Lovely post (as always) Tze Ming...
But dude, you totally missed out on the best design for a non-embarrassing flag for this country:
Jeffy James's design rocks (in my opinion). If I were the sort of jingoistic nitwit who had a flag on my house, then this is the one I'd choose.
I actually have the JPG on my cellphone when travelling overseas, so that I can use it in my defence when the subject of NZ's (and Australia's) cringeworthy flag comes up. It happens surpringly often, since you ask...
D'oh! An oversight - yep, I like that one too. And of course Daniel Malone's one is difficult to draw... Malone's is interesting in that it keeps the Union Jack in an acknowledgement of the original Treaty partnership. Some Maori, ten, fifteen years ago, were interested in preserving a visual representation of that - although I'm sure plenty of younger ones today, and republicans, wouldn't care for it that much. And I think plenty of Pakeha probably resent having to be reminded that their ancestors are from somewhere other than here... as implied by The Pakeha Identity Thread That Would Not Die.
Bit fiddly if you ask me, but definitely a contender. I think I prefer the James one though.
I like the tino flag, it'd be an advance- but the jeffy james is better. Still- we've flown the hundertwasser for years (in a thoroughly non-jingoistic and straight-lines-are-the-devils-work sort of way....) And we'd prefer to get right away from all the red, white, blue, black styles (Canterbury colours for NZ?)- which the hundertwasser flag signally does. Another dose of affinity for L, S and S? Maybe. And all the better for it, I say. We ain't looking for something that'll stand out on a 19th (or 21st) century battlefield.
The Jame's flag rocks, really. I want a sticker version and i will put it on sacred space, my surfboards.
Strong Maori standing firm means a strong NZ.
Rob Stowell wrote:
we've flown the hundertwasser for years (in a thoroughly non-jingoistic and straight-lines-are-the-devils-work sort of way....)
And fair enough, too! Apologies for my outrageous generalization. I'm still slightly shell-shocked after a recent road trip through Upstate New York, where I saw way too many flags...
We ain't looking for something that'll stand out on a 19th (or 21st) century battlefield.
Another good point -- although the colours red, white, and black seem so evocative of NZ to me...
Tze Ming Mok wrote:
I think plenty of Pakeha probably resent having to be reminded that their ancestors are from somewhere other than here...
And don't forget the Pakeha who were (or whose recent ancestors were) oppressed by the British. An Irish acquaintance once told me that as far as he was concerned seeing the Union Jack on the NZ flag was as bad as seeing the Swastika. A friend of Indian descent has expressed a similar sentiment -- although in a much less melodramatic manner...
The current flag (a "defaced ensign" I believe it is called in official flag talk) is insipid, uninspiring and, frankly, a disgrace. Still Granny Herald was quick enough to point out that a majoirty of people who had never been asked to think about the issue of flag design for more than 30 seconds didn't support a change.
Almost anything would be an improvement, providing it can't be used to embarass the country on the sports field (the silver fern on a black background is arguably too close to a white feather, and there should be no "circle" shapes which suggest "zero").
For some reason Ozis seem to like their flag. Perhaps it's the Confederation Star which livens it up.
But a union jack on a boring blue background, with a few poxy stars thrown in? Yawn.
I've long thought if we are going to have a national dialogue about changing our flag then it should happen alongside a debate about our constitutional status, whether we should still be a monarchy, that Treaty thing, etc. Cos otherwise we'll just have to change the ruddy thing again if we ever manage to make any big alterations.
How about that jeffy james one but with blue instead of the red in the bottom half. It's a bit too bright for my eyes. It's got the style, blue would add the sexy. The stars can stay red to symbolise the communist revolution about to happen when I can be bothered putting some pants on.
I don't get why people get so carried away about flags, but after several beers my view on the matter is simple: A flag is meant to be a chauvenistic expression of nationalist sentiment. A wishy washy piece of wavy hippy crap (from Hunterwasser or Jeffy James) does doesn't cut it. I mean, can you se that that thing waving defiantly from the flagstaff's of our fleet as it engages the enemy more closely? it might look good over a organic public toilet in Northland but thats all.
Kiwi's seem to have largely spoken on the matter anyway. The Silver Fern on a black background has been used by New Zealanders as a national symbol since the first contingents headed off to the Boer war, and as such it pre-dates it use as a sporting flag. And for the intellectualising of the middle class, whenever Kiwi's seem to want to express nationalist sentiment, the black banner is what they seek out and black is what they dress in.
Like all good symbols, the black banner is simple, and expresses a simple, singular and powerful idea of nationhood that practically everyone is happy to identify with.
So I'm the only person who thinks the present flag looks awesome?
