Key on flag

March 12th, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Some good insights from the PM on the flag issue, from his speech at Victoria University:

Back in 1965, Canada changed its flag from one that, like ours, also had the Union Jack in the corner, and replaced it with the striking symbol of modern Canada that all of us recognise and can identify today.

Fifty years on, I can’t imagine many Canadians would, if asked, choose to go back to the old flag.

I doubt there would be a single Canadian who would go back.

Long decades of sweat and effort by our sportsmen and women in many codes over countless competitions give the silver fern on a black background a distinctive and uniquely New Zealand identity, and a head start in our national consciousness.

For example, it’s our silver fern, rather than our flag, that’s etched in the crosses marking the final resting place of all New Zealanders who are interred in Commonwealth War Graves overseas.

I did not know that.

Interestingly, it’s the maple leaf that’s etched in the crosses of Canada’s fallen in those same cemeteries.  

The power of a strong symbol.

We want a design that says “New Zealand” in the same way that the maple leaf says “Canada”, or the Union Jack says “Britain,” without a word being spoken, or a bar of those countries’ anthems being heard.

We want a design that says “New Zealand,” whether it’s stitched on a Kiwi traveller’s backpack outside a bar in Croatia, on a flagpole outside the United Nations, or standing in a Wellington southerly on top of the Beehive every working day.

Exactly.

UPDATE: A reader has sent in this picture, which illustrates the point about graves:

grave

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156 Responses to “Key on flag”

  1. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    Interesting fact – the decision to adopt the Maple Leaf was an acrimonious one made by the Canadian Parliament without the endorsement of a referendum.For many years later, concessions had to be made to supporters of the Red Ensign.

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  2. lolitasbrother (589 comments) says:

    yes, very clean and tidy from the PM John Key as usual, quite convincing really.
    I think he would like to see the flag changed during his watch.
    haha I suppose a referendum that he would follow the peoples wishes at last

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  3. nickb (3,675 comments) says:

    Great National are focusing on an issue of real importance.

    It’d be a shame if they had to resort to pushing policies like tax cuts and reducing bureaucracy (no, the tax “cuts” a few years back don’t count as the overall tax burden didn’t reduce).

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  4. tvb (4,255 comments) says:

    The Maple Leaf design is rather pointless and has two people in silloette arguing with each other. Very appropriate.

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  5. Dean Papa (782 comments) says:

    a silver rugby ball on a black background. Can’t be saying more NZ than that!!

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  6. Pete George (23,345 comments) says:

    For example, it’s our silver fern, rather than our flag, that’s etched in the crosses marking the final resting place of all New Zealanders who are interred in Commonwealth War Graves overseas.

    Not just overseas, also in New Zealand.

    Here’s examples in Bromley Cemetery, Christchurch and Faenza War Cemetery, Italy – Silver fern is NZ history.

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  7. Judith (8,460 comments) says:

    We want a design that says…

    here we go again – another politician telling us what we want…. before he has even asked us!!!

    You just gotta love modern day politics!

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  8. Brian Smaller (4,028 comments) says:

    Remember too that the divisional symbol of the 2nd NZ Div in Italy was the Silver Fern. It was on all their vehicles. Also on the cap badges. This is a pic of my father (the young fella with the Bren)
    http://woolshedwargamer.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/dad-italy-1944.jpg

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  9. Reid (16,111 comments) says:

    What sort of idiot country takes its flag cue from sports?

    But if we have to, then why not use the original colour which was dark blue with a gold fernleaf?

    With all the colours to choose from, what does it say about our mentality that we don’t choose any colour at all?

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  10. Dean Papa (782 comments) says:

    Good point about colour, or lack of it. How about a brown rugby ball on a nice grassy green background?

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  11. wf (400 comments) says:

    I like the Kyle Lockwood design. I also like the silver fern on black, it’s the endless reference to All Blacks that puts it second in my book.

    I remember the fuss about the Canadian flag. At the time we all thought it was awfully modern, and rather cool.

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  12. Judith (8,460 comments) says:

    I know, according to Robinson on Time Walks, it is been confirmed by the Oxford Dictionary that New Zealand is the original home of the Pavlova – why don’t we have one of those on the flag, or a Buzzy Bee, or perhaps a silhouette of Fred Dagg?

    Of course you do all realise that opening this debate in an environment of unsettled race relations will result in us probably having a Maori symbol on the flag, which some of the same arguments can be applied –

    the Koru for example is well known and used overseas, and also appears on many things from gravestones to commercial products. (I’m not advocating its use just pointing out how the arguments could go)

    This is not the right time to change the flag – perhaps in another 10 to 20 years, but the results now are not going to be pretty and I expect at least one legal challenge, if not many will result.

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  13. eszett (2,374 comments) says:

    Judith (5,098 comments) says:
    March 12th, 2014 at 9:25 am
    We want a design that says…

    here we go again – another politician telling us what we want…. before he has even asked us!!!

    So you disagree with what he said “we” want, Judith?

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  14. burt (8,035 comments) says:

    We need 2 flags – One with “WINZ” on it and the other with “IRD” on it to symbolise the divide between the employed and the bludgers that make this country what it is.

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  15. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    Look, clearly we need to change the flag. If for nothing else than the fact is that it doesn’t speak to New Zealand’s post-Lorde history. It is a relic from an era before a little girl writing songs in her bedroom in Auckland took on the world – and beat ‘em!

    We all know that we are worthless as a country unless we get recognition in other countries (even if it it’s just recognition by association). The most important thing to us is for us to be mentioned and recognised by foreign media.

    What kind of hick country is just comfortable in its own skin?

    Come on guys. Lorde has done her part! Let’s not let her down! Otherwise we might not make the most of the reflected glory that US chart toppers acquire for all time the moment they have a #1 single!

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11195040

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  16. Judith (8,460 comments) says:

    @ eszett (2,238 comments) says:
    March 12th, 2014 at 9:36 am

    I am not ‘we’, nor do I represent the entire voting population of New Zealand. I would not be so arrogant as to state that I knew what ‘we’ wanted before surveying the people and asking them!

    The majority may or may not want something that represents New Zealand – others may want something represents Maori, whilst others might want something that represents sporting prowess, artistic talent or multicultural status – I don’t know, and until someone asks, no one has the right to say so IMO

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  17. eszett (2,374 comments) says:

    Judith (5,099 comments) says:
    March 12th, 2014 at 9:32 am
    I know, according to Robinson on Time Walks, it is been confirmed by the Oxford Dictionary that New Zealand is the original home of the Pavlova – why don’t we have one of those on the flag, or a Buzzy Bee, or perhaps a silhouette of Fred Dagg?

    Why don’t you suggest it as possible design, if you think it’s a good idea?
    Maybe you should then suggest to engrave a Buzzy Bee or Pavlova on those war graves as well.

    Don’t want to change the flag or don’t like the silver fern? Fine. Make an argument for or against it.

