New Zealandising the flag

I may have blogged this subject before, but I’m reiterating my opposition to changing the New Zealand flag. The debate has been kicking about for a while, but yesterday marked the 100 year anniverary of New Zealand’s transition from Colony to Dominion so it’s back in the media.

Prime Minister Helen Clark has been quoted in the Herald:

Helen Clark said if the public did want to “New Zealandise our flag” the Union Jack could be taken out, leaving it with the “rather attractive Southern Cross”.

I ask: How can you New Zealandise the New Zealand Flag. It is New Zealand. By definition that is what it says, is, and represents.

I sometimes wonder about people who say they are proud to be a kiwi, but hate the flag and want a new one. I’m not calling them unpatriotic, I just wonder how they can look upon a symbol that represents New Zealand and not feel proud of it.

New Zealand is not a product of its flag. Kiwis built this nation with their blood, sweat and tears, not by picking a nice emblem that said we were a British Colony and we’re in the Southern Ocean. To me, the New Zealand flag is a visual summary of New Zealand. And therefore, because I like New Zealand I like it’s flag.

People arguing for the change are saying things like ‘we should have a flag that represents our unique character, and emphasises our maori and pacific island heritage.’ I have no objection to that in principal, but my question is: why do we not feel that that is already the case? As I said already, the flag, to me, represents all that already.

I think the key point is ownership. Take the Aussies. They have fantastic national pride and character, especially abroad. They love their flag, and you can see that at any international sporting event. Their flag is very similar to ours. They have an even more diverse cultural spread. I think the difference is that they went out and said ‘I’m from a fantastic country, and this is the flag that I carry.’ It’s all about attitude, and they just went out and owned it.

I believe in working with what you have. I would very much like to see all those people stop whinging that our flag doesn’t represent us sufficiently and go out and make it represent us, rather than the reverse.

Ain’t broke. Don’t fix it. Let’s not wag the dog any more.

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2 Responses to “New Zealandising the flag”


  1. 1 Murray 11 October, 2007 at 2:47 pm

    New Zealand has the ONLY flag in the world with red and white stars.

    Like Australia you only need to see a tiny amount of our flag to positively indentify it.

    Others like Singapore/Indonesia/Poland and Malasia/US pretty much need a stiff breeze or individual labeling.

    There has been no actual “debate” there has only been a deliberate attack with key points pushed but not even discussed from a minority group with an agenda. Like the claim that it looks too much like the Australian flag. 1. See above 2. We have a similar and joint history. Why do we wish to deny this? I don’t.

    Their other talking points which Holden and his phone box full of speratists so sneeringly push are equally as spurious.

  2. 2 Blake Rakoseum 26 December, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    I spent both Christmas and New Year†s at the gym, and we had a celebration during New Year†s which was full of food and drink.


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