Up Front by Emma Hart

Read Post

Up Front: Stand for... Something

229 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 4 5 6 7 8 10 Newer→ Last

  • Jason Kemp, in reply to Stephen Christie,

    My hesitation about patriotism and its close relative nationalism is that it always comes across as black-and-white thinking. And that’s a trap.

    Thanks Stephen I agree . I’m not sure the opening conversation with the American in a pub really means what anyone thinks it means. In other words patriotism of the obvious kind seems to be the very opposite of the attitudes and culture of most New Zealanders.

    Except when there is some national sports team winning something. As it happens I have no interest in cricket or rugby so I can mostly avoid the periodic outbreaks of faux patriotism. Most of those sports teams are professional entertainers working in a media business. I know some people like that sort of thing but it is mostly just media manipulation.

    Maybe there is some reason for flags in 2015 but I can’t think of a good one.

    To me patriotism of the obvious U.S kind seems to be some kind of soundtrack for a Leni Riefenstahl movie.

    It often masks a power play by an elite against the underdog in an argument. At the same time I’m not sure anyone can define patriotism.

    As someone who has often travelled outside NZ the biggest change in some kind of collective national culture is the welcome use of the Māori language in regular speech.

    I personally think that tells more of a Nationhood story than any kind of “top-down” PR campaign can ever hope to do.

    In other words – it is complicated but so far for me patriotism seems to be a mostly negative thing. A kind of manipulation alert for the most part.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 368 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Marcus Turner,

    My earlier comment about teachers and communists was a joke: the sort of thing said by certain elderly and middle aged men when I was young.

    I’m not sure quite when standing for the anthem-cum-montage ended, but I can recall the compulsion to stand being widely ignored in its last years. The only time I was ever scolded for sitting through it was by the stroppier of the two (literally) bearded ladies who frequented Wellington cinemas back then.

    Being chewed out for a bit of minor civil disobedience was fine, but when she threw in the baseless slander of “sitting there eating your lollies” there was no alternative to turning around and eyeballing her, only to catch the old horror rewarding her performance with a faceful of Jaffas.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Alfie,

    Thanks for fixing that

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3214 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    When we went to Midnight Movies at the Westend in the early 90s, they would play God Save the Queen before The Rocky Horror Picture Show, or A Clockwork Orange or whatever we'd gone to see. And we would fucking stand.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    only to catch the old horror rewarding her performance with a faceful of Jaffas.

    That wasn't supposed to be read the way I read it. I guess.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    That wasn’t supposed to be read the way I read it. I guess.

    It's intentionally caps-sensitive :)

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Oh come on, the main purpose of jaffas in cinemas in those days was to roll them from the back row down the (uncarpetted) steps during quiet moments ....

    I'm sure the theatres swept them back up and repackaged them for later resale

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard, in reply to George Darroch,

    “Matariki at midnight”

    It's very pretty... can we call it the Union Black?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Jason Kemp,

    Maybe there is some reason for flags in 2015 but I can’t think of a good one.

    This relates to the simplistic designs we seem to be restricted to. Historically flags were used so that soldiers could avoid killing other soldiers who were on the same team. They had to be simple and recognizable over a decent distance. Bold colours and patterns were important.

    None of that is true now.

    So how come we can't break all the rules and have a flag that is more detailed and perhaps at the same time more representative.

    Or we could just flag the whole thing and leave it as it is - historic and somewhat irrelevant.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4458 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    ... or the Star-Sprinkled Banner?

    I had a good look through all the flag suggestions at www.flag.govt.nz. It was really interesting to see the patterns (no pun, honest!) and recurring themes.

    There are the flags that are really just our current flag, with some very minor variation that shows the poster doesn't want the flag to change at all, but has to make a change or it won't be uploaded.

    There are the flags that are silly/irreverent/put up for fun.

    There are the suggestions that are artworks, some of them good or interesting but not (to my mind) suitable as actual flags.

    There are suggestions that I think would work better as some company logo than a flag.

