A King's Colour awarded to the New Zealand (Maori) Pioneer Battalion by King George V in 1919.
The King's Colour
The King's Colour awarded to the New Zealand (Maori) Pioneer Battalion symbolises 'the honour of the battalion, and the blood of soldiers killed and wounded in battle'. It was one of the 13 flags awarded to units of the NZEF of the First World War. As the Pioneer Battalion was disbanded shortly after its arrival back in New Zealand, and was not recalled, the King's Colour was not consecrated, presented or paraded by the Battalion. It was stored by the last commander of the Battalion. In 1939 his widow presented the King's Colour to the Minister of Native Affairs, hoping that it could be used by the newly formed 28th (Maori) Battalion. But as military protocol would not allow one unit to take up another unit's colours, the flag ended up in the Dominion Museum.
The flag lay at the museum until 1988 when the last commander of the 28th Maori Battalion, Sir James Henare, and others initiated a search for it. After it was recovered it was embroidered with the number and title of the Pioneer Battalion. It was consecrated and paraded before members of the 28th Maori Battalion Association in 1993.
'Better late than never', Mana Magazine, No. 3, Aug/Sept 1993, pp. 86-89.
'Kings Colour flies at Waitangi', Te Maori News, 4, 2, Feb 1995, p. 3.