A new New Zealand flag

October 17th, 2011 at 4:03 pm by David Farrar

In my blog at I salute New Zealand’s new national flag.

UPDATE: 39 comments at Stuff in under 30 minutes. Lots of people fired up on this one.

UPDATE2: Now almost 200 comments, and pretty much all since 3.30 pm which is normally the dead zone.

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122 Responses to “A new New Zealand flag”

  1. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    If we could JUST get it to look more fern-y, less feather-y.

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  2. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    It is no more a new national flag (intended or accidental) than the ‘boxing kangaroo’ was intended to be a replacement flag for Australia

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  3. Manolo (13,341 comments) says:

    An old chestnut revisited. If ain’t broken,…..

    We appreciate your inquiry, it has been duly noted. We at Department of Whinging have a strict filing system, and your submission has been granted the label of Rant, and will therefore be replied just as soon as we find someone who thinks this is a subject any one actually cares about. Thank you for your time.

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  4. speters (108 comments) says:

    Pretty sure the reason other countries haven’t likewise abandoned their offical national flags is because they don’t have a national symbol that they associate with their rugby team to an extent we do…

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  5. thedavincimode (6,530 comments) says:

    Affirmative Manolo.

    But if we were to change, and we want to keep the black & white/silver thing going, wouldn’t a Friesian be more appropriate?

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  6. adc (534 comments) says:

    yawn

    don’t we have anything better to spend time and money on? Costs of changing flags are quite large.

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  7. s.russell (1,560 comments) says:

    Yes, change the flag. And get rid of the embarrassing national anthem. Slice of Heaven would be much better except that it is actually rather hard to sing.

    adc,
    I agree. There are far more important issues facing the nation, so why don’t you go and attend to them instead of wasting time making a post on such an unimportant issue.

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  8. Pete George (22,784 comments) says:

    We should get it done in time for the final, then everyone would be cheering and (hopefully) celebrating under the new official flag.

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  9. KiwiGreg (3,170 comments) says:

    Must be an election coming up. Hey everybody look over here, no not at the economy, look at a new flag…..

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  10. Chthoniid (2,027 comments) says:

    Yep, it’s a done deal.

    People prefer it to what we’ve got now. We’ve already used the silver fern as a military emblem. The official debate has been left behind.

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  11. KiwiGreg (3,170 comments) says:

    “People prefer it to what we’ve got now.”

    What people?

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  12. Scott Chris (5,875 comments) says:

    Getting the cart before the horse here.

    1) Rewrite the constitution.
    2) Rewrite the law.
    3) Establish the Republic of Zealandia.
    4) Elect a President.
    5) Have a cup of tea.
    6) Design a new flag.

    [DPF: (6) can occour before (1)]

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  13. CJPhoto (213 comments) says:

    Problem is the NZRU (All Blacks) will probably claim copyright!

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  14. YesWeDid (1,029 comments) says:

    People ‘prefer’ the new flag because it’s $5 at The Warehouse.

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  15. Pete George (22,784 comments) says:

    No, Scott Chris, the flag can be changed very simply, it’s the de facto flag of choice anyway. Doesn’t matter if the new design is slightly different, as long as it looks about the same. The new official design woukld gradually replace all the similar ones.

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  16. Aredhel777 (278 comments) says:

    I’ve seen plenty of people fly the real New Zealand flag. You’re just taking advantage of a situation where lots of flags are being flown to further your republican agenda. Well, I *like* the Queen and I like Britain too, and if we have a referendum on the matter I’ll be voting to retain the monarchy. Deal with it.

    [DPF: I like the Queen and the UK also. Also the issue of the flag and the republic are separate issues, while partially linked. Many monarchists support a flag change]

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  17. Nookin (3,034 comments) says:

    Why do we need a new Constitution, rewrite the law and establish a republic before changing the flag?

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  18. Fletch (6,013 comments) says:

    It’s like a virus…..

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  19. Peter (1,578 comments) says:

    Agree on the flag. Also, ditch the godawful religious nutter anthem…..

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  20. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    DPF,

    What a load of crap. Driving around Auckland I have seen just as many people flying the New Zealand flag as the silver fern. The claim that Kiwis have chosen the silver fern over our actual flag is simply dishonest liberal propaganda. What is about liberals that they want to rape our heritage and destroy every last vestige of our historic connection with Britain?

    New Zealanders have not at any time as a majority supported your anti-British and republican ideology.

    They do not want to live in some heritage free republic of Aotearoa.

    Latte liberals like yourself are a small minority of arrogant elites who not represent the views of most patriotic New Zealanders.

    [DPF: I'm not anti-British. Quite the contrary. I'm juse secure enough in my identity and NZ's identity to know we can still revere our historical links with the UK, but have a head of state who will cheer for the All Blacks against the Lions]

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  21. Scott Chris (5,875 comments) says:

    Well if we’re going to execute old Jack o’ th’ Union, isn’t that symbolic of something?

    But of course, I’m just pushing my barrow.

    No reason why we can’t change the flag first.

    It’s a step in the right direction.

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  22. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    Internationally the colour black is the colour of piracy. Having our official New Zealand flag in the colour would be stupid beyond belief.

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  23. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    Liberalism is basically a form of cultural Marxism, hence the insane stupidity of Scott that, like the Communists, we can invent an entirely new country with all new laws out of thin air.

    I can deal with that. Every country has its traitors. What I cannot deal with is the cultural Marxists infiltrating the National Party and turning it into a pale imitation of Labour. That is nothing more than spitting on the heritage of that party, and of our country.

    Eternal shame upon them.

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  24. nasska (10,632 comments) says:

    Scott Chris

    1) Just junk the crap constitution we’ve got & replace it with something with some guts like the Yanks have.
    2) What’s wrong with what we’ve got?
    3) And end up with President Clark…no way!
    4) See (3).
    5) Remember what happened after David Lange suggested that.
    6) Good idea.

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  25. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    “I’m juse secure enough in my identity and NZ’s identity to know we can still revere our historical links with the UK, but have a head of state who will cheer for the All Blacks ”

    Thats not secure in your identity. Its adolescent rebellion. People who are secure in their identity grow up and stop rebelling against their parents.

    A republican New Zealand will descend into statist tyranny, even more than we already have. A President will become yet another political football, and yet another layer of state power and government bureaucracy.

    Republicanism is the contrary to everything the National Party is supposed to stand for.

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  26. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    Lee01,

    Why is republicanism anti-British? It’s not about being anti-Britian it’s about a country being mature enough to rule itself without reference to a foreign power. Britain can still be “our” heritage just as Maori tribalism and living on the Pa is “our” heritage, but that’s the past. The future is a new and completely independent nation that still embraces its cultural heritage whilst acknowledging that government authority is justly derived from the people, and not from an unelected foreigner who lives on the other side of the world and who has little personal connection to the things that make this country unique.

    Moreover, while it’s arguable that a majority do or do not support becoming a republic, it should be noted that your particular objections are deeply rooted in your anti-democratic sentiment which is certainly shared by a much much much smaller proportion of the population than those who favour becoming a republic.

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  27. Scott Chris (5,875 comments) says:

    Hell, I like Poms. Most of us speak Pommish, albeit a rather Yankified version.

    It’s all very well to value our cultural tradition, but that is a far cry from pledging symbolic fealty to a redundant institution.