    But it is silly to suggest that the silver fern would be no different than a Buzzy Bee or Pavlova.

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  18. Longknives (4,686 comments) says:

    You guys are fucking kidding yourselves if you think ‘our’ new flag will be anything other than a Maori design…

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  19. eszett (2,374 comments) says:

    @Judith, I think John Key spoke in very general terms that most people can agree with.

    If he would have said “A flag should have a design that says “New Zealand” in the same way that the maple leaf says “Canada”, or the Union Jack says “Britain,” without a word being spoken, or a bar of those countries’ anthems being heard.” I don’t think you would disagree with it either.

    You could argue that the current flag does just that and still agree with the statement

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  20. Judith (8,460 comments) says:

    I would like nothing more than to see a symbol that tied the sacrifice of those who have fought in various wars to be represented – especially in personal remembrance of my father and a very much loved grandfather, however, I also accept that there are no doubt people who would see such a symbol and accuse it of being ‘glorifying war’ (as someone did in a recent discussion I had regarding the wearing of my grandfathers medals on ANZAC day).

    I can just see this whole thing becoming a ‘mine field’ – and I think we have other more important issues that need addressing before we venture down these pathways, which have the ability to divide our nation more.

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  21. Pete George (23,345 comments) says:

    The Aussies are talking about doing likewise with reviewing their flag.

    If we want a pavlova and a racehorse on our flag we’d better get in quick….but that probably wouldn’t stop them following suit, as usual.

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  22. Kimbo (747 comments) says:

    I think both black as the national colour and the silver fern first date back to the (unofficial) New Zealand Natives rugby team that toured Australia, Ceylon, and the British Isles in 1888-89, and played over 100 games.

    One of their team members, Tommy Ellison (Otakou) was instrumental in the formation of the New Zealand Rugby (Football) Union in 1892, and the adoption of the same uniform (originally white shorts, but changed later in the 1890s) for their representative team.

    So black and the silver fern also represent continuity with the past.

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

    Just saying…

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  23. Odakyu-sen (527 comments) says:

    How about a brown cow pat on a superphosphate-green background? (Something like the Japanese hinomaru flag).

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  24. Judith (8,460 comments) says:

    @ eszett (2,240 comments) says:
    March 12th, 2014 at 9:46 am

    I don’t think he did speak in general terms and I think he has raised this issue at this time for a reason – that will no doubt become obvious later.

    He is a man that is used to getting what he wants – and he won’t settle for less, even if the ‘people’ do not agree with him – I have no confidence in him overseeing this important decision (I actually cannot think of a single politician I would have confidence in doing it either – perhaps it is a matter that should be dealt with by a commission that is not influenced by political agendas?)

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  25. RRM (9,667 comments) says:

    I don’t like the red / silver fern / blue design with the southern cross on it as well, it’s just a mess with too much going on.

    If we must change to anything, just the Silver Fern centred on a field of the same dark blue as the current flag please.

    Dark blue would provide a link with the old flag, it would differentiate New Zealand from the All Blacks ™ and would hopefully alleviate concerns about similarity to a pirate flag.

    Like this, except the fern should be a bit smaller so the ratio of fern:background is more like Canada or Japan.

    http://johnansell.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/nz-flag-large-white-fern-on-blue-animated.gif

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  26. Judith (8,460 comments) says:

    @ Pete George (21,581 comments) says:
    March 12th, 2014 at 9:47 am

    LOL – love that comment !!!

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  27. Longknives (4,686 comments) says:

    “If we want a pavlova and a racehorse on our flag we’d better get in quick”

    As usual rambling on about shit you know nothing about Pete…

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  28. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    The Aussies are talking about doing likewise with reviewing their flag.

    Not sure that passes the Fact Check:

    “Believe it or not it (the flag) is not an issue that actually draws much attention in Australia,” Ms Bishop told BBC radio. “I believe we will stick with the flag. There’s no great demand to change it…”

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/latest-news/well-keep-union-jack-bishop-tells-brits/story-fn3dxix6-1226851916498

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  29. kowtow (7,953 comments) says:

    Fern on headstones is most likely following the tradition that the serviceman’s regimental or divisional symbol was depicted.So that’s not necessarily a reason to change the flag.

    Key can want whatever he wants ,but as the first servant of the people he should remember that we put him in office to represent us ,not himself.

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  30. Igotta Numbum (446 comments) says:

    A few points… (at this stage I’m neither here nor there on changing the flag).

    1. John Key has said he’ll go with a referendum on the matter. A nice concession, considering that it only takes a majority vote in parliament to change the flag if they wanted to…. take the people with you.

    2. *IF* the majority of people decide for change, and only *IF*, THEN work on a design philosophy for the flag. Discussion needs to be had that locks down what are the primary elements that must be included on the flag. This is what you build your engagement around… NOT the design itself.

    3. THEN run the design competition, where all entrants MUST use the primary elements, and put them up for vote.

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  31. Judith (8,460 comments) says:

    @ Longknives (3,986 comments) says:
    March 12th, 2014 at 9:45 am

    I have to agree with you there … now is not the right time for such a decision to be made – the environment will go against most of the suggestions being put – :-(

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  32. eszett (2,374 comments) says:

    Judith (5,102 comments) says:
    March 12th, 2014 at 9:50 am
    @ eszett (2,240 comments) says:
    March 12th, 2014 at 9:46 am

    I don’t think he did speak in general terms and I think he has raised this issue at this time for a reason – that will no doubt become obvious later.

    Possibly. But he couldn’t raise an issue like this if it did not resonate within the population. Insofar he is merely voicing an issue that is already there.

    I have no confidence in him overseeing this important decision (I actually cannot think of a single politician I would have confidence in doing it either – perhaps it is a matter that should be dealt with by a commission that is not influenced by political agendas?

    The outlined process could not be fairer and more balanced. The outcome is far from certain, either way. People will have their say.

    It seems to me that what you are more bothered by is the possible outcome, a change of our flag, rather than the process or people driving it. What you are saying is that no process that could end up changing the flag, no matter how robust or democratic, would satisfy you

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  33. Nigel Kearney (919 comments) says:

    Canada is an isolated example. Very few countries have a flag that doubles as a national trademark for marketing purposes. This is because most countries actually want their flag to represent their history and culture instead. The vegetarian jolly roger doesn’t do that.

    If an experiment was conducted where people were offered the southern cross on a flag with and without the Union Jack, and the silver fern also with and without the Union Jack, I strongly suspect the people pushing change would inadvertently reveal that they actually care more about getting rid of the Union Jack than they do about replacing some stars with a plant.

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  34. RRM (9,667 comments) says:

    I can’t believe Dick Frizzell’s Mickey to Tiki hasn’t been suggested as an alternative… :-)

    Mickey Mouse at one end, symbolizing that the whole thing is pretty Mickey Mouse, and the Tiki at the other end symbolizing that it’s all about the Maori. ™

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  35. Colville (2,191 comments) says:

    Silver fern on black background for me.
    That symbol has meant New Zealand for more than 100 years, sporting teams adopoted the fern as it meant NZ and was unique.
    Why change a good thing?

