Getting tangled in the flag

The idea of changing the New Zealand flag in 2016 was a wretched waste of time and money, and a monumental failure for John Key when nearly 57% of us voted to keep the original.

Winston Peters, for whatever obscure reason, claimed last weekend that our flag, adopted in 1902, was stolen by the Aussies in 1953 for their national flag.? Winnie once again was plainly wrong. In fact, the Aussies could claim we copied their 1901 flag design and simply changed the background colour and the stars.

Australian Flat 1901 Defaced British Red Ensign

Australian Flag 1953 Defaced British Blue Ensign

 

New Zealand Flag from 1902

Why does the flag matter, you ask? It’s not as if we pledge allegiance to it as the Americans do. Well, the flag is a symbol of our national pride, both historically and in practice today. It flies over the Beehive, courthouses and government departments representing law and order.

Most importantly, our war veterans served under it and many of their compatriots died fighting under it.? To demean or desecrate the flag by publicly burning it is a slight against these men and women who paid the ultimate price in protecting the freedom of following generations.

When Lucy Lawless tweeted recently she illustrated a huge disconnect from New Zealand values and a lack of respect for the Kiwis who died in the last two world wars.? She said: Quote

“Truthfully, to those of you who ask, if I saw a NZer burning our flag, I would shrug my shoulders and think, Jeez, that person?s really pissed at the govt. It would not offend my sense of identity one bit. I don?t think I?m alone. May I ask how you all might feel?” End of quote.

Lawless got plenty of support from similar feeble minded sorts on Twitter.

Duncan Garner proved himself just as weak and wobbly when reporting on Lawless’ tweet by saying: Quote

“I don’t buy the whole thing, ‘we fought under this flag’ and that sort of thing”. End of quote.

Well, Duncan, you haven’t died for your country, have you? But you should remember the history of the men and women who did and those who currently serve in the police, armed forces and our justice system to protect us.

Cheap and meaningless words are easy to spout on Twitter or national television, but it is doubtful if they represent the feeling of the majority of New Zealand.

Lawless and Garner clearly inhabit a cotton wool planet which bears no relation to either the real world or our history. Let’s bring them back to reality by asking how they would feel repeating their words to someone whose relative died for their country.

These ungrateful wretches would be the first to demand protection from the authorities who serve under the flag if they were personally threatened but they seem to think they can have it both ways!

Critics of the flag have not added anything of value and in twenty years time we will still remember our war heroes, but will likely say Lucy who, Duncan who?

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