    Geographically speaking, we couldn’t be further from Britain.

    The Queen Is Dead*. Long Live The Republic.

    *Meaning an anachronism. She seems like a nice old duck really.

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  28. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    Lee01,

    “People who are secure in their identity grow up and stop rebelling against their parents.”

    Being secure in your identity is knowing who you are and where you want to go, it is not following blindly in the footsteps of those before you.

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  29. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    Weihana,

    A great many of the republican supporters in this country are influenced by the Marxist ideology of post-colonialism, which is anti-British.

    There is no good argument in favour of republicanism. Becoming a republic does not mean we would have “grown up”. Quite the contrary.

    The British Crown is not a “foriegn power” but our head of state.

    Ditch that and the truth is that a vital part of our cultural and constitutional heritage will be gone, and do not be fooled, it will lead to even greaty state tyranny than we now have.

    It is a step in the wrong direction.

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  30. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    Being secure in your identity is knowing who you are and where you want to go, it is not following blindly in the footsteps of those before you.

    Following those who have gone before is called honouring your ancestors. Liberals, being adolescents by nature, despise all ancestral and parental heritage.

    I have seen were people like you “want to go”. Liberal state tyranny.

    No thanks.

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  31. Scott Chris (5,875 comments) says:

    nasska says:- “Just junk the crap constitution we’ve got & replace it with something with some guts like the Yanks have.”

    According to most basic secular philosophical principles, a country’s constitution *defines* its morality, and therefore its law.

    Our current constitution and law are a real mishmash of bits and bobs, that we’ve accumulated over the centuries, like detritus in a boot.

    I just reckon it’s time to throw out the bathwater, keep the baby and start anew.

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  32. tvb (4,199 comments) says:

    The silver fern is crap. It brands NZers with sport. We go much further than that despite the brilliance of the All-Blacks.

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  33. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    Lee01,

    You are kidding yourself by believing the Queen is anything but foreign. Simply being our head of state does not make her a true kiwi and no one being honest with themselves would regard her as such. She has a position of authority, but that does not make her one of us.

    Although to be fair she doesn’t actually have a position of authority, she has a title with no actual power attached to it. Her “powers” are nothing more than ceremony and in no way does her position as head of state influence how the elected government runs the country. No politician in this country thinks to themselves “Gee, I want to pass this law… but what will the Queen think?”.

    This is why I don’t actually think becoming a republic is an important issue unless we’re talking about more constitutional changes that would limit the power of Parliament and increase the power of the judiciary to provide a “balance of powers”. I find it somewhat ironic that you would oppose this kind of republicanism. An appropriately empowered judiciary, such as that in the USA, puts far more restraint on democracy than a monarch, like Queen Elizabeth, does.

    For practical purposes we have been operating like a Republic since 1947 and even more so since the establishment of the Supreme Court of New Zealand. Formalizing our constitution as a republic would simply be an acknowledgement of what has already occured.

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  34. annie (537 comments) says:

    From the original article:

    Why have so many New Zealanders chosen to fly [the silver fern], rather than that actual flag defined in Schedule 1 of the Flags, Emblems and Name Protection Act 1981?

    Because that’s all I could buy in the shops. The silver fern decision was made by the people who supplied the flags.

    The silver fern is pretty twee and furthermore it means rugby for most of us. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but to adopt it as a national emblem is a bit to far. And I can’t see white on black helping our depression and suicide rates much either.

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  35. 3-coil (1,200 comments) says:

    I don’t believe that a white feather on a black background is appropriate for our national flag.

    It looks too much like the All Blacks logo (even without the adidas stripes) – do we really define ourselves relative to a sports team?

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  36. Steve (4,495 comments) says:

    annie @ 5.43
    ‘And I can’t see white on black helping our depression and suicide rates much either.’
    What did I miss here? Where does the depression and suicide bit come in? I fail to see the link.
    BTW, jumping off the bridge is fun, you should try it

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  37. gump (1,474 comments) says:

    Lee01 said:

    “Internationally the colour black is the colour of piracy. Having our official New Zealand flag in the colour would be stupid beyond belief.”

    ———————–

    Do you honestly think that Pirates still fly black flags?

    Seriously?

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  38. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    # Lee01 (1,469) Says:
    October 17th, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Following those who have gone before is called honouring your ancestors. Liberals, being adolescents by nature, despise all ancestral and parental heritage.

    I have seen were people like you “want to go”. Liberal state tyranny.

    No thanks.

    ————————————–

    Liberalism IS our heritage Lee. You may despise and regret the Age of Enlightenment but it did occur and it did profoundly change the nature and organization of western society. It is part of the reason the monarchy has effectively no real power anymore. This is what we have inherited from our ancestors and I for one am grateful for it.

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  39. wat dabney (3,656 comments) says:

    What about the gay rainbow flag?

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  40. Scott Chris (5,875 comments) says:

    tvb says:- “The silver fern is crap. It brands NZers with sport.”

    The silver fern is a native plant, but I take your point. It has a long symbolic association with sport.

    Question is, what simple symbol would be most appropriate?

    The thing about most symbols, is that they adapt to their context, so in 50 years or so, the silver fern would be primarily a national symbol, if we were to adopt it as such.

    The difference between the silver fern and the Union Jack though, is that the symbology of the Union Jack is far more definitively singular in it’s meaning.

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  41. nasska (10,632 comments) says:

    Scott Chris

    Agreed that a constitution should define a nation. It is just that ours is such a piss weak bit of twaddle that can mean everything & can mean nothing at the whim of the government of the day. Worse than that it is non binding on the government in that although it is entrenched the entrenchment law isn’t. With a joke of a constitution & a unicameral House there is no check to government power except the triennial elections.

    I understand where you’re coming from re the law but there is little incentive to tidy things up. After all it is within relatively recent times that the crimes act was rewritten not to include which wagon wheel a man was allowed to piss against.

    Don’t hold your breath while waiting for change!

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  42. swan (659 comments) says:

    @Lee01

    “Liberal state tyranny.”

    If you think that little sentence makes any sense you have no clue about what liberalism is. Go read some John Stuart Mill.

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  43. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    3-coil (961) Says:
    October 17th, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    “…do we really define ourselves relative to a sports team?”

    Why not? It’s simply a symbol of unity and I am not sure I can think of anything other than Rugby which unites so many different people from different political, ethnic and cultural backgrounds and which generates such strong feelings of national pride.

    For me it’s not that we’re defining ourselves in relation to Rugby rather we would simply be hijacking an effective symbol that unites a lot of people and which makes us unique. Moreover, the Silver Fern was actually a fern endemic to this country before it was a sports symbol. It is also found on our coat of arms, so to suggest it only has meaning within the context of sports is false.

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  44. NX (602 comments) says:

    Maybe Adidas could produce the new flag for us….

    Nah, stick with what we have. The Silver Fern is fine for sporting events. And the Blue ensign for when John Key visits Number 10 or the White House.

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  45. simonway (371 comments) says:

    Liberalism is basically a form of cultural Marxism, hence the insane stupidity of Scott that, like the Communists, we can invent an entirely new country with all new laws out of thin air.

    I can deal with that. Every country has its traitors.

    Hey, Lee01, I found these. I think they belong to you.

    The British Crown is not a “foriegn power” but our head of state.