    The current flag is very forgetable. Blech.

    Edit. Brian Smaller. Cool photo. I had forgotten that a bren was top loading (utterly idiotic!)

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  36. eszett (2,374 comments) says:

    kowtow (6,516 comments) says:
    March 12th, 2014 at 9:53 am
    Fern on headstones is most likely following the tradition that the serviceman’s regimental or divisional symbol was depicted.So that’s not necessarily a reason to change the flag.

    No, it isn’t, but a good choice if we do change the flag

    Key can want whatever he wants ,but as the first servant of the people he should remember that we put him in office to represent us ,not himself.

    That’s why it will be put to a referendum. Actually 2.

    So you are fine with it if a majority does say they want to change the flag.

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  37. Judith (8,460 comments) says:

    @ eszett (2,241 comments) says:
    March 12th, 2014 at 9:57 am

    Given Mr Key’s and other politicians statements and treatment of referendums (e.g. smacking) I think any kiwi could be forgiven for not having a great deal of faith in the process suggested.

    Firstly I suspect it will be challenged because matters of indigenous people and culture etc will become an issue that some may feel is not addressed in the suggested process, and so on.

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  38. burt (8,035 comments) says:

    kowtow

    Key can want whatever he wants ,but as the first servant of the people he should remember that we put him in office to represent us ,not himself.

    I think you are forgetting that the “best PM NZ ever had” firmly reminded us that the business of government is whatever government define it to be – Move on !

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  39. Harriet (4,616 comments) says:

    Yesterday – An expensive national doodle and colouring-in competition to be held after the democratic election.

    Today – But now with an ‘outline’ and permitted colours.

    September 21 – North Korean Flag raised above Waspnest in Wellington NZ. :cool:

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  40. Reid (16,111 comments) says:

    I think both black as the national colour and the silver fern first date back to the (unofficial) New Zealand Natives rugby team that toured Australia, Ceylon, and the British Isles in 1888-89, and played over 100 games.

    Yes Kimbo but the first jersey was dark blue with a gold fernleaf before they changed it.

    And as I said, what sort of idiot country takes its flag cue from a sports team?

    Do we really lack such national self-esteem that the only possible heroes we can find from our entire history are people who happen to be good at running and jumping and are so dumb they decided to spend their youth doing nothing but until they got really good at it?

    Haven’t we ever done anything else as a nation?

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  41. RRM (9,667 comments) says:

    If this goes through, We could make the day after international talk like a pirate day, international talk like Jerry Collins day: At least 2 f-bombs per sentence, no matter who you are talking to.

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  42. RRM (9,667 comments) says:

    And as I said, what sort of idiot country takes its flag cue from a sports team?

    But what OTHER shared heritage do we have, that could be boiled down to a simple, strong symbol everyone will recognise, suitable for use as a flag?

    A little fat kiwi like the Air Force has in the centre of their roundels? A Maori tiki character? A Koru so we can be the Air New Zealand nation?

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m as anti rugger boofheadery as I perceive you are. But the Silver Fern is a great symbol, probably the best we have, rugger or no rugger…

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  43. burt (8,035 comments) says:

    A fantail – symbol of agility and bravery and also the inspiration for the Haka !

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  44. flipper (3,847 comments) says:

    What some folk here are ignoring is the process that J Key outlined.
    Not this year – next year, with finality in the term of the next Government.

    I thought the process pretty good. and while I have doubts about the level of political input, that cannot be avoided.
    THE LAST THING THAT I WANT IS A BUNCH ESOTERIC ARTSY/FARTSY PEOPLE MAKING A DECISION ON DESIGN. And NO xyz Maori input unless limited to the fern.
    So called “expert” panels are a disaster awaiting a would be camel.

    Heh, remember the decimal currency design fiasco?

    To repeat: I thought the process laid out by Key, and fleshed out by DPF yesterday was spot on.

    Go get ‘ JK.

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  45. Kimbo (747 comments) says:

    Canada is an isolated example. Very few countries have a flag that doubles as a national trademark for marketing purposes. This is because most countries actually want their flag to represent their history and culture instead.

    Hmm. I suspect you are making a false dichotomy. As per the early history of the 1905-06 All Blacks, they were a striking and unexpected statement of distinctive New Zealand nationalism some 10 years before Gallipoli. They are part of our history and culture. As one writer put it, that All Black team journeyed to experience the old country, and in doing so we found ourselves.

    Also, black and the silver fern are a distinctive brand. Other than perhaps the orange of the Dutch, all-black is the most distinctive colour at sports events. Having a flag that can leverage off that as a brand is clever. Especially for a pioneer nation like ourselves, who value sport so highly.

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  46. big bruv (13,560 comments) says:

    Why on earth would we want a flag with a white feather on it?
    The international sign of cowardice.

    Leave the flag as it is thanks.

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  47. burt (8,035 comments) says:

    big bruv

    Because the other option is a flag with a hand held out waiting for welfare !

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  48. Harriet (4,616 comments) says:

    Canada is not exceptional.

    But the Swiss are.

    But Key doesn’t like knifes, public referendums, compulsary gun ownership – or a limit on Muslim immigration.

    Just like the Canadians Key instead likes homofacism, feminism, racism…….

    Key can’t say that – but just like for Canada – the flag eventually will! :cool:

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  49. Kimbo (747 comments) says:

    Yes Kimbo but the first jersey was dark blue with a gold fernleaf before they changed it.

    And as I said, what sort of idiot country takes its flag cue from a sports team?

    Do we really lack such national self-esteem that the only possible heroes we can find from our entire history are people who happen to be good at running and jumping and are so dumb they decided to spend their youth doing nothing but until they got really good at it?

    Haven’t we ever done anything else as a nation?

    Yeah, Nah. I think you are suffering from cultural cringe. Australians unashamedly embrace cricket, Don Bradman and the 1932-33 Bodyline series as part of their folklore. But there is still room for Dame Nellie Melba and Weary Dunlop. Same with us with Rewi Maniapoto, the ANZACs and Ed Hillary.

    It is not just about sports. The silver fern is part of our national flora – like the cactus of Mexico, the maple leaf of Canada, and the cedar of Lebanon. You look at those and you KNOW what it refers to.

    Just as everyone knows exactly what the Japanese flag is tied to. That is great branding – irrespective of the history and culture (which ARE present – hardly surprising as the Japanese unlike us, are an ancient culture). Same with the Israeli star of David.

    You are right that the first New Zealand rugby team of 1884 was blue and gold. But what has gained cultural currency? Black and the silver fern.