Really well balanced - and the perfect flag for our immigrant nation
And with the blue representing our place in the Pacific Ocean and our affinity with Pacific neighbours like the Cook Islands and Fiji, who also have blue backgrounds on their flags;
The stars representing our place in the world, and the constellation that guided skilled Polynesian navigators to settle here as Tangata Whenua;
And the Union Jack representing the history of the other major immigrant people here, with whom a lasting Treaty was entered into by the Tangata Whenua; the flag, combining representations of how the two people who combined to form this country came here - the Maori under the stars, and British under the Union Flag representing the fusion of two cultures...
Come on, at least it's better than three stripes/bands - through the French at least don't seem to mind (Q: Who knew that the blue, white and red bands on the tricoleur aren't the same width?)
Our present flag is the one I (obviously) have been bought up with and recognise as being essentially new zealand, for better or worse it has a long and proud history. I feel that if something is to be adopted as an emblem or insignia as a flag undoubtedly is, that it really needs to have that place amongst the people it purports to represent. I would rather not we become one of those countries that changes on political whim or in response to a pressure group. Changing a flag will not heal any wounds from past deeds nor will it give a renewed sense of national identity. It would probably play really badly on the daily show too, assuming something as trivial as a banana republic in waiting changing flags would even register on their radar, although helen did make the letterman top ten not too far back
I'm not one to be as nutty about my flag as perhaps some from the northern hemisphere, maybe that is because it is such a young nation that is only really beginning to mature. I prefer the status quo, for now.
While campaigning on changing the flag, I was surprised with the general consensus out there; whatever you do, get rid of the Union Jack. Here's another little snippet here.
Span, I agree with your sentiment that changing the flag should be part of a greater constitutional change. However, talking about changing the flag is a good public conscience icebreaker. Perhaps changing the flag would increase the country's confidence on other constitutional issues such as having a head of state who spends more time in the country than, say, Sheryl Crow.
"This flag is ours, do you see anything that says Asian on it?"
Did no-one think to yell back "except the "made in china" label".
Almost guarantee that it had one :)
"...chose to come here and live under the rule of the Crown, like all other migrants"
I came here to live in a democracy ruled by popular consent, which was my impression of how NZ is run. Or is the election just an elaborate charade and all the MPs are actually quietly appointed by Brenda? Referring to the government of NZ as "the Crown" is about as accurate as calling the rulers of China "communists".
On the subject of the Malone flag: doesn't it rather diss the Scots by removing the St Andrews Cross (diagonal blue lines) - after all rather a lot of New Zealanders are of Scottish heritage.
Personally, I think we should not have a flag at all, but wave pois instead. This would:
- be uniquely NZ
- look much cooler
- really annoy the Aussie cricket authorities, especially if fire pois were involved
- rather make "flag burning" laws irrelevant - what else you gonna do with a poi!
"I think plenty of Pakeha probably resent having to be reminded that their ancestors are from somewhere other than here.." Yes, whilst Maori, of course, have always been here when they first sprouted from the ground 800-1000 years ago.
Why not make the new flags OLED devices with wireless networking capabilities that would let anyone upload whatever design they like at any given time?
Silly? Perhaps, but only as much as expending all this time and effort on a concept that is by definition designed to be inclusive for a minority through the exclusion of the majority. To say that nothing good will come out of the flag debate would be the understatement of the century.
To debate a couple of points raised earlier in this
thread -- and accepting that we do (perhaps unfortunately) have to have a national flag...
As recently as the 1950s many people born in NZ would refer
to themselves as 'British'. I think everyone can agree that
we've moved on since then, and have begun to develop our own
sense of identity as a nation.
However the Union Jack on our flag does rather seem to
hearken back to that period. Our flag is also easily and
frequently confused with the Australian flag (if you've ever
travelled overseas you'll have experienced this) and
particularly the state flag of Victoria (a visitor from
Melbourne once asked me why the Victorian flag was flown so
much in NZ).
Canada has had a similar history of a developing self-identity. For this reason they adopted a new flag (the current Maple-leaf design) in 1964. Their old flag featured a Union Jack in a similar manner to the current NZ and
Reece Palmer wrote:
I would rather not we become one of those countries
that changes [their flag] on political whim or in response
to a pressure group.
I'm not sure which countries these would be, but certainly
you couldn't accuse Canada of this. They changed their flag
to reflect their emerging sense of self-identity as a
nation. This was entirely valid for them, and would surely be
entirely valid for NZ as well.
I've long thought if we are going to have a national dialogue about changing our flag then it should happen alongside a debate about our constitutional status... Cos otherwise we'll just have to change the ruddy thing again if we ever manage to make any big alterations.
