“To flag, or not to flag, the flag “

Duncan Brown has suggested I share his post here: To flag, or not to flag, the flag.

I’m happy to post an alternate view to mine on the flag change debate.

Right up front, I’ll be voting for the status quo. It surprises me how little I thought about our current flag until ‘they’ threatened to take it away – just like the kid who lunges for their long-discarded toy when their nearby sibling makes a move on it, I suspect.

And I admit it, there is little logic to the pride I’ve felt as I’ve driven around and noted the huge numbers of New Zealand flags flying where once there were none. Just quietly, I’ve been surprised at how few poles have supported the one that inside my mind I call ‘the impostor.’

Duncan considers many of the flag arguments.

It’s time for a change i.e. let’s have change for the sake of change. That just sounds like the seven-year itch in real estate. And as in real estate, timing is everything.

It’s John Key’s vanity project. I don’t agree, but so what if it is. To base your own opinion for or against a flag on the basis of an identity is rather short-sighted and narrow-minded. And the same goes for celebrities, sporting heroes, leader-writers and movie stars. It’s what they say that’s important, not their public persona.

Our flag is often mistaken for Australia’s. So let them change theirs, they’re a whole lot closer to becoming a republic than New Zealand. And there’s another point. If we are to change the flag – and I suspect that those who want a change won’t let the issue go – let’s do it when we have a good reason.

Should we really change the flag – with all the effort and cost involved – just because officials in some sporting or political arena have been in too great a hurry and made a mistake? It’s not like we’re the only country with that minuscule problem, have a look at these.

Having the Union Jack is archaic; Britain dumped us for the EEC. Fair point, we are no longer just a colony. But the Union Jack also represents New Zealand’s collective history, and the Treaty between Maori and the British. Although much has happened since (and there have been fair grievances from both parties), the Treaty of Waitangi – and the flag – is still an important rallying point.

Our soldiers fought and bled for the flag. I don’t think so. Some fought out of loyalty to the Motherland, but many went to stand up for democracy, against all that was wrong with the Nazis and their military conquest to take over the world. I also suspect a good few were just looking for adventure. You don’t die for a flag, you fight for what it represents.

The $26m could have been spent elsewhere. That’s never going to change. As long as there are needs, there will always be differences of priority. So please don’t base your decision on that.

There won’t be another chance in our lifetime. Dear Lord, that’s the same argument as ‘John Key’s Legacy.’ Perhaps we should have a triangular flag, or let it be pink with purple polka dots, ‘it’s our only chance’ and no-one would mistake it for Australia’s.

I’m voting with the majority, so I must be right. Actually, polls are notoriously wrong, and anyway, your vote is not about picking a winner, it’s about indicating a preference.

17 of 20 Commonwealth countries have changed their flags. Woohoo, if they keep that up, ours will be unique. Problem solved. Just be patient, people. Hahahaha

The proposed flag looks like a tea-towel. Trivial to the point of puerile.

The proposed flag is a great logo. That statement just makes me wince. New Zealand is so more than just a brand, a logo and a slogan. We are so much more than just a hashtag.

The design of the proposed flag sucks. Not nearly expert enough to comment on that one.

The process was screwed. Like it or not, once started, there had to be a process. Our part is to make our selection based on the result of the first referendum. Which of the two flags on offer ticks most of your boxes?

Bloody National Party, always wrecking things. Actually, changing the flag was also Labour Party policy, until they decided to get all political and shot themselves in the foot.

A new flag is just a distraction.  Not really, the Opposition and the media have still done their job in keeping us informed about many other issues.

And here’s a thought: whether or not you like John Key, and whether or not you agree with his view, he has done New Zealand at least one otherwise unacknowledged favour: he’s woken the sleeping giant, he’s aroused the so-called apathetic, lethargic “she’ll be right” Kiwi, and come 2017, much to Labour’s chagrin, he may well have discovered their oft-considered “missing million.”

While I don’t agree with all of Duncan’s points that’s a good summary of many of the issues.

And it’s good to see that some people involved in considered and reasonable discussion on the flag referendum.

Duncan’s whole post: To flag, or not to flag, the flag
Leave a comment


  1. Brown

     /  8th March 2016

    “New Zealand is so more than just a brand, a logo and a slogan. We are so much more than just a hashtag.”

    If this is true let us start acting like it is. What I see day to day makes me think otherwise.

  2. Nelly Smickers

     /  8th March 2016

    Whilst me and my hubby have voted to retain the official New Zealand flag, I am still interested to know which ‘Lockwood’ design other people may actually be voting for – the one depicted in the ‘Your NZ’ banner – or the alternative shown at the base of this post?

    • Patzcuaro

       /  8th March 2016

      It’s blue.

      People seem to get bogged down in the miniature detail, I’m sure that somewhere there is a official colour.

      Listening to the radio yesterday people were complaining about the position of the flags on the voting paper. Because the Lockwood flag was at the top it somehow got an unfair advantage because some would just tick the first one. Personally I don’t think that those people will actually open the envelope to vote, so that argument doesn’t seem relevant.

      You could say that the bottom position has an advantage because voters would pick up their pen, move down the choices, get to the bottom (current flag) be undecided and just tick the bottom option!

      Now if John Key had organised for the alternative flag to be on the front of the voting paper & the current flag to be on the back, then I think there would be reason to be concerned.

      • jamie

         /  8th March 2016

        If John Key (or any politician) had anything whatsoever to do with the voting papers then we may as well use Andy Warhol’s VU artwork for our flag.

      • Klik Bate

         /  8th March 2016

        I think we all know its blue, Patzcuaro!

        And of course there is an ‘Official Color’.

        There are in excess of 70 different and distinct ‘blues’ in the Pantone Color Guide. So be fair, you would think that with something as important as this, those responsible for its design and manufacture, would at least to be able to reproduce the exact color specified.

        Or maybe it’s just as you say, “People seem to get bogged down it the miniature detail”. LOL!!

        • Patzcuaro

           /  8th March 2016

          I’m voting for the whole flag package. A few shades of blue either way aren’t important to me. If it is chosen I’m sure that all official flags will be the correct hue of blue.

          Are either of the Lockwood flags above the correct shade?

  3. Patzcuaro

     /  8th March 2016

    A thoughtful summary, the difference between us is that I place more emphasis on the future & our independence while the writer places more emphasis on our history, just different points of view.

  4. Patzcuaro

     /  8th March 2016

    It has occurred to me that we a very unlike alliance in the flag debate between the Cultural Marxists and the Neo-colonialists. They have come together for very different reasons, the CMs out of dislike of John Key and the NCs out of nostalgia for the homeland. But the end result is that the great Cultural Marxist antagonist , kiwi guy, is standing shoulder to shoulder at the barricades with his nemesis fighting desperately to hold back the revolution.

    Stranger things have happened, but could it be that kiwi guy is a closet Cultural Marxist.

    • Our Flayers
      Who art in Bloggen
      Fellow’d be thy Names …
      Thy Preference come, Thy Will be done
      En Masse as it is in Cyber …

      Give us this day our daily FLAG
      And forgive us our Zealot
      Tho Seldom we forgive them Others
      And deliver us Right & Leftie Evils

      For thine is the Bing-Dom
      The Power & The Gory
      For Moment & Never …
      Ahem …

      @ Patzcuaro – Maxwell Smart : “The old lump me together with Looney Leftie and Rabid Right Wing political associations – be they real or conspiratorial – and call me a traditional, conservative preservationist sympathiser, even by unlikely shared opinion on a single issue trick eh? That’s the X to the power of N x 10th time its been used this week!”


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