Sunday, February 21, 2016

That damned flag

It’s not over yet, but it looks like the old flag, left, will win out over the new in the upcoming referendum.

In today's HOS this photo appears with the by-line: It’s not over yet, but it looks like the old flag, left, will win out over the new in the upcoming referendum. 

A friend gave me a book yesterday called Who moved my cheese? which is a little parable about accepting change. After I finished it I thought, I still don't like that damn flag.

I have listened to all the sensible arguments for change yet when I look at the photo above I feel something for the flag on the left that I don't for the flag on the right. So maybe I am letting emotion override logic? How can I have feelings for a set of colours and lines?

I suppose as an artist (I allowed myself to think in terms of being an artist when I started to sell paintings and receive commissions and had to describe how I earned income) I live and breathe colours and lines. And when it comes to what I like - which heavily influences what I produce - it's about beauty, harmony and depth. I hate art that merely serves a purpose or expresses some deep-seated anxiety or is invented only to shock.

But it is virtually impossible to describe why certain colours and lines evoke a good emotional response. And I have never wanted to analyse it.

The current flag is far more aesthetically pleasing to me than the alternative.

And that's why I can't change my mind.


Anonymous said...

The alternate flag looks like a bedspread.

Anonymous said...

changing the flag is a Labour and Green party policy. Keeping the flag is ACT policy. It really is that simple.

as for colonialism:

JC said...

If I had my druthers Idruther have the fern front and centre on a black background.. a fairly dour and blunt rendition of war and sport and native bush, no sea and stars.


Redbaiter said...

The thrust to change NZ's traditional flag comes from the National Party, or to be more accurate, a clique within the National Party that I would describe as the same old bunch of Progressives, and whose social views make them a better fit for Labour than the party of Sid Holland.

This group includes John Key, David Farrar, Maggie Barry, Lewis Holden etc, and a large contingency of the ignorant of history progressives who call themselves the Young Nationals.

Lewis Holden attempted to change the flag by referendum some 10 or so years ago, but could only muster around 100K signatures on a petition that needed something like 270K to initiate the process.

Then JK took the lead, and provided $26 million of taxpayer money and all of govt's resources to revitalize Lewis Holden's original failed project.

Many in Labour oppose the flag change, but only because it is Key's project and/ or they don't like the design. Labour are the core of Progressivism in NZ, and they will change the flag if they get the chance. They'd just like to do it themselves and choose the design themselves. Generally, Labour's only real gripe is that the Progressives of National have beaten them to the punch.

For myself, I support keeping our traditional flag for the simple reason I have not seen one good reason to change. John Key says "its time" and we need to "celebrate the new multicultural country that NZ has become".

Both of those so called reasons piss me off big time. "Its time" is a meaningless cliche that of course appeals to the mindless uneducated ignorant of history sector of the population it is meant to.

As for celebrating multiculturalism, I'm never going to do that, because I value our traditional culture and have never understood why it has become necessary to dilute and degrade that culture by forcibly introducing foreign and obviously under-developed and inferior sub-cultures.

Even among the general public, the jury is still out on whether we should celebrate multiculturalism. There is perhaps a case for multi-racism, but multiculturalism, no way.

I support our traditional flag because it bears the Union Jack, which to me symbolises our cultural roots and in particular the joint origins of Australia, NZ and other British colonies.

Its a heritage that brought freedom, egalitarian legal systems, sophisticated effective governance and relative economic prosperity to every country where it settled. Far superior to most other colonial systems.

I saw an ignorant of history little prog millennial in the Young Nats describe the Union Jack as a derelict colonial relic the other day. This is also I am sure how John Key, only a first generational NZer whose father was an English Communist and mother an Austrian Jew, and other Nat Party progressives also regard the flag.

They call themselves multiculturalists, but what they really are is anti White-European termites going down the same old road of pulling down all of our traditional institutions and replacing them with the new improved progressive model.

As for ACT, forget them. Utterly clueless as to what NZ's problems are and where they stem from. How often have you heard David Seymour or Jamie Whyte mention Critical Theory or Cultural Marxism? They're no bulwark against the destruction of our traditional culture and heritage as driven by the Nat/ Labour ruling coalition and the one party progressive state that NZ has become.

Even with the Conservative Party in complete disarray, polls demonstrate they still garner twice the public support ACT do. I do not know that keeping the traditional flag is ACT policy but if it is, it will surprise hell out of me.

If the flag changes, it will be a win for multiculturalists, progressives and Cultural Marxists, in other words a massive loss for traditional NZ and the heritage so many of us value.

Anonymous said...