    And then there are the suggestions that you could conceivably imagine seeing as flags. It doesn't mean they'd be great, but they seem to me to have grasped the basics of flag design.

    Common themes? Variations on koru, the silver fern, the southern cross, the pleiades. Plenty that still have the union flag on them. The NZ coat of arms.

    Common colours? Primary red, white, royal and sky blue, black, grass green.

    Far too many flags that fail to grasp what to me should be one of the starting points for flag design: your child should be able to draw it easily. I'd allow a few exceptions to that. The Welsh flag, with its dragon, is awesome, and I remember from having to draw it at school that it was really hard. But it still makes for an excellent flag.

    But on the "hard to draw" basis, I'd exclude the coat of arms. I'd leave out the kiwi (actually a stylised kiwi is easier to draw than a dragon or a silver fern, but I just don't like it, so I'm using this rule as an excuse to exclude it) I'd also exclude the silver fern. It is pretty. But there's not enough geometry to it. When it comes to flags, I believe in geometry. Koru, on the other hand, do follow some basic geometrical rules, so I'll allow them. Ditto stars, though their placement can be problematic.

    That also makes the pleiades challenging. They're a pretty constellation. I like their symbolism But where do I put them on a flag? The Southern Cross can be stylised to a diamond shape, but the pleiades? I guess their arrangement could be stylised too, but current designs including them don't obviously do that.

    My other rule for flag design would be simplicity of colour. Not too many, thanks.

    And then I went hunting on the internet for flags of the world, and discovered that of course there's a whole field that studies the aesthetics and symbolism of flags, called vexillology. I also found some guy who "graded" the world's flags, who came up with [[http://www.otago.ac.nz/philosophy/Staff/JoshParsons/flags/meth.html|a handy list of "don'ts" for flags]. N.B. Our current flag gets a C. It's downgraded for "colonial nonsense" (presumably the inclusion of the Union Jack). I'm not sure I agree with all his aesthetic judgements, but his rules seem pretty spot on to me.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Attachment

    “Maybe there is some reason for flags in 2015 but I can’t think of a good one.”

    This relates to the simplistic designs we seem to be restricted to. Historically flags were used so that soldiers could avoid killing other soldiers who were on the same team. They had to be simple and recognizable over a decent distance. Bold colours and patterns were important.

    The nortical traditions are still alive and we’ll, and I have first hand experience of electronic technology failing when it’s mixed with salt water.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4411 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    For those that think we should use the Silver Fern then think again, there maybe a trademark dispute and wouldn't that be amusing?.
    The NZRU has trademarked the fern's use around the world and is concerned about other companies trading off its brand.
    Is John Key spoiling for fight with NZRU or is that another little deal going on there?.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    the main purpose of jaffas in cinemas in those days was to roll them from the back row down the (uncarpetted) steps during quiet moments ….

    Conspicuous consumption. Aniseed balls were at least as noisy, at less than half the cost.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    The white feather is getting mixed up with the silver fern. John key is nominating the white feather, becouse he’s all banging on about the ANZAC ( five eyes). The white feather is actualy silver, becouse back in the day, it was the seagull feather that was used for nation building humiliation.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4411 posts Report Reply

  • Marcus Turner, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    I think five for a penny, at least.

    Since Nov 2006 • 212 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    Dave Armstrong wants a new flag but not when it's part of a "costly corporate rebranding exercise."

    Were our prime minister pushing for a republic or a more independent foreign policy, I could understand the desire for a new flag. Yet by supporting a new flag but nothing else progressive, Key reminds me of the suited teachers I had at secondary school who magnanimously announced a school mufti day then, once the cheering had subsided, sternly warned us that jeans were forbidden as they were too scruffy.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1436 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    They had to be simple and recognizable over a decent distance. Bold colours and patterns were important.

    None of that is true now.

    I think it's still quite a good thing for it to be recognizable over a distance.