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  50. KevinH (1,160 comments) says:

    What John Key is implying is that the new flag should be also a brand, something distinctive and unique that immediately identifies New Zealand. Obviously John has indicated his preference for the silver fern because of it’s historical importance as well as it’s ease of use as a brand symbol. Whatever the design will ultimately be will no doubt be decided via a referenduum where design options will be made available for consideration. So get your idea’s to John asap.

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  51. kowtow (7,953 comments) says:

    What’s all this bullshit that we’re not an ancient culture.

    Our culture is unmistakenly Anglo Celtic,and very ancient and represented in something like 75% of the population and in the Union flag incorporated in our very own unique current flag.

    Something we can all be proud of. And for the other 25% you can have the southern cross.Together we’re all representd on it.

    It is very modern,very now. Why change it?

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  52. Kimbo (747 comments) says:

    The other issue with taking the cue from the national sport is that, as per Michael King’s Penguin History of New Zealand, Rugby was one of the FEW spheres where both Pakeha and Maori participated as true equals in the years up to World War II (the other King cited was warfare).

    The exception to that would be the one Army (1919) and three All Black (1928, 1949, 1960) teams that toured South Africa as all-white All Blacks.

    Black and the silver fern IS part of our SHARED culture and experience, all the more because it originated in rugby, not in spite of it.

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  53. Dean Papa (782 comments) says:

    How can the Oxford Dictionary possibly be an authority on the origin of the pavlova dessert? A dictionary is concerned with the orgin, and perhaps can give the date of the first recorded use of a word. And as far as use of the word pavlova to describe a food of any kind, the Oxford dictionary entry is incorrect. The first use of the word pavlova to describe a dessert of any kind was in 1926, in the Australian edition of Davis Dainty Dishes. This was some sort of gelatine jelly concoction, and nothing like the pavlova as we know it nowadays.

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  54. gazzmaniac (2,319 comments) says:

    There is an awesome following of the Aussie flag. It is everywhere over here, especially on Straya Day. The Southern Cross is one of the many icons of Australia. There is a sense of national pride here that simply does not exist in New Zealand, and they don’t need a unique flag to express it. There is no shame about the past.

    Is New Zealand so lacking in confidence that it needs to throw away another link to its history? Or is it more the little kid who is constantly in the shadow of its older, tougher, and richer brother and needs to seek the attention of everyone else to realise it has been noticed?

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  55. eszett (2,374 comments) says:

    Judith (5,106 comments) says:
    March 12th, 2014 at 10:03 am
    @ eszett (2,241 comments) says:
    March 12th, 2014 at 9:57 am

    Given Mr Key’s and other politicians statements and treatment of referendums (e.g. smacking) I think any kiwi could be forgiven for not having a great deal of faith in the process suggested.

    Quite a different kettle of fish, don’t you think? In many ways.

    This is not a CIR, but one initiated by the government / parliament. Hardly one that they can ignore.
    It is very simple and can be reduced to a yes/no question, no ambiguity, no loaded questions.

    So, no, I do not see why you would not be happy with the process. Other than that it could lead to an outcome you do not approve of, even if democratically confirmed.

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  56. eszett (2,374 comments) says:

    big bruv (12,180 comments) says:
    March 12th, 2014 at 10:15 am
    Why on earth would we want a flag with a white feather on it?
    The international sign of cowardice.

    Really? Why is it then displayed on our war graves?
    You may want to rethink that statement

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  57. Kimbo (747 comments) says:

    What’s all this bullshit that we’re not an ancient culture.

    Our culture is unmistakenly Anglo Celtic,and very ancient and represented in something like 75% of the population and in the Union flag incorporated in our very own unique current flag.

    Something we can all be proud of. And for the other 25% you can have the southern cross.Together we’re all representd on it.

    It is very modern,very now. Why change it?

    Two problems. We are no longer simply Anglo-Saxons and Celts, nor Colonials. We are transplanted and continually evolving apart from the UK and Ireland. The origin stays the same. But its pertinence diminishes over time – certainly with the historical interaction with the indigenous people and culture and immigration from the South Pacific and Asia.

    Also, going by your criteria, what makes us distinctive from Australia? On that basis alone, it is long overdue to change, and probably has been ever since we adopted the Statute of Westminster in 1947 and became truly independent…

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  58. Kelvin Kubala (7 comments) says:

    How about a flag with Rutherford’s atomic model, pretty and educational

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  59. Mrs Trellis (34 comments) says:

    The old Canadian flag looked fucking awful!

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  60. kowtow (7,953 comments) says:

    kelvin kubala

    What and tell the world that we Aotearoans are actually responsible for Hiroshima and Nagasaki……wash your mouth out.

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  61. kowtow (7,953 comments) says:

    kimbo

    That’s the point.In our most important aspects,our democratic Westminster model ,our historic traditions of education and opportunities for all,our market system of free trade and commerce,our common language and heritage ,we are linked to Britain and Australia.

    The Union flag represents that beautifully.We should be celebrating our heritage and culture,not rejecting it for some post modernist undefined present.

    The southern cross represents the here and now as well as the “indigenous” (who aren’t).

    Our southern cross is red ,Aus is white.Different and distinguishable and yet the same.Nice.

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  62. Jack5 (4,905 comments) says:

    Key says:

    … it’s our silver fern, rather than our flag, that’s etched in the crosses marking the final resting place of all New Zealanders who are interred in Commonwealth War Graves overseas.

    And how would you etch the New Zealand flag on the tombstones of 11,929 New Zealanders killed in World War 2, let alone in colour? The cost would be colossal. Any flag on a gravestone would need to be continually re-embossed.

    Yes, the fern was the symbol of NZ troops when they were always part of Commonwealth corps and units, but since World War 2, the kiwi has replaced the fern as the symbol on military vehicles in international operations, and is in the rondel on NZ’s Air Force craft. Obviously the fern wasn’t effective identification among international forces.

    While the fern was the symbol of NZ soldiers in two world wars, they as often in ceremony were under the pure Union Jack as under the NZ flag, and they generally regarded themselves as British as well as New Zealanders.

    There are more than 9000 species of fern in the world, and nearly every country in the world must have its own species of fern. What’s unique about the fern symbol in NZ? The NZ specific fern we are talking about is Cyathea dealbata, better known as the ponga or punga. So Key favours the ponga as the symbol on the national flag.

    The drive for a ponga as national symbol seems to come from sports organisers and administrators, perhaps to fill lulls between spells of campaigning for taxpayer subsidies for their recreation and entertainment industries.

    However, if the majority cave in on the NZ flag issue, let them give the liberals and PC mob full victory: let the symbol on the flag be a newly wed gay or lesbian couple.

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  63. Longknives (4,686 comments) says:

    “let the symbol on the flag be a newly wed gay or lesbian couple.”

    Not to mention the mandatory Transgender child…All frolicking under a huge rainbow..

