The Hawai'i one at least was about the fact there's a Union Jack in the first quarter.
On the similarity point there are a couple of great stories. Among the best is this one, from Jim Bolger's memoirs:
As part of the VE-Day celebrations in 1995 there was a large gathering of Heads of State, Primes Ministers and Ambassadors in Hyde Park in London. We were all seated in a special covered area. Her Majesty addressed the vast crowd and her message was carried around the world live on television. When the Queen had finished speaking, the plan was the national representatives and their spouses would walk down a long set of steps to the point where a group of children were standing, each holding a different national flag. We would then collect our country's enblem and move to where a globe of the world stood and place our flag on it.
Joan and I were not the first to get off the stage and by the time we reached the point where the children were, there was no sign of our flag anywhere. There was, however, a young girl standing forlornly with an Australian flag, virtually begging someone to take it. I realised instantly what had happened and relieved her of her burden. Somewhere out in the crowd was our New Zealand flag, proudly borne by the Australian High Commissioner.
I also remember the opening ceremony of the Victoria (Canada) Commonwealth games. The ceremony involved a bit where a bunch of kids were carrying the flags of the countries of the Commonwealth - something like five of each flag. Five New Zealand flags in the place they were supposed to be, but the Australians got four Australian flags and one flag with four white-bordered red stars on it...
Now some more silliness ... Austria/Australia - one of them should change their name, right?
Love those mistaken identity stories, Graeme...
Here is one that I've always enjoyed:
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...
Yep I came to live in New Zealand not a far off corner of the British Empire...
There are also some who regard the Union Jack as a symbol of shame.
Apropos of flag confusion, I've always wondered why there are so many Germans in the Waikato?
I'm surprised that Waikato's use of red, yellow and black colours survived WW2.
I remember at the time the NZ Flag people said that it was apathy that sunk their cause. That summed up my opinion at the time, the effort the campaign put into their petition was admirable but it seemed out of place for what is just a flag. Perhaps the campaign was too slick?
Oh, and points go to Juha for what may be the first time goatse has been mentioned on Public Address (prove me wrong!). You know there actually is a Wikipedia article on that, no images thankfully.
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...
With respect Graeme, the history of New Zealand's current defaced Blue Ensign negates your somewhat wistful view of it. The current flag came about at the height of the New Zealand Wars and was largely used on Colonial Government owned gun boats, to distinguish them from the Imperial (i.e. British) units fighting Maori at that time. So really the current flag has precious little to do with unity under the Treaty. The flag is Anglocentric, which is exactly why groups like the National Front love it so much, not because of some invented nonsense about blue representing the Pacific (If it did, how do we explain the Falklands Flag? or the former Flag of Hong Kong?)
I think the Canadian example is relevant. The Canadians had a flag, much like ours, that reflected the Anglocentric nature of Canada post the British invasion of New France. This pissed Canadians of French ancestry off so much that they had their own flag (sounds like Maori, no?). The government of Lester Pearson sought to reconcile this difference by bringing about a design that was truly Canadian. There is an obvious parallel between the Canadian experience and the problems with the current New Zealand flag.
Of course, that's only one reason to change. There's many others, such as maturity and wanting to have a flag of our own...
The New Zealand Flag is the symbol of the realm government and people of New Zealand. Its royal blue background is reminiscent of the blue sea and clear sky surrounding us. The stars of the Southern Cross emphasise this country's location in the South Pacific Ocean.
Courtesy of the Ministry of Culture and Heritage
Ooh, and which of Britain and Liechtenstein should change their anthem?
Or South Africa, Tanzania, or Zambia?
I couldn't agree with David (Haywood) more. My boss and one of my co-workers are Canadian and we ended up having a big discussion last year about flags once I realised just how hideous the Red Ensign was.
Talking to them, the two British and four American women on staff, not ONE of them could pick the New Zealand flag out of a line-up. There were only two things they identified as 'kiwi': the little brown fuzzy fruit, and the Silver Fern. Show them a silver fern on a black background, they think New Zealand. Hardly a scientific survey, I know.
