August 18th, 2007


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.