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  64. earlyfknsettler (10 comments) says:

    Key is settling this up as a coalition deal/carrot for the Maori Party to follow-up post election. The Maori Party will embark on a nationwide series of hui’s held at marae around the country (but pretty much nowhere else). They will justify this as maori people as the indigenous first people tangata whenua should have an equal say under the treaty partnership as to what a new flag should include. A referendum will be held, however all four designs will be submitted by artists selected by a panel selected by the Maori party. So essentially the NZ non-part-maori majority will be set-up to vote for the best of four Maori approved designs. I betcha…

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  65. Kimbo (747 comments) says:

    Our southern cross is red ,Aus is white.Different and distinguishable and yet the same.Nice.

    You forgot to add the descriptor “barely” for “different” and “distinguishable” from Australia. At a glance they are indistinct.

    And while I’ll gladly acknowledge the origins of our Westminster form of Parliamentary democracy, the time has long since passed where “our market system of free trade and commerce” is “linked to Britain”. You may remember that in 1973 one of the two parties changed the relationship forever. I’ll give you a hint – despite New Zealand (and Australian) support a generation before fighting Germans and Italians, it wasn’t us.

    In fact traditional ‘enemies’ of Britain like them and the French, Dutch and Spanish enjoy more benefits in the UK than Kiwis – despite the war graves of Gallipoli, the Somme and Passchendaele adorned with all those silver ferns.

    Time moves on. So do nations. So do flags. Black with a silver fern is not a modern fad. It also represents our illustrious past as well.

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  66. kowtow (7,953 comments) says:

    Yes kimbo ,the treachery of the political class in Britain over the EEC is yet another reason to NOT take the lead from our betters in the permanent political class.Don’t allow the bastards to change our history and heritage ,fight for our traditional ties.Many in Britain realise the treacery that was done at that time and traditionalists cherish the ties with the Dominions.

    In fact NZ,Britain,Oz and Canada (and the USA) should form a closer political and economic union,just as Churchill envisaged.

    All the more reason to keep our ties not extend them.

    At a glance only an idiot would not know the difference between our flags.

    You don’t get the Germans and Belges or the Irish and Italians getting their knickers in a twist over their flags.

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  67. Jack5 (4,905 comments) says:

    Kimbo, singing the song of NZ deaths in the world wars, conjures up some sort of debt from Britain to NZ.

    What about NZ’s debt to Britain. Apart from Maori, would anyone-else in NZ be here if it hadn’t been Britain colonising this island archipelago?

    Kimbo, in line with Marxism, will doubtless argue Britain’s colonisation was because of a quest for imperial exploitation of wealth. If so, he knows fuck all about history, as Britain had to be persuaded to annexe NZ to New South Wales. This land was then in a state of brutal and lethal tribal warfare and genocide (as by Taranaki Maori in the Chathams) and was the target of gun-runners and pirates.

    We owe Britain, our great language with all its historic literature, our legal and commercial systems, and the beginnings of our agricultural technology.

    Our British heritage is something to be proud of. We may be getting lifestyle immigrants from China now, but their cultural contribution is at this time extremely tiny in comparison with what we have inherited from the West.

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  68. mandk (885 comments) says:

    @ Kimbo,
    Agreed about the lack of difference / distinction between our flag and Australia’s.
    I wonder what proportion of our population could tell which is which.
    And what proportion of people in other countries could tell which is which?

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  69. big bruv (13,560 comments) says:

    eszett ….OK..I have rethought….

    And I still say why would we want a flag with a white feather on it?

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  70. Kimbo (747 comments) says:

    Many in Britain realise the treacery that was done at that time and traditionalists cherish the ties with the Dominions.

    Good for them. Pragmatic Kiwis have learned since the fall of Singapore in 1942 that British sentiment has little currency, or more to the point, and practical effect in their lives anymore.

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  71. Mark (1,432 comments) says:

    The flag debate is going to completely fuck the left. They want to be seen as liberal reformers but desperately do not want to concede anything to Key. So is it labour for the staus quo?

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  72. Kimbo (747 comments) says:

    Kimbo, singing the song of NZ deaths in the world wars, conjures up some sort of debt from Britain to NZ.

    No. not really. Times move on, and despite the disruption to the New Zealand economy that took Rogernomics to ultimately and successfully address, the moving on from economic dependence on one market (Britain) was ultimately for this nation’s good.

    Perhaps you should lay off the late-morning gin and tonic and follow the flow of thread before you launch Blimp-like into your uncovering of communists and disloyal malcontents. I’m no Marxists, and while I want the flag to change, I want to retain the Monarchy.

    I was simply reciting historical facts for why our links are not as strong as they have been in the past. A diminishing Britain initiated – not us. No, not seeking to bludge off the Poms, or moan about the supposed injustice. They have plenty of Irish harpies to do the “Jewish mother” guilt routine on them.

    “Kimbo, in line with Marxism, will doubtless argue Britain’s colonisation was because of a quest for imperial exploitation of wealth. If so, he knows fuck all about history…”

    Wrong! Believe it or not, it is possible to value the heritage of British colonisation, while also seeing a need to evolve. It is usually only simple minds that see things in absolute black and white. Leave the black and white for our new flag.

    So sit down, Jack5, and stow your false assumptions of what is “undoubtedly” so. You are making a Jack5ass of yourself. You’ll burst a blood vessel.

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  73. rouppe (945 comments) says:

    Yes, but not on a black background. I really don’t like that

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  74. Jack5 (4,905 comments) says:

    Kimbo posted at 11.55:

    Pragmatic Kiwis have learned since the fall of Singapore in 1942 that British sentiment has little currency, or more to the point, and practical effect in their lives anymore.

    Don’t be fooled that the anti-Union Jack mob are reacting to the fall of Singapore to the Japanese.

    It was the same mob that sabotaged ANZUS. They doubtless approved when thousands waved red flags welcoming Communist Chinese warships to Auckland while NZ, through its futile anti-nuclear-ship ban, shuts out the US Navy, which saved NZ in World War 2. Never hear a word from these PC fuckers about the extraordinary bravery of US Navy pilots and carrier crews as they rolled back the Japanese tide.

    Nor have the white-feather-on-black- flag mob replaced their respect for this country’s British heritage with respect for America. They are, if anything, pro-China, surprisingly ready to ignore its treatment of homosexuals and dissenters and its treatment of Tibetan, Uighur, and ethnic Mongolian colonial subjects.

    As for your prejudiced ad hominem remarks in your 12.09 post, Kimbo, stick them up your fairy arse.

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  75. EAD (833 comments) says:

    As an issue on it’s own, I think most people couldn’t care less what our flag is but what people are seething about here is that is the thin edge of a very long wedge that is busy socially engineering our country without our consent. The symbolism of the flag is powerful and if we don’t make a stand here, when do we do it?

    I see this as another part of the State’s war against the people and Liberty. Changing the flag is just like mass immigration from disparate cultures and the undermining of the traditional family – another powerful tool for disaggregating the population and reconfiguring it as merely a disparate collection of peoples, without any binding loyalties and principles. It is re-writing our past, in order to write our future.