Watch us play England and in between the wincing, notice the Barmy Army is flying the George Cross more than the Union Jack. (Sorry, the Union Flag, assuming Dr Who is a reliable source of information.)
When my kids' school did Fake Olympics a couple of years back, all the kids wanted to be in either Japan or Canada - solely because they flags were distinctive and relatively easy to draw.
Yeah, I don't really give a monkey's one way or the other about the flag. But if I was overseas, going to a cricket game, and I wanted to mark my nationality, I'd choose the Fern. It's never looked like an emblem of surrender on the chest of an All Black. The helmet of a Black Cap, possibly. We'll all sit around debating the flag intellectually for decades more, but I think while we do it, the Fern will be taking over as New Zealand's unofficial flag.
And 'Why Does Love Do This to Me' as our unofficial national anthem.
Now I don't know what Dr Who said, but it's the Union Flag alright.
It's illegal to fly it as a jack (except on Royal Navy ships).
Shouldn't be too surprised about England using their own flag, however.
Well, I think _God Save the Queen_ has to be the most appalling anthem ever. We should get rid of it first, not that we ever play it anymore. It's not actually a national anthem either, it's little more than a feudal calling to God to protect the Sovereign, the product of an age when the Divine Right of Kings was unchallenged stupidity.
We should dump it, and really so should Britain. I think _Land of Hope and Glory_ encapsulates more of what Britain's about than GSTQ's pathetic tune, which is truly awful. And also, it's German. But then so are the Saxe-Coburg-Battenburg-Windsors.
As for the MCH - so what? A certain MCH website also states that the "Queen of England" is New Zealand's Head of state, which isn't legally correct. In fact that office hasn't existed since the time of Queen Anne!
The New Zealand flag is a defaced Blue Ensign. If you want to argue history, you can't turn around and make up new interpretations of what the flag means. It's blue because that's the colour the Royal Navy wanted for ships owned by Colonial Governments (cf Colonial Navy Defence Act 1865).
__Well, I think _God Save the Queen_ has to be the most appalling anthem ever.__
Depends on the version... the one popularised in 1977 was rather catchy and the hacked lyrics of it are unforgettable.
Yeah, I'm pretty sure the Maple Leaf flag came about as a compromise and the Wikipedia (I'm not a little hesitant to quote it now) article hints at it when it says:
"Pearson was leader on a minority Government and risked losing power over the issue; however, Pearson knew the Red Ensign with the Union Jack was unpopular in Quebec, a Liberal base of support. The Red Ensign was strongly favoured by rural English Canada, the heart of Tory support."
The Union Flag is of British origin (or Scots, Anglo-Saxon and Northern Irish if you must) but I would suggest being careful with Year 0 restarts of history nevertheless. If anything, the present NZ flag needs to incorporate a Maori equivalent to the Union Flag. I don't like the idea of wiping out what little history there is in NZ.
I think _God Save the Queen_ has to be the most appalling anthem ever.
I so totally agree! Whenever I am embarrassed by the awfulness of 'God Defend New Zealand' I think of the imbecility of 'God Save The Queen' and cheer myself up no end...
But in the (somewhat unlikely) event of being made Prime Minister of Britain, I would go straight for 'Jerusalem'. William Blake was the Billy Bragg of the early 1800s, and he manages to take the piss out of organized religion, and work in an environmental message at the same time. Elgar's tune is a knockout, and can any national athem match the poetry of this:
Bring me my bow
of burning gold,
Bring me my arrows
And how wonderfully understated to refer to your country as merely "green and pleasant"...
I don't like the idea of wiping out what little history there is in NZ.
This assertion annoys me. How does removing the Union Flag from our flag "wipe out" history exactly? Will children be banned from learning Early modern English history? Will Kipling clubs be hounded? Will Scottish Harriers find their tracks strewn with glass? Of course not. Removing the Union Flag from New Zealand's flag isn't about "wiping out" history any more than adopting the Kiwi as a national symbol over the Lion and Unicorn.
