another round of the adoption of new Fijian national flag will start: the feedback will be sent to Parliament, where the new flag will be debated and chosen before October 10th, Fijian Independence Day.

This is the current Fiji flag:

It isn't an ingenious design, but the light blue of Pacific stands out. Having become a republic in 1987, the current Fiji government wants to drop the Union Jack, related to its colonial past.

From over 2,000 designs, a committee chose 23 designs, most of them mash-ups of different entries. As you can see, all entries contain the "Fiji blue", often combined with dark blue. Click to zoom:

The "mash-up" thing is evident: many entries follow the same pattern, possibly as a result of the initial intent of choosing only five designs. Entries 36 to 39, 46 and 52 to 53 follow the same dark-blue-triangle-on-hoist pattern; among them, I think #46 is the only one that's not too cluttered and work. You can see an abstract pattern in entries 42 to 44 and 56 to 57 and another on designs 40 to 41 and 54 and 55, and I'm not a fan of neither,

From remaining designs, we have #35, that's OK but not iconic enough for a national flag, the rest of them I think would be excellent choices, too. Among all, my favorite is design #47:

Now I have to speak a bit about the symbolism on all entries:

  • The light blue, as I previously told, is a link to current flag, and represents the Pacific Ocean, but also peace, serenity, freedom and the solidarity among all island nations.
  • Yellow is sun's color, thus represents radiance, life, sustenance and a new beginning. The sun stands for the same things, but also the warmth of Fijian people.
  •  Dark blue represents peace, prosperity, trust, dignity and intelligence, while red stands for the passion, strength and energy of Fijian people.
  • The triangle on hoist represents moving forward as a single people.
  • Stars represent guidance, navigation and direction. The number three represents the three branches of government (executive, legislative and judiciary), while seven is a number considered of good omen by most Fijians.
  • The Tagimoucia is a flower that only grows in Fiji, and is considered a symbol of blessings, peace and courage; the turtle represents humility, strength, patience and perseverance; the davui (conch shell trumpet) stands for community and respect, thus national unity; the drua represents Fiji's past, present and future, and the nation moving united towards future; tapa (cloth pattern) is a sign of Fijian heritage; and the coconut tree stands for sustenance and versatility.

It's importance to notice that Parliament can finally choose a design not among the 23 finalists, but popular feedback on those designs will be part of the debate. As soon as the final design is chosen, I'll send updates,

Comments and suggestions are welcome!