    Sorry, that ship sailed decades ago. New Zealand and the UK have their own, separate, independent monarchies (it just so happens that the monarch is the same person in each country). The Sovereign of the UK doesn’t have all that much to do with New Zealand nowadays. This discussion is about New Zealand’s Sovereign.

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  46. Shunda barunda (2,965 comments) says:

    And the rest of the world will say: “why do you have fish bones on your flag”

    Seriously, it looks more like the back bone of a stinking red Cod than a silver fern, if you want a fern on a flag, draw a bloody fern!!

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  47. Shunda barunda (2,965 comments) says:

    Being secure in your identity is knowing who you are and where you want to go, it is not following blindly in the footsteps of those before you.

    Yawn :roll:

    Being secure is knowing that you don’t have to stamp your ‘mark’ on everything and knowing that sometimes there is a reason why generations past did things the way they did.
    Sometimes the worn path is the best path, true security in oneself is maintaining your own identity and individuality whilst honouring and respecting those that have gone before, if every generation tried to reinvent the wheel, well, you end up with the society we have created over the past 30 years :)

    Change for the sake of change is about as insecure as one can get.

    “oh so and so is such a free spirit”
    No!! so and so is an idiot that refuses to grow up and covers for gross insecurity through a continuing series of abrupt changes and irrational decision making, that people celebrate this crap is the reason for many of our problems in society.

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  48. Dazzaman (1,123 comments) says:

    Nah. Doubt you’ll find much traction for your republican views out here in the provinces but….like anything, say it long & loud enough and people will believe it. I guess the tipping point for the republican claptrap is getting closer every time you throw it out there ay, Farrar? Once every 3 months now, I guess?

    The Blue Ensign forever……although I did see a fantastic Maori stylized version of it a few months back. Both decidedly far better than the silver fern.

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  49. wat dabney (3,656 comments) says:

    Two crossed, dead Frenchmen atop a mound of dead Frenchmen motif.

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  50. Rick Rowling (801 comments) says:

    “…do we really define ourselves relative to a sports team?”

    Why not? It’s simply a symbol of unity and I am not sure I can think of anything other than Rugby which unites so many different people from different political, ethnic and cultural backgrounds

    Bollocks. Having a dump each morning unites more of us than rugby. Lets have a bog roll on our flag instead.

    /deliberate truncating of citation to make tenuous argument slightly more plausible.

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  51. Scott Chris (5,875 comments) says:

    Rick Rowling says:- “Lets have a bog roll on our flag instead.”

    Heh! Not a bad idea.

    Or you could have a flag printed on your bog roll, and sell it to the Tuhoe.

    Make a fortune.

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  52. Scott Chris (5,875 comments) says:

    Shunda barunda says:- “people would ask, “why do you have fish bones on your flag?””

    Lmao!

    Well at least the fish bones motif complies with Lee’s observation that a black flag is piratically symbolic.

    Just need a skull to complete the “skull and fish bones”

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  53. Brian Smaller (3,987 comments) says:

    Change the flag to the Silver Fern on black field. Then change our National Anthem. Not the words, or the tune…just play it a bit faster so it is a little more jaunty and a little less dirgy.

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  54. Brian Smaller (3,987 comments) says:

    Pirates actually flew way more flags than a device on a black field. Many used Red fields. The black flag was a ‘take no prisoners’ special. Nowadays pirates, if they have a flag, would more than likely have a white crescent on a green background.

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  55. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    What an insecure bunch

    We have our flag.

    It doesn’t look too much like the Australian one, the Australian one looks too much like our one.

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  56. dime (9,396 comments) says:

    the silver fern is our sporting flag. thats it.

    i like that our flag is similar to our anzac brothers.

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  57. Murray (8,838 comments) says:

    Well I’m glad Sir Ed is dead, it would a fucking embarrassment to have him laid to rest under a shitty warehouse sold corporate logo like that.

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  58. Ross Nixon (607 comments) says:

    Their is an obvious colour missing from that flag; RED! Rugby is a ‘blood sport’ after all.
    We need a designer to work out where to have it dripping from.

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  59. Chthoniid (2,027 comments) says:

    Black flags were also the colour of the Sunni Abbasid caliphate from the murder of the 4th Caliph Ali, to the Mongol conquest of Baghdad in 1258. Or, who really cares who has used black before. Although…given that this may annoy some people even more, the appeal of black is growing.

    I’m pondering how we could use the silver-fern as a military emblem in the Boer War, but then assume its a monopoly of our sporting teams.

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  60. leftyliberal (642 comments) says:

    “Lets have a bog roll on our flag instead.”

    Over or under?

    Personally I’d be behind a switch to the silver fern, but apparently that’s because I’m liberal. Ask anyone overseas what the NZ flag is – most would point to the silver fern as that’s what they see with our sportspeople, who are often our most effective ambassadors.

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  61. Richard29 (377 comments) says:

    I agree it is time for a change. I’m not a big fan of a black flag and would be more supportive of a more colourful design but with uniquely New Zealand/Aotearoa feel (incorporation of Koru, Fern, southern cross or whatever).

    To those commenting around the Monarchy/Republic debate this is a completely separate issue, Canada and several other nations have dumped their colonial flags and retained links to the monarchy.

    John Ansell wrote a very good blog on the issue here:
    https://johnansell.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/12-states-discarded-jack-kept-queen/

    In terms of the “people died for the flag so we shouldn’t change it” that’s a very weak argument. People die for the nation not for the flag, by that argument we should not change anything in our nation ever.

    Lets just get on with it already…

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  62. Richard29 (377 comments) says:

    I agree it is time for a change. I’m not a big fan of a black flag and would be more supportive of a more colourful design but with uniquely New Zealand/Aotearoa feel (incorporation of Koru, Fern, southern cross or whatever).

    To those commenting around the Monarchy/Republic debate this is a completely separate issue, Canada and several other nations have dumped their colonial flags and retained links to the monarchy.

    John Ansell wrote a very good blog on the issue here:
    https://johnansell.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/12-states-discarded-jack-kept-queen

    In terms of the “people died for the flag so we shouldn’t change it” that’s a very weak argument. People die for the nation not for the flag, by that argument we should not change anything in our nation ever.

    Lets just get on with it already…

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  63. RF (1,263 comments) says:

    OK if you want to change the flag why not have the Kiwi. The same as our army and Police overseas. White on a black background.

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  64. RRM (9,435 comments) says:

    OH WHAT UTTER UTTER BOLLOCKS DPF. And shame on you for the disingenuity.

    People aren’t flying the silver fern flags as a sign that they want to change the National Flag.

    People are flying them because they are being told by the Rugby(TM) marketing board that they must show their support for their Rugby(TM) team, the All Blacks(TM) by buying and flying an official All Blacks(TM) flag.

    Buy, little Rugby(TM) fans, buy! Spend! Consume! Spend! Consume! Swipe that Master Card – the only official credit card of the Rugby(TM) World Cup(TM).

    Saint Colin won’t let you in the pearly gates if you don’t make the pilgrimage at least once in your lifetime. So start buying Rugby crap and prove yourself worthy.

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  65. Brian Smaller (3,987 comments) says:

    I agree it is time for a change. I’m not a big fan of a black flag and would be more supportive of a more colourful design but with uniquely New Zealand/Aotearoa feel (incorporation of Koru, Fern, southern cross or whatever).