    Other advantages to simpler designs:
    -People can actually draw it, paint it, cut it out, knit it, etc.
    -Easier to remember for everyone, including people from other countries.
    -Less tendency to overloading it with every ephemeral symbol. Save that for a coat of arms.
    -Less direct symbolism means it will date less rapidly.
    -You might be able to describe it in words, over the phone.
    -It might get a name of its own that sticks like the Union Jack or Stars and Stripes.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    The pick-a-flag meetings are really picking up support. After only ten people turned up in Christchurch, the Dunedin meeting attracted 25 members of the public. The Invercargill one drew 50 people.

    There are 21 of these public meetings being held around the country which, at the current rate will attract in total maybe 500 to 1,000 people out of a population of 4.5m.

    Our little country is obviously enthralled with Key's $27m flag distraction exercise. Not!

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1436 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Alfie,

    And the new found 'increase' in attendance is because the National Party local branch membership is being encouraged to support this brand Key/Key branding initiative.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to BenWilson,

    Other advantages to simpler designs:

    Which are good. But if you assume we go for a Hubble image of the Pleiades then ...

    -People can actually draw it, paint it, cut it out, knit it, etc.

    Well no they can't draw that - but hang on - bugger all people can draw our current flag - go on I dare you without opening up an image of it to copy!!! The only people who hand draw a flag are children and they are always going to abstract the image anyway so providing you have something you can abstract eg seven stars in a pattern then why not have the parent image much richer in detail.

    -Easier to remember for everyone, including people from other countries.

    Ok this is critical ... for pub triv! In all other situations you can use your connection to the internet - besides if we made our flag a Hubble image everyone would remember it as opposed to those anonymous green or white squiggles that look like all the other anonymous flags that folks are currently suggesting ... it's red white and blue "The USA" ... no red white and blue stripes ... "France" ... no the other way up ... "er I don't know*"

    -Less tendency to overloading it with every ephemeral symbol. Save that for a coat of arms.

    Gonna go out on a limb and suggest the Pleiades will look like that long after New Zealand ceases to exist as any kind of political entity and perhaps even after it goes as a land mass.

    -Less direct symbolism means it will date less rapidly.

    So far all the designs suffer from dating. If anything the Pleiades is going to be less dated.

    -You might be able to describe it in words, over the phone.

    Ok really - who describes a flag over the phone and why would you? I guess you might need to describe it to a visually impaired person in which case I reacon describing the Pleiades is going to be a LOT easier than most of the squggles suggested thus far.

    -It might get a name of its own that sticks like the Union Jack or Stars and Stripes.

    oooo I know ... we could call it The Matariki although having a nickname for your flag is getting slightly meta don't you think


    *The Netherlands

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4458 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    … it’s red white and blue “The USA” … no red white and blue stripes … “France” … no the other way up … “er I don’t know*”...
    *The Netherlands

    Then there's the minimalist Indonesian flag. Easily improvised back in the independence struggle by ripping the nether blue stripe from the Netherlands flag.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I think we should have a national poi.

    With fire-poi mandated at night, and when foreign sports grounds (or gas stations) refuse to allow NZers to spin their traditional flaming poi, we can call them out for being culturally insensitive to our national traditions.

    (Might need to wait 10 years or so for the invented tradition to mature),

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • st ephen, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    You mean they didn't just use Poland's flag upside down?

    dunedin • Since Jul 2008 • 254 posts Report Reply

  • st ephen,

    I liked the idea of the nautical flag for Z that was posted above: "Someone needs a hug". That says Unzud to me. Or maybe Whiskey: "Requires medicinal assistance".
    I can't understand why people want their flag to be drawn by children. We've already dumbed down politics and TV - surely everyone can see that Italy's flag is completely lacking an eagle attacking a snake above a cactus?

    dunedin • Since Jul 2008 • 254 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to st ephen,

    Zulu = “needs a tug ”, which is quite a different message.
    Note also that “Romeo” carries no subsidiary message – only one intent? (and meanwhile Juliett [sic] is “on fire”) ...
    and then there’s the self-contradictory combination of “Tango—keep clear"…

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1928 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 4 5 6 7 8 10 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.