I'm not sure I follow this argument. Do you think Canada will change it's flag if/when it becomes a republic? The Canadian flag already reflects Canada -- there is no need to change it. This would almost certainly be the case for a new NZ flag as well. Anyway, major constitutional change is hard (and may never happen). Changing a flag so that it's more representative of our national identity is comparatively easy.
Reece Palmer wrote:
Changing a flag will not... give a renewed sense of national identity
Well that's exactly what happened in Canada -- why wouldn't it happen in NZ? The fact that we're having a passionate(-ish) debate on this topic absolutely proves that it's an important part of national identity.
In fact, this whole flag debate pretty much mirrors what happened in Canada in the early 1960s. And how did it end?
Despite the preceding acrimony, the new flag was quickly embraced by the Canadian public, and internationally the flag quickly became a welcome and easily recognizable marker of Canada worldwide.
It is interesting to note that Canada adopted the Maple-leaf in addition to its old flag. Could this be a satisfactory compromise for NZ? After all, we have two official national anthems ('God Save the Queen' and 'God Defend NZ')...
Having said all this, Rich's suggestion of pois was really quite brilliant...
P.S. And to respectfully disagree with Juha (though I can see what he's driving at) I think the new flag was actually positive for Canada -- insofar as it removed one of the points of dispute between French and British Canada. It's not inconceivable that the same thing might have a similarly positive effect here as well.
and accepting that we do (perhaps unfortunately) have to have a national flag...
but there is this, which expunges the pure unadulterated evil that is the union jack. Nasty, nasty whitey, evil bad pakeha/palagi/honkey/oppressor/imperialist/crusaders fan. I liked Dicks rationale for his design
so scared of the 'man' that I forgot to paste in the link, shiver
There are many good reasons to change the NZ flag, but so many of the reasons advanced (not necessarily here, but advanced nonetheless) are really poor reasons.
Should Hawai'i change its flag?
Canada is a poor example for New Zealand to follow. That flag came about as a compromise to resolve a stoush between the remnants of two colonial powers, Britain and France, that was threatening to get really quite serious and tear the country apart.
Did the indigenous people of Canada have much say in the look of the new flag? Did they care much about waving a piece of cloth around in an excited manner as their colonial masters do?
The equivalent for New Zealand is to have the Scots, Irish, English and Welsh duke it out over the new pennant. There's probably quite a bit of that national-chauvinism in the present flag debate, masquerading as true Aotearoan sentiment.
Nah, I think my OLED flag suggestion has merit. That way we could Goatse all the various unpleasant rulers that pop over to NZ to check out the sheep and perhaps prick a few holes in the hot air balloon of bogus nationalism.
Another thing missing is an update to the National Beast of New Zealand. Is it the Kiwi at the moment? Terribly outdated if it is. I bet something like the Great Noisy Petrol Lawnmower or the Lesser Schoolkid Laden 4WD would be more popular and contemporary.
or maybe even the hand wringing socialist, deafening stuff that hand wringing.
Juha Saarinen wrote:
Canada is a poor example for New Zealand to follow... Did the indigenous people of Canada have much say in the look of the new flag?
Well I'm not suggesting that we follow Canada's example so slavishly that we consult only Canucks and Québécois! I'm suggesting just the opposite: that we consider the possibility of a more representative flag for all NZers, both Maori and Non-Maori. [By the way, are you sure that the principle reason for the new Canadian flag was the British/French issue. My understanding is that "[Prime Minister] Pearson's principal concern was for the Canadian flag to be distinctive and unmistakably Canadian". I thought the Quebec issue was just a happy side-effect.]
Juha Saarinen wrote:
The equivalent for New Zealand is to have the Scots, Irish, English and Welsh duke it out over the new pennant.
Mate, my point is that this is exactly what's already happened. The Union Jack is a composite of the Scottish, English (which included Wales at that time), and Irish flags. And none of these countries are NZ.
Graeme Edgeler wrote:
Should Hawai'i change its flag?...[etc.]
I see what you're suggesting here, Graeme. I agree that the similarity of our flag to Australia's is not sufficient reason to change. But I do think that a recognizably different design from Australia's would be a considerable bonus offered by having a new flag.
Frankly, I could care less about flags, and I've no doubt that we would have a happier world without them. But if we are going to have a flag, then maybe we should have one that better represents the country. Or, at the very least, we should seriously consider the possibility.
Reece Palmer wrote:
Nasty, nasty whitey, evil bad pakeha/palagi/honkey/oppressor/imperialist...
I'm not criticizing you or your relatives, Reece. I'm just observing that most people born in NZ wouldn't consider themselves British. We have developed our own identity as a nation -- and perhaps our flag should recognize this.
The idea for a new national beast is a good one, Juha. I rather favour the Pushmi-pullyu.