    And there is your classic problem. No-one will ever agree on what emblems. If this ever happens, it will go to a stupid committee of government-of-the-day appointees and whackademics like Margaret Mutu. We all know how that flag will look.

    The point is you want something that everyone recognises – here and abroad. The silver fern IS recognised. The Union Jack and Southern Cross on blue field is not.

    As for the Canadian flag, the red maple leaf is on the red-white-red strip that the Canadian Army in WWII used as their national colours on their vehicles in WWII. So adding a red maple leaf to that design was pretty easy.

    @Murray – have to disagree with you. The silver fern was worn on badges on battlefields all over the world, and emblazoned on vehicles as the divisional marker. It is more than a corporate logo.

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  66. Anthony (766 comments) says:

    Just make it the official flag and by-pass all the silly committees!

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  67. smttc (689 comments) says:

    My view on this is that we should only ditch the current flag if and when we are stupid enough to dump our constitutional monarchy as head of state in favour of a republican presidency (God help us). The current flag shows our allegiance to our current constitutional arangements and long may they continue. It ain’t break. So please don’t bother trying to fix it (arguments about national maturity are a load of crap). It was bad enough losing rights of appeal to the Privy Council. Please explain to me why you would ditch free access to the best legal minds in the Commonwealth in favour of a bunch of progressive dynamists.

    Anyway I hope the debate lasts for at least another 50 years. Otherwise NZ’s most important (apparently) living person Helen Clark will be dusting off her CV for the job. And fuck that.

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  68. Griff (6,716 comments) says:

    New Zealand has always resisted cutting the apron strings to England. Changing our flag to represent the modern multicultural society we are now, not our colonial history is a another step in the process of exerting our identity as a unique nation.

    The silver fern has been identified with NZ for years. It has appeal to a wide range of people and does not over represent a minority.

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  69. Someone Else (140 comments) says:

    How much do you get paid per comment by Fairfax?

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  70. Anthony (766 comments) says:

    It’s amazing what a bunch of old fogeys comment on here! Get rid of our boring old colonial flag – we have very little to do with Britain nowadays!

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  71. Scott Chris (5,875 comments) says:

    Turns out Flag Spotters have invented a name for the study of flags.

    It’s called Vexiollogy.

    Here’s what Super-vexiollogist Ted Kaye has to say about flag design:

    1) Keep It Simple: the flag should be so simple that a child can draw it from memory.
    2) Use Meaningful Symbolism: the flag’s images, colors, or patterns should relate to what it symbolizes.
    3) Use 2–3 Basic Colors: that is limit of the number of colors on the flag to three, which contrast well and come from the standard color set.
    4) No Lettering or Seals: never use writing of any kind or an organization’s seal.
    5)Be Distinctive or Be Related: avoid duplicating other flags, but use similarities to show connections.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vexillology

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  72. Fletch (6,013 comments) says:

    I think the rugby flags on cars are actually making money for the gas stations as well. Here’s my theory…

    The more flags on the car, the more drag it creates (aerodynamically), the more gas is used, and the more it costs to fill up the car. Of course, the Govt gets their cut of the tax as well….

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  73. F E Smith (3,302 comments) says:

    Internationally the colour black is the colour of piracy.

     This has to be the best reason yet to make the ‘sports’ flag our official one. 

    Having been a traditionalist in the past, the black one with the silver fern has grown on me and I would now have no objection to it being our official flag.   However, I would prefer the current one any day in favour of the alternative, which is summed up by Richard29

    a more colourful design but with uniquely New Zealand/Aotearoa feel (incorporation of Koru, Fern, southern cross or whatever).

    How awful would that be?  We would have ‘representations of the land, with the sea and the forest as well’ sort of crap.  Nah, it has to be the silver fern on black or else stick to the original.

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  74. adze (1,857 comments) says:

    Maybe our new flag should have a stylised number-8 wire :)

    After all Mozambique has an AK-47 rifle in theirs:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Flag_of_Mozambique.svg

    Seriously though out of all the proposed designs I’ve seen so far, I’ve only liked a couple. I don’t like the hunterwasser one that always crops up, you can keep your snot green koru thanks.
    I’m also ambivalent of the silver fern on a black field (except in a sporting context), although I wouldn’t necessarily be against a fern on a new flag in principle.

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  75. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    The idea that “the flag is not recognisable as the NZ flag because it’s too like other flags” is not as robust as it first sounds for at least two reasons.

    1. Recognisable by who? Pretty sure most people in NZ and Australia can separate their flags. And I’d wager that most in Europe could distinguish between our two flags better than they could many African flags. For one thing, the Union Jack reminds the person guessing it’s in the Commonwealth

    2. What about the French, Dutch and Russian flags? Or the Irish, Italian, and Romanian flags. Are they really that different? Do you hear the Dutch clamouring to change their flag because it’s too like their neighbour’s flag?

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  76. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    Iceland and Norway, very similar. Along with Sweden and Denmark, and Finland – although less so.

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  77. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    Chad and Romania. Identical.

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  78. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    Liberia and the USA.

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  79. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    Ireland and the Ivory Coast. And Indonesia and Poland.

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  80. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Egypt. Blah blah blah, I could go on but I’ve made my point.

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  81. V (668 comments) says:

    A post like that on stuff, basically disqualifies you from complaining about trolls doesn’t it?

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  82. Aredhel777 (278 comments) says:

    “Just junk the crap constitution we’ve got & replace it with something with some guts like the Yanks have.”

    No thank you, I rather like our current constitutional arrangement. It doesn’t give our judges (who are, by the way, unelected) too much power to strike down legislation as unconstitutional.

    “You are kidding yourself by believing the Queen is anything but foreign. Simply being our head of state does not make her a true kiwi and no one being honest with themselves would regard her as such. She has a position of authority, but that does not make her one of us.”

    To which monarchists often reply that the Queen’s representative, the Governor-General, is however very much a New Zealander. The Governor-Generals have been born and bred New Zealanders for decades and are intimately familiar with our culture. Suck it, republicans.

    “Although to be fair she doesn’t actually have a position of authority, she has a title with no actual power attached to it.”

    This is patently false. The Queen has power of veto over every Act passed by Parliament, and Cabinet is appointed by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister. This has proven important in the Australian constitutional crisis of 1975, where the Governor-General Sir John Kerr exercised Her Majesty’s powers to sack the Prime Minister, thus proving said powers far from ceremonial.

    Besides, it is wonderful that we have a check on parliamentary power. I mean if, God forbid, Act somehow racked up 15% of the vote and tried to pass an Act to decriminalise torture or something horrible, the Queen could step in.

    “For practical purposes we have been operating like a Republic since 1947 and even more so since the establishment of the Supreme Court of New Zealand.”

    For that matter, it was incredibly dumb to do away with our right of access to the Privy Council. Silly liberals.

    “Liberalism IS our heritage Lee. You may despise and regret the Age of Enlightenment but it did occur and it did profoundly change the nature and organization of western society. It is part of the reason the monarchy has effectively no real power anymore. This is what we have inherited from our ancestors and I for one am grateful for it.”

    This is profoundly ignorant on many levels. New Zealand was born out of British traditions in 1840. British law and culture was influenced by the Reformation, not the Enlightenment.

