Date: 2007-08-18 16:41:00
te reo maori in mac os x

Today Amy noticed that I have a little Canadian flag on my menu bar (right). This comes from turning on the "Show input menu in menu bar" option in the International section of System Preferences (on Mac OS X, of course). I selected the standard "Canadian" layout which as far as I can tell is identical to the "U.S." layout with the exception of the icon (the Canadian French one is a bit different in order to be able to type accented letters).

I remarked to her that there wasn't a New Zealand option for the input menu, although there is an Australian option. Each option has an associated flag or icon that is displayed in the menu bar when that option is active. We did notice however, that there is a Maori option.

The flag associated with the Maori option in OS X, however, I have never seen before. The flag that I know as the Maori flag is black, white, and red and is easily found by Google image search. A bit more googling finds that the flag used by Mac OS X is the 1835 Declaration of Independence flag, and is similar to the one identified by Wikipedia as the Flag of the United Tribes of New Zealand.

I wonder why Apple has chosen to use a flag from over 170 years ago as the flag for Maori. Perhaps I should figure out how to suggest to them that they use the flag that is most commonly associated with the Maori culture.

I could submit an RTA to have it changed if you think it would matter to people.
Really, I'm more interested in the justification for the current choice. I'm making the assumption that whoever selected the flag icon has done at least as much research as I just did. :)

Perhaps the flag Apple chose was indeed the most recent officially recognised flag relating to Maori. The black-white-red flag was created around 1990 and has never been officially recognised.
If I was going to add other countries flags, I would probably try to contact them and ask them what to use, rather than imposing my all-knowing will on them . If that flag is indeed the more 'official' then it may have been the only proper choice of whatever representative responded.
Since I started relearning Latin, I found that Maori is the only obvious keyboard in Windows (and perhaps on the Mac too?) that enables typing the five vowels with macrons: ā ē ī ō ū... so I occasionally use the Maori keyboard!

(Sadly there is no Latin keyboard option... the similar lack of Esperanto keyboard means that Windows does not support 2 out of 3 languages I'm studying, damn them! Well, at least they do support Polish.)
At least toki pona is easy!
Greg Hewgill <>