    There is no room for the atavistic immorality called racism in all this but it is true that peoples from all over the world are being used as a stage army to change our society in favour of the state. Twenty years ago, we never thought about race as an issue, now the state and the media relentlessly bang on about it and imply that it is the be all and end all of what defines us. It judges us not on our character but according to some sort of perceived virtue depending on who your parents are, what chromosomes you got, what god you do/don’t worship, who you choose to have relationships with.

    This is being done without our consent and it is bringing fundamental change that no-one asked for and few have the awareness of history nor depth of political thought that can comprehend the path this is leading us down. A liberal, tolerant society won’t stand without the structures (both formal and informal) that act as a check against the power of the State. It is why the murmurings of a rewritten constitution, a population increase to 15 million are being bandied about in order to soften up the public for when these measures do eventually occur.

    Like the prophetic George Orwell said “The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”

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  76. Kimbo (747 comments) says:

    <blockquote<Our British heritage is something to be proud of.

    Indeed. But that doesn’t answer why it has to be perpetually recorded in our national flag.

    Also, disclaimer: Kimbo is of fifth generation Scots/Irish heritage on one side, and third generation Welsh/English on the other. How about you, Jack5?

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  77. RRM (9,667 comments) says:

    Big Bruv –

    It only looks like a white feather if you draw it wrong – i.e. with a big rounded end on it like a feather.

    Draw it in the more triangular shape (as per All Blacks jerseys etc) with a long tapering point like a real live silver fern frond actually has… no resemblence to a white feather, and no problem!

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  78. RRM (9,667 comments) says:

    Our British heritage is something to be proud of.

    But we’ve taken the only parts of that heritage worth keeping – the system of parliament, courts and laws, and the language – and lived by them. And we know we have.

    What good does it do, having a miniature British flag in the corner of our flag, like a set of trainer wheels on a bike or a symbol of ownership?

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  79. stephieboy (2,540 comments) says:

    Jack S, this quote is relevant to your diatribe,

    Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about.

    Mark Twain.

    Not to forget the old favourite,

    Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.

    Samuel Johnson

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  80. Kimbo (747 comments) says:

    As for your prejudiced ad hominem remarks in your 12.09 post…

    Yes, I should have realised after your initial post at 11:47 that it was nature’s way of saying, “beware – angry whackjob looking for an argument”.

    I’ll leave you to find some other unsuspecting passer-by.

    But BTW, Never hear a word from these PC fuckers about the extraordinary bravery of US Navy pilots and carrier crews as they rolled back the Japanese tide.Never hear a word from these PC fuckers about the extraordinary bravery of US Navy pilots and carrier crews as they rolled back the Japanese tide.

    No. We don’t. Which is a grave injustice. And it also slanted our foreign affairs into unproductive juvenile directions throughout the 1980s and 1990s

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  81. RRM (9,667 comments) says:

    As for your prejudiced ad hominem remarks in your 12.09 post, Kimbo, stick them up your fairy arse

    Doing yourself no favours.

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  82. kowtow (7,953 comments) says:

    kimbo

    What has the fall of Singapore got to do with anything?

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  83. Jack5 (4,905 comments) says:

    Good morning Stephiegirl (12.23 post)

    I guess changing the national flag is about patriotism.

    But are you suggesting the scores of thousands of NZers who have volunteered for service in all our wars are scoundrels?

    Kimbo, you perceive those you disagree with as “whack jobs”. You have great analytical, logic, and rhetorical skills. They stand out.

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  84. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    kowtow
    The fall of Singapore was a significant event in the evolution of a more independent New Zealand. The realisation that Britain could no longer guarantee New Zealand’s military security was an important motivator leading to the Canberra Pact and ANZUS.

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  85. Kimbo (747 comments) says:

    Follow the thread, and study your history

    The time for this country when ties with Britain had any practical effect began to unravel at that point. We relied on the British Navy for national defense for 100 years. After Singapore we needed the Americans – and fast!

    The Brits going into Europe in 1973 sealed the deal.

    They moved. not us. Is not an observation made with malice or rancour. Just an observation of an historical but diminishing connection.

    If that is so, why hold on to the Union Jack on our flag for the reasons you have stated (in fairness, you are at least reasonable in your arguments, unlike your angry neighbour Jack5).

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  86. Jack5 (4,905 comments) says:

    Kimbo at 12.35:

    The choice for Britain on Europe was obvious. It was about trade. Like ours in CER.

    Your arguments against the flag are about what? Trade patterns, too? Ethnic change? What political motive drives you? Republicanism?

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  87. Fletch (6,151 comments) says:

    Are there really people clamouring for a change in the flag? Is there a groundswell to have it changed?
    It seems to me that the issue (like the gay marriage thing) is being pushed from the top down. It is the politicians who bring up the issue, not the demands of the people. And the people at the top probably have their own reasons as well; most likely to distract from something else. Create an issue that gets people talking or arguing and take the focus off other things that they don’t want the spotlight on.

    Yesterday there was a TXT poll taken on Campbell Live, with the question:

    Is it time for New Zealand to change the flag?

    The results?

    39 percent of you who voted said YES, we should change the flag.

    61 percent of you said NO, we shouldn’t change it.

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153960103360226&set=a.10150194833535226.433577.115762745225&type=1&theater

    I’m not for it. It ignores our history and tradition for what amounts to changing the logo of New Zealand.

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  88. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Perhaps a referendum process might give a more accurate reading of public sentiment than a Campbell Live text poll.

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  89. griffith (1,111 comments) says:

    jack 5 is ensuring kiwibloggers get their daily dose of compulsory arse sex.
    As such his contribution in welcomed.
    It would be helpful in future if jack 5 targeted the more conservative members of the community with his advise.
    Conservatives are the ones most in need of liberal dose of arse violation.

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  90. dime (9,668 comments) says:

    the new flag will be something like maui crapping out the north island… coupled with a reference to the treaty of waitangi, a homage to maori struggles and a nod to the “protectors of the land”.

    if you vote for change, you deserve what you get.

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  91. Kimbo (747 comments) says:

    Jack5

    Nope. No dialogue with you. You’ve forfeited that right especially when you open discussion the way you do, along with your baseless assumptions. You are a wanker because you engage in plenty of mental masturbation.

    Now, to quote you, kindly “fuck off”.

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  92. grumpyoldhori (2,416 comments) says:

    kowtow, are you a yank or are you confused ? unlike the UK, Australia,Canada, NZ, the yanks are a republic, no they are not a democracy.
    And unlike our MPs theirs can shut the USA down overnight with no neutral umpire to fire the lot of them and call new elections.

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  93. kowtow (7,953 comments) says:

    GOH

    I’m confused about what you’re trying to get at!

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  94. Harriet (4,616 comments) says:

    Kimbo#

    “…..Follow the thread, and study your history……….We relied on the British Navy for national defense for 100 years. After Singapore we needed the Americans – and fast! …………………Is not an observation made with malice or rancour……………….Just an observation of an historical but diminishing connection…..”