    “If you think that little sentence makes any sense you have no clue about what liberalism is. Go read some John Stuart Mill.”

    A theory may be very different in theory than in practice. This was the case with communism, which was by the way a philosophy squarely in the naturalistic Enlightenment tradition. The practical outcome of Enlightenment philosophy has been demonstrated in countless nations in the pass few centuries, especially in the twentieth century. Look at Napoleonic France, Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, Franco’s Spain or Mussolini’s Italy, each of them Enlightenment nations.

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  83. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    # Aredhel777 (89) Says:
    October 18th, 2011 at 1:07 am

    I rather like our current constitutional arrangement. It doesn’t give our judges (who are, by the way, unelected) too much power to strike down legislation as unconstitutional.

    On the other hand it ensures that established principles, fundamental to a free and democratic society, are not altered for transient political interests.

    Weihana – “Although to be fair she doesn’t actually have a position of authority, she has a title with no actual power attached to it.”

    This is patently false. The Queen has power of veto over every Act passed by Parliament, and Cabinet is appointed by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister. This has proven important in the Australian constitutional crisis of 1975, where the Governor-General Sir John Kerr exercised Her Majesty’s powers to sack the Prime Minister, thus proving said powers far from ceremonial.

    True, though the exercise of these powers was to avoid a constitutional crisis, it was not to rule as such which was the type of power I was meaning.

    Besides, it is wonderful that we have a check on parliamentary power. I mean if, God forbid, Act somehow racked up 15% of the vote and tried to pass an Act to decriminalise torture or something horrible, the Queen could step in.

    But would she? And could she really? If such a bill were to pass it would require Parliament to approve it. This means that a majority want to decriminalize torture. Therefore the Queen would be ignoring the will of the people and would not simply be trying to avoid constitutional crisis. Her stepping in could itself create a constitutional crisis of sorts if it resulted in popular revolt which is the true seat of authority.

    The Queen’s role is more to uphold the constitution and not to stop Parliament from passing law she disagrees with. Parliament would have to do something so unlikely, so out of step with popular opinion and so objectionable for the Queen to even consider interfering. Thus the Queen’s role is much more limited when compared to the US system where the courts often strike out legislation as unconstitutional.

    Weihana – “Liberalism IS our heritage Lee. You may despise and regret the Age of Enlightenment but it did occur and it did profoundly change the nature and organization of western society. It is part of the reason the monarchy has effectively no real power anymore. This is what we have inherited from our ancestors and I for one am grateful for it.”

    This is profoundly ignorant on many levels. New Zealand was born out of British traditions in 1840. British law and culture was influenced by the Reformation, not the Enlightenment.

    It has been influenced by both. Where do you suppose people like John Locke and David Hume came from? They did not influence law and culture in Britain?

    “If you think that little sentence makes any sense you have no clue about what liberalism is. Go read some John Stuart Mill.”

    A theory may be very different in theory than in practice. This was the case with communism, which was by the way a philosophy squarely in the naturalistic Enlightenment tradition. The practical outcome of Enlightenment philosophy has been demonstrated in countless nations in the pass few centuries, especially in the twentieth century. Look at Napoleonic France, Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, Franco’s Spain or Mussolini’s Italy, each of them Enlightenment nations.

    The Enlightenment could be linked with a variety of contradictory philosophies. That doesn’t make liberalism equal to fascism.

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  84. Brian Smaller (3,987 comments) says:

    Changing our flag has nothing to do with retaining the Monarch as head of state.

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  85. rouppe (914 comments) says:

    I don’t like a flag where the predominant colour is black.

    I also don’t understand what the fuss is about the NZ flag. If you can’t distinguish between the Australian and NZ flags, you’re pretty dim.

    One has 4 stars, the other 6
    One has red stars with a white border, the other white stars (and bigger)
    One has 5-pointed stars, the other 7-pointed stars

    That is more points of difference than between the Irish and Italian flags where the only difference is that one has an orange stripe, and the other red. No-one from those countries are getting all exercised about changing that.

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  86. Manolo (13,341 comments) says:

    I agree with rouppe. The whole affair is a mere distraction from more pressing problems facing our country.
    Spin and more spin.

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  87. KiwiGreg (3,170 comments) says:

    @ rouppe or look at all the scandy flags – just different coloured crosses on different coloured backgrounds. France and Netherlands are just the same flags on 900 degree angles.

    @ manolo 100%

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  88. thedavincimode (6,530 comments) says:

    Don’t like the Friesian?

    How about:

    Rampant Buzzy Bee astride a pound of Anchor butter?

    Black and silver credit card with ‘DECLINED’ stamped across it in red?

    Hobbiton?

    An enlarged souvenir Rotorua tea towel?

    The Cloud?

    An All Black haka?

    The Auckland Harbour Bridge?

    A Romney?

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  89. iMP (2,232 comments) says:

    and WHY does the flag need changing, again?
    Having the Union Jack reflects our heritage, founding, and association with the Commonwealth nations…I don’t buy the cringe factor and mommy UK, which is rubbish. The black and fern is a marketing logo; ferns grow all over the world.

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  90. Scott Chris (5,875 comments) says:

    Aredhel says:- “The Queen has power of veto over every Act passed by Parliament”

    So some English monarch of average intelligence has the right to interfere in the politics of a country she knows little about? What makes you think that her judgment has any validity? She may approve of torture for all you know.

    - “The Governor-Generals have been born and bred New Zealanders”

    But unelected and expensive.

    - “it was incredibly dumb to do away with our right of access to the Privy Council”

    So what is your problem with the Supreme Court? Surely, if you believe in the simple principle of justice, then you would value the SC over an out of touch PC.

    - “British law and culture was influenced by the Reformation, not the Enlightenment.”

    This is just plain wrong. I can’t say it any more strongly.

    - “A theory may be very different in theory than in practice”

    Same with any set of ideals. We’re dealing with humans here. Take Christianity for example. How closely does your average Christian adhere to Christ’s law?

    I’ll ask you this. What is “silly” and “incredibly dumb” about the idea of “greatest good”, upon which liberalism is founded? Please critique the idea, not its impeded implementation.

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  91. MT_Tinman (2,985 comments) says:

    I note the “black flag”, albeit with “NZ Cricket” written on it, was displayed alongside the Zimbabwe flag in during the recent candyfloss-cricket matches in Zimbabwe.

    Has the change occurred already?

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  92. Elaycee (4,299 comments) says:

    @thedavincimode:

    You forgot to mention the plastic Waka.

    It cost the taxpayer over a Million to be made. It costs the taxpayer $100,000 per day to operate for the 14 days it will be open. At the end of RWC, it is ‘gifted’ to Ngati Whatua.

    A total disgrace.

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  93. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    @ Scott Chris,

    So some English monarch of average intelligence has the right to interfere in the politics of a country she knows little about? What makes you think that her judgment has any validity?

    Her judgement has validity because the is the Queen. As to her intelligence, compared to the average NZ MP she looks like a brain surgeon.

    Her veto power is, as far as I know, never used. It is a rarity. neverthless, I trust a British Monarch who is above the political fray far more than I would some twit picked here as Pres.

    Lets face it, as soon as we had the idea of a Pres given the go ahead, what do you think is going to happen? First the feminists will demand that its a women. Then Maori will demand its a Maori. And so on. What we will end up with is the lowest common denominator based on political correctness.

