Flag of Tokelau
|Design||A blue flag with a yellow stylised Tokelauan canoe in full sail, with in the space near the hoist a southern cross of four small white five-pointed stars. |
As Tokelau is a non-self-governing territory of New Zealand, the flag of New Zealand has been used as the official flag for Tokelau. However, in May 2008 the local parliament, the General Fono, approved a distinctive flag and national emblem for Tokelau. This flag has not yet been widely used for official purposes, but an official launch of the new flag was planned for October 2009. The Governor-General presented the flag to the Ulu-o-Tokelau as Tokelau's first official flag on 7 September 2009.
A referendum on self-determination in 2006 failed to carry (it was supported, but not with the necessary supermajority), and another one in October 2007 fell 16 votes short. 
Tokelau's Flag depicts a Tokelauan canoe sailing towards the manu (Southern Cross). The canoe symbolises Tokelau's journey towards finding the best governance structure for its people; the Southern Cross symbolises a navigational aid for the journey. The Southern Cross has helped Tokelauan fishermen navigate the waters around Tokelau for centuries while they have fished to sustain families and villages with its riches.
The white stars of the Southern Cross are a symbol of Christianity, an important part of everyday life in Tokelau. White also signifies the cooperation and unity among the atolls of Tokelau and a shared aspiration to secure a better life for Tokelauans. Yellow signifies a happy, peaceful community. Blue signifies the ocean on which Tokelauans depend for their livelihood and is also the colour of the sky which holds the stars that direct Tokelau's people.