8 Sep 2009

Tokelau leader says new flag is symbol of developing national identity

6:47 pm on 8 September 2009

Tokelau's Ulu or leader, Foua Toloa, says the development of a flag and national symbol are all part of supporting a national identity.

The new flag was officially presented by the New Zealand Governor General at a ceremony in Wellington after approval was gained from the Queen.

It carries a yellow sailing canoe on a blue background with the Southern Cross in the top left hand corner.

The Ulu says a national anthem will be finalised next month and a ceremony organised to raise the flag on Tokelau itself and elsewhere:

"'We will be co-ordinating in a way that it will go up not only in the three islands, but also the communities of Tokelau elsewhere in the world. We will be giving, donating or presenting all the communities here, the eleven communities here, and in Australia, a flag and then co-ordinate with them that when we raise it in Tokelau, we hope it will be raised elsewhere."

Tokelau has also received approval for a national symbol, a jewel box, or fish box used for prized hooks and other valued items.