    I’ll take the Crown any day over that kind of politicised mediocrity and identity politics.

    - “The Governor-Generals have been born and bred New Zealanders”

    But unelected and expensive.

    The issue of election is not relevant. So what?

    A President would be far, far more expensive than the current arrangement.

    - “British law and culture was influenced by the Reformation, not the Enlightenment.”

    This is just plain wrong. I can’t say it any more strongly.

    You could say it as strongly as you like and you would still be wrong. I have over the last two years, alongside my theology degree, been studying Biritish history. Last term I did a paper on the English civil war, and the truth is that Britian was very much formed through the lense of the Reformation. The so-called enlightenment had far more influence in France, where it led to the Terror. But I am not surprised about your ignorance. Your laughable claims and sheer ignorance of the nature and development of British common law makes any statement you make on British history immediately suspect.

    I’ll ask you this. What is “silly” and “incredibly dumb” about the idea of “greatest good”, upon which liberalism is founded? Please critique the idea, not its impeded implementation.

    There are three problems with it. The ‘greatest good for the greatest number’ is fine, if your amongst the greatest number. What if your not? What if your diabled for example? Utilitarianism, having no objective foundation of absolute right and wrong, always, and WILL always, descend into majoritarian tyranny.

    Second, who defines what “good” is?

    Third, it is based on a lie, that there are no moral absolutes to which we as humans owe allegiance.

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  94. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    From Monarchy New Zealand

    The Queen was born to defend the political power, or sovereignty, of all New Zealanders. She has no interest, need, or desire to use it for her own purposes. She was raised from birth with a fundamental respect for the citizens of all the Commonwealth Realms. The same cannot be said about any elected leader. Some countries have attempted to limit the danger of a politician wielding too much power, but not many nations have had much success. In monarchies, the monarch has turned out to be the ultimate check on politicians. They rein in politicians not by threatening to fire them or veto legislation, but by being able to call an election at any time. This way, the monarch allows the people to decide for themselves if a politician still has the best interests of the public at heart. Fortunately, the Queen and the Governor-General have not had to stop politicians very many times in the past, but it has happened, and no one can ever be sure that they won’t be necessary in the future.

    http://www.monarchy.org.nz/index.html

    An article, from the Occidental Quarterly, written for Australia, but relevant to NZ on why we need the monarchy, and the threat of PC and Statist tyranny that will arise if we become republics.

    http://www.toqonline.com/archives/v5n1/TOQv5n1Fraser.pdf

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  95. thedavincimode (6,530 comments) says:

    Elaycee

    I have made the great pilgramage and have a few observations.

    1. What happened to the $800,000 that must have been left over after it was built?

    2. Why does it cost $100,000 per day to operate?

    3. Who makes the money out of the bar and hot dog facilities and in fact why did it require about 4 bars; one of which appears to have been set up specifically to cater for those viewing the exhibition? Maybe this concept of getting on the piss when viewing cultural exhibitions will catch on at the Auckland Art Gallery or Te Papa.

    4. It was interesting in terms of a Maori rugby perspective, but little to evidence any “showcase” of Maori culture. Hopefully the “showcase” wasn’t contemplating the more than ample drinking facilities.

    5. Judging by the attitudes and demeanour of some of those on the gates when I frst wandered up, I got the distinct impression that Ngati Whatua think they own it already. Entry then was restricted to VIPs only, whomever they were, but that designation did not appear to include the people who had actually paid for it (taxpayers).

    I also have to come clean on the fact that I was quite supportive of this when it was mooted. But after comparing the reality with the hype, I concede the naysayers on this blog exercised better judgement on this issue than I did.

    Tip for the future Ngati Whatua. No need to showcase a drinking and takeaway food culture. And when you’re in public, dealing with the public, make sure that absolutely everyone on your team tries to look and behave as if guests are welcome, particularly when they are from overseas. And then, if its not too much trouble, try not to embarass the people who paid for it when they see how you deal with foreign visitors.

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  96. thedavincimode (6,530 comments) says:

    Lee01

    That’s all good. We shall look forward to these powers being vested in someone who talks to plants when Betty shrugs off the mortal coil. ;)

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  97. Elaycee (4,299 comments) says:

    @thedavincimode – Well said.

    We have some guests here from overseas for RWC and they even remarked that the waka didn’t seem to represent traditional culture compared to what they saw at Waitangi or Rotorua (we took them on a bit of a local tour).

    The tuppawaka is a complete WOFTAM.

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  98. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    I thought we had a second flag – its called the Hone flag – you know the one that John Key said was just the thing when 1200 people (or less) said yes.

    This was after he ignored the 800,000 who wanted the anti-smaking law turned over.

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  99. kowtow (7,592 comments) says:

    There was a similar attempt to change the flag when J Shipley was (briefly ) PM. Coincidence?

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  100. tas (592 comments) says:

    Our flag is so similar to Australia’s that the NZ prime minister accidentally gave a press conference with the wrong flag. The mistake was only noticed when he counted the stars.

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  101. MT_Tinman (2,985 comments) says:

    The current NZ flag has different coloured stars that the Ocker one, counting is unnecessary.

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  102. thedavincimode (6,530 comments) says:

    That was a bet tas.

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  103. Scott Chris (5,875 comments) says:

    Lee says:- “Second, who defines what “good” is?”

    I define it as the freedom to pursue what you want in such a way as to allow or even facilitate others to pursue what they want.

    One person getting things all his way (ie a king) will infringe on another person getting the things he wants and vice versa.

    The maximum societal good is the elusive formula of *best compromise*.

    This is a the Liberal’s holy grail.

    Any other aspiration is *literally* not as good by definition.
    _________________________________________________________________________________________

    So how do you define *good in practice* Lee?

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  104. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    Lee01,


    I’ll ask you this. What is “silly” and “incredibly dumb” about the idea of “greatest good”, upon which liberalism is founded? Please critique the idea, not its impeded implementation.

    There are three problems with it. The ‘greatest good for the greatest number’ is fine, if your amongst the greatest number. What if your not? What if your diabled for example?

    Why is it in the interests of the majority to sacrifice the minority? We’re all a minority in one respect or another so applying this principle consistently puts a person at risk of ending up in one of these minorities. A rational ethics requires consistent application and it is generally not in one’s self interest to advocate for advancing their own interests by sacrificing the interests of others.

    Utilitarianism, having no objective foundation of absolute right and wrong, always, and WILL always, descend into majoritarian tyranny.

    As opposed to minority tyranny? There is no such thing as absolute right and wrong. The basis of an objective morality lies in human nature and our shared interests. The extent to which we have shared goals is the extent to which we can formulate an agreed upon set of objective ethical standards.

    Second, who defines what “good” is?

    The individual. The meaning of “good” is always conditional. Something is good if it achieves some sort of goal. The word is meaningless otherwise. There is no property of “goodness” intrinsic to any object or event in the universe. It is a conditional attribute dependent upon one’s values and how those values can be upheld in reality.

    Third, it is based on a lie, that there are no moral absolutes to which we as humans owe allegiance.

    There are no moral absolutes. No is implies an ought. Moral statements are always conditional.

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  105. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    Lee01,

    Some countries have attempted to limit the danger of a politician wielding too much power, but not many nations have had much success.