Removing the Union Flag won't write it out of our history books.
i tend to agree with lewis, because the history argument reminds me of the "fight and die for a flag" line.
i prefer to think my ancestors were fighting against fascism in at least one war. the flag was just a something to rally round, so you didn't shoot the wrong side.
the flag's just a marker, it's the people who are the real asset.
word to your mom.
what little history there is in NZ
Umm, dude are you from Invercargill? There's at least 1000 years of history in Aotearoa, that's a pretty good effort. You've heard of the Maori peoples maybe?
Removing the Union Flag won't write it out of our history books
Ae, you'd think changing the flag would add yet another layer to the 1000 years or so of history already laid down here? I just hope Kevin Roberts has nothing to do with it... shudder.
NB: My apologies so my southern kith and kin, I am in the deep south for the first time and am still recovering from the other colours in our apparently rainbow nation down here. On the upside at least the good peeps of Dunedin aren't obsessed with demolishing beautiful old buildings. The architecture here kicks arse on the depressing urban environment of Auckland.
you'd think changing the flag would add yet another layer to the 1000 years or so of history already laid down here? I just hope Kevin Roberts has nothing to do with it... shudder.
Well I think the final design won't be what Kev wants somehow. You know, public consultation and referendums and that.
But you're right. I always like to point out that the history argument is also a nonsense because of the United Tribes flag. If we were really into honoring out history, we'd adopt the United Tribes flag as our own. I for one wouldn't mind that one bit.
NB: My apologies so my southern kith and kin, I am in the deep south for the first time and am still recovering from the other colours
I mean, the lack of other colours, almost as lamented as the lack of webforum edit function.
William Blake was the Billy Bragg of the early 1800s ...
It pleases me to run a site where such observations are made.
Please no, William Blake was not. If interested please read, Blake and the New Age by Kathleen Raine, or better still, read all of Blake.
The eagle never lost so much time as when it submitted to learn from the crow. William Blake.
Well, logically speaking, removing a historical emblem lessens its significance. Eventually, it gets written out of our immediate history - how many remember what the Canadian flag looked like before the Maple Leaf? Removing the Union Flag means burying some history, and we should be clear about that.
If it's a clean break with all things British we want, it needs to go further than just replacing the flag though. Making Maori compulsory in school and on street signs is needed (I don't understand why it isn't like this already in fact) with perhaps the goal being the phasing out of English.
As for a new flag somehow magically bringing forth thousand years of Maori history, I'm not so sure that will work. Perhaps if Kevin Roberts gets a few hundred million to come up with some slick commercials on it...
What's the problem by the way with keeping the Union Flag but adding for instance the United Tribes one on the other side?
Please no, William Blake was not.
I wasn't suggesting that they both produced illuminated books, or that Billy Bragg wanders around mumbling: "I see an innumerable company of the heavenly host crying: holy, holy, holy". I was just making a light-hearted comparison in terms of their ability to be both patriotic and critical of their country at the same time, the obvious parallels with regard to their social and political idealism, and...
Oh, never mind.
I have, mere inches away from my hand, a CD on which Billy Bragg sings Blake's Jerusalem. It was BB who taught me the words and enabled me to join with ex-Timaru Boys High students in singing it drunkenly on New Year's Eves.
don't worry david. i got your back on that one. it's not easy being of artistic temperament and also wanting to point out the failings of your countrymen.
Well, logically speaking, removing a historical emblem lessens its significance.
No it doesn't. We removed the Lion and Unicorn from our coat of arms, but their historical significance hasn't been lessoned. Sure most NZers mightn't know the difference, but then that's an education issue. I mean really, are we going to blot out the Union Flag from paintings of the signing of the Treaty? Of course not. Neither would there be any reason to take down the Union Flag over Waitangi.
What's the problem by the way with keeping the Union Flag but adding for instance the United Tribes one on the other side?
Because you'd cover up the top star of the southern cross, which is actually a south pacific symbol.
The clincher would be if the Union as we know it breaks up. Given the current rumblings by Scottish nationalists (and the likelyhood that the SNP will win the next Scottish Parliamentary elections), that could just happen - although it's not that likely. And then we really would have a historical appendix on our flag.