June 6, 2004

Flag It

Did you enjoy your long weekend?
You know why it was a long weekend right?

Well, there it was again. Another debate about changing the New Zealand Flag. The first wind I caught of this was when I was back in High School, and here it is - still raging today. If we are still talking about changing the flag, then why don't we have a referendum for it?
I've heard this discussion plenty of times on Newstalk ZB, Good Morning, Dallow's new Agenda, and I guess Flipside and the rest too.

So what would we change it to?
It's fun to think about what we could possibly put onto a blank canvas and proudly declare that the New Zealand Flag. Something that is distincly New Zealand.
Many have suggested a silver fern or a kiwi inside the southern cross. How about just a black flag with a silver fern?
I could be here all day trying to come up with ideas better than yours.

I agree too, that it is difficult to recognise ours from the Australian flag - especially at events such as the Olympics.

Wouldn't it be helpful for the world to be able to recognise our flag also?

You're probably reading this thinking, I'm not learning anything new here. It's been discussed so much that we need resolution, coz frankly it's getting on my nerves now.

What of Maori?
Should we add a maori symbol also, or if that ruffles too many feathers on both sides, should we go for the two flag nation thing? This a kicker that puts a lot of pakeha in doubt. It would be great to have SOMETHING of Maori significance on our new flag, maybe that tiki thing, or a fish hook - or even that Koru based flag that Maori activists wave around?

I dug up some old pointers from my school debates and read without much surprise that most of my points are still valid today, and since this is my blog - HERE'S WHAT I THINK:

I am patriotic. I think it should be left alone.

New Zealand (and Australian) Anzacs fought for our flags. New Zealand Anzac Dawn services are having record breaking turnouts at 6am - on a SUNDAY morning! Even youth are accounted for (of course they may have just fallen out of a nightclub, but I digress).
Pakeha and Maori died for this flag, this country, our people and our way of life in our corner of the world. I respect traditions, heritage and culture. I also have great admiration and respect for Maori.

-I love the Union Jack. It looks like a bit of TukuTuku Panel Art to me.
-I love the Southern Cross - its unique to our hemisphere, and its old school navigation used by early maori settlers, and aided Cook in his travel to NZ. Symbols like these are key elements in our history.
-I like the colours. Blue, Red and White. Much better than black.
-I also like the fact that it looks like the Australian flag. Surprised?
We have similar flags, as we are similar nations. We fought as brothers in many Wars, we both have Tribal origins, we play Rugby against each other and can talk about it over a BBQ or Fish N Chips afterward. And our Anzacs can happily share a pint too. I like that association. How can I fault that?

I can only conjure the NZ flag when singing the National Anthem at my 11 year old sisters Intermediate School during Friday Assembly. Thats when families are invited to attend.
As for 'Advance Australia Fair', well that's their problem if they can't feel proud of their country by singing that.

Foundations of our nation are to be treated with utmost care. We are not our own Republic, we are a British Colony. We have more pressing issues such as the Treaty Of Waitangi to sort out before we even THINK of changing our nations flag.

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