Do you know the meaning of every symbol on the Royal Coat of Arms, as shown on your passport? Some people do. But not very many.
The referendum result in New Zealand should be seen in those terms. People looked at the whole existing flag, and they saw the flag with which they were familiar.
Only very slightly less than one third of them did so in Auckland, which is just about as ethnically diverse a city as it is possible to imagine.
It will never have occurred to most of them what individual bits of it meant.
After all, this was, not least, the flag under which New Zealanders had fought on against Imperial Japan even after Churchill had pretty much abandoned them to their fate.