    Except the most powerful, influential and technologically advanced nation of all time.

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  106. Aredhel777 (278 comments) says:

    “There are no moral absolutes. No is implies an ought. Moral statements are always conditional.”

    While a discussion of philosophy and ethics may be of considerable interest to me as a philosophy student, it is not remotely relevant to the OP. Nevertheless, I’ll succumb to temptation and respond, as there are two points I would very much like to make:

    1) This is merely your opinion. There are many and varying theories on the existence of objective morality, such as divine command theory, evolutionary ethics, etc. Even if one were to assume for a moment God’s non-existence, moral relativism is not the immediate conclusion. Various arguments must be put forward first, none of which you have volunteered. And if God does exist, of course, Christians, Muslims, Jews, etc., argue that morality rests in his character.

    2) Almost certainly you do not live consistently on the basis of your relativist beliefs, which is excellent evidence that objective morality does exist, as our consciences are testament to this fact. In the future, when you make moral claims on this site I’ll be sure to point this out to you.

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  107. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    @ Weihana

    Why is it in the interests of the majority to sacrifice the minority?

    Whether its in their interests or not, it happens. Humans do not always behave in ways that in their best interests.

    As opposed to minority tyranny?

    A constitutionally limited non-political monarchy is about as far from tyranny as you can get. Thats the point that apologists for republicanism keep avoiding. A President would be political. Having a constitutional safeguard that is above the fray is a huge advantage.

    There is no such thing as absolute right and wrong.

    Yes, there is. If you want to live in a liberal fantasy land in which torturing babies for fun is a lifestyle choice thats your business, but stop foisting that on the rest of us. Society has ebough problems dealing with all the shit that liberals have caused. We do not need more.

    The basis of an objective morality lies in human nature and our shared interests.

    And when our interests are not shared? Ooops. There goes your objectivity. Your talking about subjective opinion, not objective morality. The only objective morality possible is one not dependent on human opinion.

    Your arguments fail. They are based on irrational and abstract ideology. You and Scott talk about abstract Liberal theories, buts its just the same crap that led to the Terror in France, the Nazi’s and the Communists. You cannot invent nations and societies out of thin air. You cannot invent morality out of thin air. Every single modernist attempt to do so from the French Terror to Hitler to Stalin to Mao to Pol Pot has ended in the most horrific tyranny and mass muder imaginable.

    Liberals are like little children playing in a minefield. They think they can ignore the wisdom of their elders, of their ancestors. They think they can just do away with tried and true institutions and moral values, and that nothing bad will happen. They have no idea that their arrogance is so terribly dangerous.

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  108. Scott Chris (5,875 comments) says:

    Aredhel says:- “And if God does exist, of course, Christians, Muslims, Jews, etc., argue that morality rests in his character.”

    Funny that they all decipher different meaning in nature’s patterns. Bit like looking at clouds really.

    -”Almost certainly you do not live consistently on the basis of your relativist beliefs”

    I’ll explain again. Moral relativism is not a belief. It is a way of describing moral systems within their own context without passing judgement.
    You probably employ moral relativist description when comparing, say, Buddhists with Muslims. You simply describe what they believe without a “should” or “ought”.

    -”Various arguments must be put forward first, none of which you have volunteered”

    Such as?

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  109. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    @ Aredhel

    Almost certainly you do not live consistently on the basis of your relativist beliefs

    I have made this point many times. There is a good test of how truly people hold to subjective morality. Ask them if torturing a baby for fun is wrong or not. Most normal people will say, “of course it is wrong” and then you point out that just made a statement of objective right and wrong. Weihana’s response was to claim that it was not objectively wrong, but just a matter of opinion.

    And liberals wonder why I think they are dangerous.

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  110. Scott Chris (5,875 comments) says:

    Lee says:- “Whether its in their interests or not, it happens.”

    You mentioned a few weeks back that you have been diagnosed with diabetes.

    Do you:

    1) Accept that this is the way you’re body is, and succumb to the consequences?

    or

    2) Look for the best solution to mitigate its symptoms?

    -”And liberals wonder why I think they are dangerous.”

    The feeling is mutual.

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  111. Aredhel777 (278 comments) says:

    Haha, Lee. The better test of whether a liberal is consistent or not is to ask them whether it is immoral to stone a homosexual to death.

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  112. Scott Chris (5,875 comments) says:

    Aredhel says:- “Haha, Lee. The better test of whether a liberal is consistent or not is to ask them whether it is immoral to stone a homosexual to death.”

    ???
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Also:

    Still waiting for your response to my 8.38am and 1.38pm rebuttal of your assertions

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  113. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    # Aredhel777 (92) Says:
    October 18th, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    “There are no moral absolutes. No is implies an ought. Moral statements are always conditional.”

    1) This is merely your opinion. There are many and varying theories on the existence of objective morality, such as divine command theory, evolutionary ethics, etc. Even if one were to assume for a moment God’s non-existence, moral relativism is not the immediate conclusion. Various arguments must be put forward first, none of which you have volunteered. And if God does exist, of course, Christians, Muslims, Jews, etc., argue that morality rests in his character.

    2) Almost certainly you do not live consistently on the basis of your relativist beliefs, which is excellent evidence that objective morality does exist, as our consciences are testament to this fact. In the future, when you make moral claims on this site I’ll be sure to point this out to you.

    I do not believe I have advocated moral relativism. I believe in objective morality, but I do not accept that objective morality is the same as absolute morality.

    An objective ethical statement should take the form of “X is good if you want to achieve Y”. Obviously the terms “if you want” are subjective. But the objective truth in such a statement is the relationship between the prescriptive action (i.e. things which are “good”) and the subjective moral premise (i.e. a goal you want to achieve). The validity of this relationship is not subject to personal opinion. It is either valid or invalid (in principle at least).

    Reality dictates that certain things can only be achieved in certain ways. For instance I cannot kill myself and hope to live. I cannot say I believe killing myself will keep me alive and expect such nonsense to be valid just because I believe it. Similarly I cannot say I believe going on a mass murdering rampage will grant me a happy life. Common sense tells us that I will either be shot and killed by police or I will wind up in prison for the rest of my life.

    Reality dictates that if you choose to live then your actions must be constrained by a rational ethics which can reasonably be expected to achieve that. You cannot subjectively decide whatever standards you want and expect that living by such standards will achieve the same results as any other set of standards. This is what makes morality objective even though it’s possible for a person to value death, for instance, and therefore find no reason to adhere to standards designed to uphold life.

    Also, I accept that others have alternatives ideas. People can believe in all sorts of things, fairies, goblins, spaghetti monsters. If they want to believe in things which have no basis in fact and try to use such imaginary entities to guide their actions, then so be it.

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  114. Fletch (6,013 comments) says:

    Scott, I still don’t understand.
    In every moral system there is judgement being passed. If there is no God, then no man is in a position to force his opinion of morality upon another. One man’s subjective view of morality is equal to another man’s equally subjective view of morality. Thus, there is no reason to believe in any morality just because another man tells you that it is good.

    If no real standard of right and wrong exists, then why bother to try and find it and exert energy trying to convince others that your morality is superior to theirs? Wouldn’t that be the equivalent of chasing a rainbow? In fact, trying to legislate morality (making laws) would simply become a selfish, egotistical indulgence of those who are in the position to do so.