    You mean like the historical and diminished connection between say – relying on Egyptian heritage such as the invention of a flag for ‘marshalling’ armies – and modern militaries?

    Why do you suppose we rely on all things such as a flag now – as their seems to me to be a huge disconnect somewhere – but them I’m only guessing as I don’t know my history to well. Nor the communications systems between modern millitary units.

    I really think the flag nowdays is mainly for academic types to wave about because they missed out on show and tell at school. Or to talk about. It has no practical purpose. :cool:

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  95. stephieboy (2,540 comments) says:

    Jack5 (4,101 comments) says:
    March 12th, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    Where did I suggest that thousands of servicemen serving overseas are” scoundrels ,” ?
    The quote was directed at ” hollering” far right rock apes and so called “patriots ” like you.
    Kindly follow kimbo’s suggestion re above.

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  96. iMP (2,345 comments) says:

    I don’t favour a flag change, but the PM has a fair point about the war graves. In many cases it is in a circle with ‘New Zealand” forming the bottom half, fern top half.

    I’m open about change, but suspect it is Kiwi insecurity and would prefer to retain (older than the Aussie one). Heritage, history, associations, these are all important aspects of a flag. I am not embarrassed by the fact we were a colony of the British Empire – it wrought our modern entity.

    Sloughing off the Union Jack no more makes us “sovereign” and “grown up” than having a silver fern.
    If the motivation is to ‘de-emphasise’ our contacts with Britain, then lets also scrap Rugby, the English language, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, fish n chips, and driving on the left. Let’s be consistent.

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  97. Harriet (4,616 comments) says:

    Well put imp. Eurasia, the Americas, and NZ are all busy deleting their past history.

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  98. kowtow (7,953 comments) says:

    Going back over the comments here I see ‘Igottanumbum” says Key is smart to “take the people with you”…..all well and good.

    But seriously ,there’s no pressing need for a change.The last time was when that Roberts fellow,and Shipley were into rebranding the country into their own image……I digress

    John Key , an unnecessary referendum on an un needed flag change ,but ignored the smacking one and on that so controversial labour anti marriage bill could have gone to the people!

    I don’t get this guy.

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  99. Kimbo (747 comments) says:

    Sorry, Harriet – a bit too obscure for me.

    What is your point? That ultimately everything is derivative (triple word score for academics!) with ever-diminishing connection from its point of origin, so we should avoid the extreme of changing everything for the sake of change?

    if so, we should also avoid the pig-headed assumption we must change nothing and any attempt to do so is the thin end of the wedge (the Prosecution calls upon exhibit A to prove its point, Jack5).

    I think there is a more pragmatic way to approach change in institutions, including the flag. Does it still work? Personally, while Monarchy does, I’m not sure our current flag does. Despite the attempts of my good friend kowtow – who seems to run with the hares and hunt with the hounds when it comes to the multifaceted (another academic triple word score!) nature of on our connections with the old country, e.g., “our democratic Westminster model, our historic traditions of education and opportunities for all, our market system of free trade and commerce, our common language and heritage, we are linked to Britain”, yet somehow the ending of defense ties with Britain dating from the fall of Singapore is an irrelevancy.

    A silver fern on a black flag is both a change, and also an affirmation, for reasons I have outlined above, of our past. Two birds with one stone. A pragmatic Via Media (another academic triple word score!)

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  100. kowtow (7,953 comments) says:

    kimbo

    Don’t be naughty, I didn’t say our defence ties ended with Singers.If anything you implied that.In fact while Sing was falling we were standing shouldr to shoulder with the Empire in the western desert.Proving our closeness ,something Churchill was very keen to emphasize.

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  101. Kimbo (747 comments) says:

    No, I think you are the one being naughty by avoiding the issue.

    Is that the same Churchill who was apoplectic when the Aussies refused to send any more troops to the Middle East as planned, and instead kept them back to fight the Japanese in Papua New Guinea?

    And “defense” does imply that someone will be there to defend you when you are in immediate danger. Remind me again, when we were fighting shoulder-to-shoulder in North Africa who was covering our arse at the Battle of the Coral Sea and Guadalcanal? As per the Battle of Manners Street, the Americans were over-paid, over-sexed, and over here!

    I didn’t say our defence ties ended with Singers

    You may not have. However, most historians (including the non-Marxists!) recognise that for practical purposes, that is when it did. It certainly shaped our foreign policy. By 1951 ANZUS, not the Royal Navy and a base at Singapore was the cornerstone of our defense.

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  102. dime (9,668 comments) says:

    I almost forgot – there should also be a nod to gay marriage, the rainbow community and maybe even giving women the vote in there.

    Tell the world what we all love and believe in

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  103. kowtow (7,953 comments) says:

    kimbo

    Maybe we should have a stars and stripes in the top corner?

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  104. griffith (1,111 comments) says:

    I am with RRM
    Silver fern on a Pacific blue background.

    The blue you get when you are twenty k’s the other side of Barrier .

    Britannia kicked us kids out years ago.
    Change the fucking thing.
    The union jack sucking on mother England’s tit for identity.
    The southern cross. let the smeging Ozzies have that.
    It’s the black I find a little disconcerting ……

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  105. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    kowtow
    We could have one corner union jack (past relationship), one corner stars and stripes (current relationship) one corner Chinese flag (future relationship) and have the silver fern in the last corner.

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  106. stephieboy (2,540 comments) says:

    kowtow , your alluding to an Empire and a former closeness have patently been non existent for a long,long time. The current ensign may of had some relevance then with Churchill and the fall of Singapore etc but this is 2014.
    Time to move on. The appeals by Harriet , dime and coy to ancient and archaic traditions are spurious and irrelevant ones .

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  107. SJM (71 comments) says:

    Normally politicians promise millions or even the odd billion of other peoples money to get or retain power, John Key, in keeping with with the principle of parsimony in difficult economic times, has stumbled on the idea of bribing the public with a coloured bit of fabric.

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  108. Urban_Redneck (61 comments) says:

    How about a white background emblazoned with: 銷售

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  109. Kimbo (747 comments) says:

    Maybe we should have a stars and stripes in the top corner?

    Well, as they are the main source of our popular culture since the 1950s, there may be a case.

    But then I still sense you are avoiding the issue. Maybe it is time for a flag that removes the reference to any country other than our own. We will always be Maori and British-Irish in origin. The flag doesn’t have to reflect that. It isn’t mandatory – in fact most countries of the world DON’T find it necessary to reference it in their flags. For example, what former French colonies include the tricolour, or the nations of Latin America the Spanish flag?

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  110. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    What about the vile crescent moon of Islam with Alloo Akhbar! on a fern-green background.
    That will make NZ popular with the jihadists. :-)

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  111. cha (3,856 comments) says:

    Or this – 買鎖股票和桶

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  112. Nigel Kearney (919 comments) says:

    If the motivation is to ‘de-emphasise’ our contacts with Britain, then lets also scrap Rugby, the English language, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, fish n chips, and driving on the left. Let’s be consistent.