Yep, what RB said. And Lindsay is right in that the new option just looks crappy. Its like the Andy Warhol and masters painting exhibitions that ran alongside at Te Papa recently. Both were "nice" but the class and engagement of the masters was compelling and I know what I'd rather have on my wall.

Last time my wife and I came back from Hong Kong on an overnight flight we had a day in Sydney and bought a towel at the airport to enable us to have a shower before heading into the city. The towel was an Australian flag which I have no affinity for but I don't think I could bring myself to dry off with our current flag as it has some history about it that I identify with. The new one proposed looks like a souvenir towel you could happily floss your groin with - apart from it being synthetic, non absorbent and made in China.


david said...

I read "who moved my cheese" in a bookshop once. I thought it was a clever idea that would have been interesting if expressed in two paragraphs, but had apparently been padded out to form a boring thesis and book.

Psycho Milt said...

There are sensible arguments for change? I've heard variants on "I don't like the current one (usually wrapped up in blather about our colonial heritage no longer being relevant, for all the world as though our head of state wasn't Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith), or stuff about how it's NZ Inc's corporate logo and we need a rebranding exercise, but sensible ones have been in short supply.

Changing your flag is a by-product of the major constitutional change that justifies it - we become a republic for instance, or we institute a proper constitution, or we re-negotiate the Treaty of Waitangi. Any government that has the bollocks to take one of those on can feel free to chuck in changing the flag while they're at it, because there'd be an actual reason for changing the flag. There is no current reason.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

Too like the Australian flag is sensible I think. At least, I can make sense of it. (Not quite the same meaning I realise.) It doesn't reflect Maori pre-settlement (neither does the proposed alternative). That's two. Made it to plural.

Gecko said...

"- it's about beauty, harmony and depth. I hate art that merely serves a purpose or expresses some deep-seated anxiety or is invented only to shock."
Beautifully said!
Why do we need to change the flag?, we don't. It's an expensive side track from the real life issues affecting the country at present.

Anonymous said...

Changing your flag is a by-product of the major constitutional change that justifies it -

Canada changed their flag to... change their flag (which was even worse than you can imagine - red ensign defaced with the coat of arms). We've already had major constitutional change: from democracy to MMP, from commonweath to NZ supreme court (ha!), from the NZ Pound to the NZ Dollar!

Anonymous said...

I'm in full agreement with Redbaiter above. In addition, those that condemn our flag having the Union Flag in the corner under some mistaken pretence that the British Empire was bad or something, fail to recognise that the British Empire was a product of it's time and its many peoples were better off than in the non British Empire nations.
I'm proud of my history and proud of the connection our nation has to Britian.

The current flag has four stars to say where we are, and a flag in the corner to say where we've been.

Anonymous said...

I get that our British history is incredibly important - the basic foundations of our society (rule of law, common law, ideas about personal liberty, Parliamentary rule, not to mention our magnificent language...). I have very deep respect for our British heritage.

But we have changed since then to become something uniquely "New Zealand". When I lived in the UK, I quickly understood that we New Zealanders are no longer British. In fact the British booted us out in 1973, and since then the British have become "Europeans".

The fact is that our national symbol is the silver fern. It isn't the Union Jack.

So even though I don't particularly like the new design flag, if it is a choice of the silver fern or the Union Jack, I will pick the silver fern.

Anonymous said...

since then the British have become "Europeans"

only for another few months.

We'll look pretty stupid changing the flag if we have a chance of a free trade deal with England in six months' time.

Jigsaw said...

I'm not at all surprised that people don't like the 'new' flag -It's simply not at all familiar which is generally I think why it is not liked. But think of the old flag-apart from the familiar aspect there is not a lot to recommend it - it's a hotch-potch really and just one we are all used to. I'm all for change.

Jamie said...

I agree with the Psycho Milt on this. Change the flag when NZ changes to a republic.

If that were to happen I would insist on changing the flag back to NZ's first flag, The United Tribes Of New Zealand. It is a truly beautiful flag with the red St Georges Cross with four stars in the top left corner divided by a second St Georges Cross.
I reckon The United Tribes Flag would be an appropriate flag with all the hordes of foreign tribes John Key and his flunkies have flooded MY LANDS with and has forced upon me and mine. It might also please the Natives and make them a bit happier too.

Question - Does the $26 million even include the total cost of changing all the flags?

Lindsay Mitchell said...

That's my husband's choice Jamie. First time I have seen it mentioned.

The tino rangatira flag is also very striking and powerful, I could have voted for that. But I'd probably be in a minority.

Jamie said...

Does the $26 million include the cost of changing all the flags???

S. Beast said...

Very depressing to think our national identity simmers down to an image reminiscent of counterfeit Chinese goods. Ugh, what a metaphor.

For goodness sake VOTE Lindsay!