    Once we have become enlightened to the nature of non-existant morality, logically we should become apathetic to both ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ doings. When we watch the evening news, we would receive the facts of violence with the same non-reaction to acts of kindness. There could be no more crime because we would have no basis to judge any action as wrong; no more heroism, because no act could be judged as right

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  115. RRM (9,435 comments) says:

    If there is no God, then no man is in a position to force his opinion of morality upon another. One man’s subjective view of morality is equal to another man’s equally subjective view of morality. Thus, there is no reason to believe in any morality just because another man tells you that it is good.

    I’m sorry but that’s completely wrong. In a democracy we can choose to make any laws we want. They don’t have to come from God, they just have to be agreed to by a majority.

    I don’t think the christian God is essential in order to have ideas like

    *Killing someone is wrong
    *Raping someone is wrong
    *Taking someone’s property is wrong

    Perhaps you can explain why you have to have the Christian God in your life to believe these things are wrong?

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  116. Fletch (6,013 comments) says:

    RRM,

    There is no other reason why ‘thou shall not kill’ be considered to be a good commandment. None. Zilch. Try to logical prove that killing is morally wrong. You will fail. Other than the reality of a god who declares killing to be morally wrong, there is no logically compelling reason for us to believe it is wrong. I could be honest and say that it emotionally upsets me, but I always choose reason over my emotions. If our lives have no inherent purpose or value, we are only kidding ourselves when we establish the facade of morality.

    Go ahead. Logically prove to me that murder is wrong.

    Someone was talking about torturing children before. Can you objectively and logically prove to me that torturing children for fun is an immoral act without appealing to an emotional argument? How could you objectively convince a sadist that his acts against children were wrong?

    Of course, I am in agreement with you that torturing children for fun is wrong. What about torturing adults for fun? Is that also morally wrong? The Khmer Rouge apparently thought that torture was just.

    Without a higher authority than ourselves, and with no objective, absolute morality, you will be hard pressed to convince a sadist that your subjective opinions of right and wrong are preferable over his own.

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  117. Fletch (6,013 comments) says:

    Someone else in another forum posted –

    If morality is relative, then morality can only be a subject reality. In other words, morality is reduced to opinion. When we legislate any morality, we are actually forcing other people to live by our opinions. Majority rule is an ad populum fallacy; so is rule by force, because might does not make right. When we throw a person in jail because he has robbed a house, he is being imprisoned because of another man’s opinion that stealing is wrong. Once again, the opinion in question concerns a subjective reality and is, therefore, purely subjective and a matter of preference. Our entire justice system becomes illusory. In order for our justice system to have credibility, it has to be based on an authority that exceeds the mere opinion of men. But with a God who establishes morality as an objective reality, we are no longer dealing with the opinions of man’s preference, but the opinions of men concerning God’s preference.

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  118. Scott Chris (5,875 comments) says:

    Fletch says:- “Thus, there is no reason to believe in any morality just because another man tells you that it is good.”

    Most secular ideas of morality *make the assumption* that man is reasonable.

    They also *make the assumption* that man wants to fulfill all his desires.
    In recognizing his own desires, he can recognize desire in others, *if he is reasonable*

    Inevitably a conflict of interest arises, so the resolution must be:

    1) Ignoring your rival or killing him.
    2) Working together towards a common goal.
    3) Anywhere in between the first two positions.

    The liberal will attempt to *sell* scenario 2 as the basis of secular morality, but as Weihana says, it is an artificial construct based on assumptions. There is no point denying this fact.
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________

    -”Once we have become enlightened to the nature of non-existant morality, logically we should become apathetic to both ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ doings.”

    Defining morality is only the first step. We are selfish animals on the whole, so will seek to gain the greatest advantage if we perceive others to be behaving the same way.

    That is why we need law of some sort, and a governing body to make it and enforce it.

    BTW, I am a pantheist, so I do believe in God.

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  119. Scott Chris (5,875 comments) says:

    Fletch

    Oops, I answered the second part poorly. I’ll try again:

    -”Once we have become enlightened to the nature of non-existant morality, logically we should become apathetic to both ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ doings.”

    Right or wrong can still be loosely defined in terms of “harms” to the reasonable man. The unreasonable man ends up in jail.

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  120. ivorytowerkiwi (10 comments) says:

    Until someone with the authority to make some sort of binding proposal, referendum, regulation or legislation occurs, all discussion about changing the flag is a complete waste of time. Practically every argument for and against has been made already.

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  121. Scott Chris (5,875 comments) says:

    Just a last note on the silver fern flag:

    On the stuff thread, someone did mention that the black flag with the silver fern does resemble the Jolly Roger when hanging limp.

    Important point to remember that outdoor flags do hang limp a lot of the time. Kinda reminds me of me as I get older…..

    Still, that might’n be such a bad thing from a marketing point of view.

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  122. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    # Fletch (2,092) Says:
    October 18th, 2011 at 5:08 pm


    Scott, I still don’t understand.
    In every moral system there is judgement being passed. If there is no God, then no man is in a position to force his opinion of morality upon another.

    Not true. Some men have more power than other men. In a democracy the majority has more power than the minority and can impose their standards on the rest. This is why theives, rapists and murderers get sent to prison, because they are a minority.

    On the other hand if you’re saying they ought not force their morality on others then you are yourself putting forth an ethical position which raises the question of why should other people abide by your morality and not force their morality on others?

    One man’s subjective view of morality is equal to another man’s equally subjective view of morality. Thus, there is no reason to believe in any morality just because another man tells you that it is good.

    Not true. Morality is a set of standards to govern human action. These standards are not equal as one set of standards will achieve different results to another set of standards. For them to be equal implies that they achieve the same thing, if they don’t then ipso facto they are not equal.

    Whether one outcome is better than another is subjective but that doesn’t mean there is “no reason” to believe in one set of standards over another. If the outcome of applying one set of standards is that everyone dies do you honestly find “no reason” to reject such standards? The only reason a human being needs to follow a set of moral standards is their values. What do you value? Life, liberty and prosperity? In that case I would offer you a different set of standards than if you wanted death, tyranny and poverty.

    If no real standard of right and wrong exists, then why bother to try and find it and exert energy trying to convince others that your morality is superior to theirs? Wouldn’t that be the equivalent of chasing a rainbow? In fact, trying to legislate morality (making laws) would simply become a selfish, egotistical indulgence of those who are in the position to do so.

    Once we have become enlightened to the nature of non-existant morality, logically we should become apathetic to both ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ doings. When we watch the evening news, we would receive the facts of violence with the same non-reaction to acts of kindness. There could be no more crime because we would have no basis to judge any action as wrong; no more heroism, because no act could be judged as right

    Oh dear, Fletch. What is wrong with self-interest? What is wrong with valuing yourself and those who matter to you? Why must morality be a selfless endeavour that we slaves must endure to satisfy the whims of this monster you call “God”? A monster that leaves helpless little creatures like us to suffer on a rock in the vastness of space surrounded by things that can kill us in countless ways. Earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, climate change, meteorites, supernova, gamma ray bursts… just some of the many things which can harm us and which this imaginary “God” is apathetic towards.

    I live life for myself and I need no other reason to justify my existence. We are ends unto ourselves, not a means to satisfy the desires of some mythical creator.

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