Nuts or deliberate flag sabotage?

This nonsense has been circulating around Facebook and emails for some time, claiming that removing the Union Jack from the flag then you “open the gates to hell”, it will give more p;ower toJohn Key and somewhow the Trans Pacific Partnership is implicated in the whole flag conspriacy.

DUEAUTHORITYHowever Attorney-General Chris Finlayson has described as “nuts” – Stuff reports Finlayson: theory about impact of removing Union Jack from flag ‘moderately nuts’:

Attorney-General Chris Finlayson has described as “nuts” a theory that removing the Union Jack from the New Zealand flag will give the Government more power.

Despite that, Finlayson said that “in the world in which I live” the theory was “quite moderate”.

“I have people alleging that – old grandmothers write in and say that the GCSB is spying on them, and that the Romans and Phoenicians were here before the Maori, so in terms of insanity it’s only moderately nuts.”

According to the theory, removing the Union Jack from the flag would remove the “due authority” of the Crown in government matters, as the Union Jack represents the monarchy.  “It also means we take away the very power which enforces both the 1990 Bill of Rights Act (the closest thing NZ has to an entrenched Constitution) and the founding plank upon which the Treaty of Waitangi has meaning,” reads one blog post.

Asked if removing the Union Jack from the flag would have any effect on New Zealand’s constitution, Finlayson replied: “Absolutely not. It would be a novel constitutional argument that the sovereignty of New Zealand was dependent on one corner of the New Zealand flag.”

Is it nuts, is it a deliberate attempt to sabotage the flag process, or both?

Dan Greenman: DUE AUTHORITY A VERY SILENT COUP:

Flags denote jurisdiction. One of the frustrating things about the change being made to the NZ flag is that no one has considered that change of heraldry and how it impacts on the very notion of DUE AUTHORITY.

TPPA -Flags & The Assassination of the NZ Democracy. Fly the Red Blue White and Say No to Prince John and the TPPA.

There’s a response to it on Facebook (Thanks Jaspa):

LEGAL MATTERS CONCERNING THE FLAG REFERENDUM

Some of you may have come across a message being spread around social media concerning the upcoming New Zealand flag referendum. This post proposes that the move to change the New Zealand flag, initiated by the current National Government, is actually a way of circumventing New Zealand law and putting in place the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

There’s a couple of variations regarding these messages, but the two key points relate to instructions on how to vote in the first of the two flag referendums, and the alleged legal consequences of changing the New Zealand flag.

It’s important that all people understand that the claims made in these messages are completely false, and have no legal basis whatsoever. Those who follow the instructions or advice of these messages are allowing the democratic process to be undermined by ignorance. I don’t know where these messages originated, or what the purpose of them is, but they should be ignored.

Andrew concludes:

I want to stress that this post is not about the TPPA or the New Zealand flag. Each of us is entitled to our own opinion on these matters, and all of us should act in accordance with our opinion, and I urge everyone to do so. But the effectiveness and appropriateness of our opinion is directly linked to how well informed we are on the matter at hand.

Messages like those being shared on Social Media muddy the waters by sowing false fears and misinformation, which can lead to erroneous actions. It’s important that the correct information is shared so that people can make informed decisions. I urge everyone to share this information around your friends so that collectively we can make informed decisions.

Story will also be covering this at 7 pm on TV3.