Flag campaigner Lewis Holden has unfurled another load of old flannel today.
On the one hand, he says New Zealanders are adopting the Silver Fern as the national flag because they identify with it more than the Southern Cross.
But in the next breath, he says it’s important that we talk about this on our national holiday.
If we have already adopted it (as he claims), what’s there to talk about?
We haven’t done it of course.
Some of us (including Alf) are proud defenders of the flag we already have, because it incorporates the Union Jack, which – hurrah – shows our ties with Britain. Others are simply indifferent.
But Holden won’t be discouraged by those realities, as we learn here.
Flag campaigner Lewis Holden said New Zealand needed a flag that Kiwis connected with and related to, rather than one which gets confused with the Australian flag.
“It’s important that we talk about this on our national holiday, these issues of symbolism. Because it is actually quite important, feeling like you’re part of something,” he said.
It may well be that Holden has been inspired by Robert The Bruce, a hairy Scot whose observations of a spider’s struggles to spin a web taught him to try, try and try again.
Mr Holden, chairman of the Republican Movement of Aotearoa New Zealand, was involved in the 2005 campaign to hold a referendum for a new flag.
The petition attracted about 100,000 of the 270,000 signatures required for the referendum to be considered by the Government.
What were those numbers again?
A trifling 100,000 Kiwis were moved to sign the petition.
That’s 2 per cent of the population.
But is Holden convinced?
Mr Holden said it was evident at sports matches and events of national significance that New Zealanders preferred to wave the Silver Fern.
“And from pictures I’ve seen of the Waitangi Day pub crawl in London, very few people actually had New Zealand flags – they were all draped in Silver Ferns or Southern Crosses.”
They were all pissed, too.
Labour politicians don’t need to consume much alcohol to addle their brains, of course.
Labour spokesman for Arts, Culture & Heritage, Charles Chauvel, who put forward the New Zealand Flag Bill in 2010, said the Government needed to address the issue.
“We should be able to openly debate who we are as New Zealanders, as a Pacific nation, but also one filled with many other cultures.”
Dunno what the tosser is on about.
We ARE able to openly debate who we are as New Zealanders, as a Pacific nation, but also one filled with many other cultures.
If someone is stopping us, nobody has informed Alf.
For the record, Chauvel’s bill is still waiting to be drawn, which means it has gathered quite a bit of dust in the past few years .
It does not aim to introduce a new flag. Being a Labour idea, it aims to create a commission which would spend 18 months seeking public input on the status of the national flag.
The commission would be appointed by the Prime Minister after consulting all parliamentary leaders.
According to the Herald report cited above –
As part of its functions, it would hold a nationwide competition for new flag designs, ranking the three that best reflect national identity, aspirations, culture and heritage.
It also advocates flying the current flag at occasions within New Zealand, but to use the new flag overseas.
Now, isn’t that a delectably typical Labour way of doing things.
The bugger wants a bob each way.