    You’re forgetting the elephant in the room – our country’s name. We’re named after a Dutch province FFS. Surely that is a bigger deal than the flag. If the objection is that we’ve had the name for so long and people are used to it, then throw the flag changing idea in the bin as well for the same reason.

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  113. kowtow (7,953 comments) says:

    kimbo

    Most French and Spanish territories don’t like their associations with ‘home”.

    We are different .Like Canada and Australia we retain those important links.HoS,monarchy,etcOur nations evolved from and with our connections with Britain. And continue.

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  114. Kimbo (747 comments) says:

    Our nations evolved from and with our connections with Britain.

    You were doing REALLY well with that argument, especially about the peaceful ties with our country of origin compared to other former colonies. Until you added

    …And continue.

    I don’t dispute the rich past which can never be extinguished.

    However, in what way do our links with the UK and Ireland continue in a way that is superior or on-going compared to any number of countries throughout the South Pacific/Asia region?

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  115. kowtow (7,953 comments) says:

    stephie

    Not long past.I watched question time at 2,(wanted to torture myself)

    Man with mace,speaker,Anglican prayer,Solomon Islands delegation (Commonwealth ties ,same Westminster traditions,monarchy)……

    very real and very present.

    Why not ditch all that too? it’s so post imperial…….cringe cringe.

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  116. kowtow (7,953 comments) says:

    Continue? See 326 pm.

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  117. Jack5 (4,905 comments) says:

    Re Kimbo at 12.52 telling me to “fuck off”.

    Have you taken over from DPF on who may post on Kiwiblog? If you are, I guess we have to weather the obscene insults in your posts.

    Re your 2.02:

    Churchill who was apoplectic when the Aussies refused to send any more troops to the Middle East as planned, and instead kept them back to fight the Japanese in Papua New Guinea…

    It was an opposition more related to shipping than any desire to dominate Australia. If you knew as much history as you portend to know, you would remember that Churchill wanted the Aussie troops to be put into Burma to fight there, and that the Americans as part of joint Allied strategy took a major part in the defence of Papua New Guinea, as they did of New Zealand.

    And your confident:

    We will always be Maori and British-Irish in origin….

    What bullshit! Look around you, or do you live in the Chathams or Stewart Island, or in some solitary cell?

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  118. Jack5 (4,905 comments) says:

    Kimbo and Stephiegirl, you are doing a great job in drumming up support for Key.

    Maybe they’ll have you two on his election team soon.

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  119. Kimbo (747 comments) says:

    No. Your are looping around in a circular argument. Just because we have inherited stuff from the ancient Greeks (mathematics, science, democracy) doesn’t mean those connections continue in any formal sense.

    The examples you gave are not direct ties to Britain and Ireland that continue. If Britain and Ireland were (God forbid!) to crumble into the seas, or become an Islamic Republic, there is no reason why NZ would not continue with those institutions unchanged.

    Instead they are institutions we have inherited and made our own.

    So what ties continue? In practical terms both the UK and Ireland are just another two countries in relation to New Zealand.

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  120. Jack5 (4,905 comments) says:

    Kimbo at 3.37 asks what ties continue with the UK.

    Our Head of State. Your republic is still a way off, Kimbo.

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  121. kowtow (7,953 comments) says:

    So,if Britain were to slide under and if you’re happy to have those institutions continue unchanged ,why change the flag,which can forever proclaim our antecedants?

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  122. Longknives (4,686 comments) says:

    Hah! All the rugger-heads romantically dreaming that our new flag will be the All Black symbol…
    I repeat- ‘Our’ new flag WILL be a Maori design. End of story. You are living in fucking Disneyland to think Iwi won’t be ‘consulted’ on this..

    *Nigel Kearney- This country has in-fact already changed it’s name- take a look at the cover of your shiny new passport sometime…

    God Save the Queen!

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  123. Kimbo (747 comments) says:

    No, Jack5, I don’t ‘portend’ to tell anyone who may post. As you still are, that is obvious. However, if DPF has threatened to cut you off at the knees I can see why.

    Which is what anyone deserves who includes in their initial lying attempt to dialogue bon mots such as

    “Kimbo, singing the song of NZ deaths in the world wars, conjures up some sort of debt from Britain to NZ…

    and

    “Kimbo, in line with Marxism, will doubtless argue Britain’s colonisation was because of a quest for imperial exploitation of wealth. If so, he knows fuck all about history..

    Others will note kowtow, who holds views similar to yours, finds no problem having an adult dialogue of competing ideas with me. Which clearly makes you the problem.

    Now, seeing as you are a slow learner with a boring persecution complex, I’ll repeat it again: Fuck off, troll.

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  124. JMS (314 comments) says:

    I repeat- ‘Our’ new flag WILL be a Maori design.

    only if there is no referendum and a committee of “experts” gets to decide

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  125. Jack5 (4,905 comments) says:

    Re Kimbo 3.52…

    Thus spake Key’s champion on flag change.

    With a head the size of yours, Kimbo, you will win zero votes for Key.

    He may not need them now, but September’s a long way off.

    Bimbo, you didn’t answer why you think NZ will always be of British/Irish and Maori origin.

    So perhaps you are in a cell somewhere, oblivious of the changing ethnicity of the country. It would be entire appropriate if the cell were padded.

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  126. Kimbo (747 comments) says:

    So,if Britain were to slide under and if you’re happy to have those institutions continue unchanged ,why change the flag,which can forever proclaim our antecedants?

    As I’ve said before, I personally doubt that it does all that it should. As mentioned, antecedants are great. Even better is where you are heading. A Union Jack on a flag is not a nation-breaker – IMHO.

    But then I could turn it around, and, after reflecting on the ever-diminishing connection with Britain and Ireland, ask:

    Why not? Which is made moot by my question which I notice you’ve (unintentionally) avoided by asking yours. I’ll repeat it:

    So what ties continue? In practical terms both the UK and Ireland are just another two countries in relation to New Zealand.

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  127. Jack5 (4,905 comments) says:

    Kimbo at 4.09 again asks what ties continue.

    He ignores the fact the Queen is our head of state.

    Kimbo, are you on LSD or something that makes you think your Republic New Zealand has already arrived, with Key as first president?

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  128. JMS (314 comments) says:

    A German and a Frenchman(not exactly historical British buddies) can enter the UK whenever they desire. NZers, with the Union Jack on our flag and silly waffle about the British Queen in our passports, can’t.

    Britain, as is her good right, made her decision years ago as to whom she wanted to associate with.

    Those who see something special in our relationship with Britain should grow up and stop acting like children who don’t want to leave home, even though the parents would rather they would.

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  129. Kimbo (747 comments) says:

    Quite right JMS.

    The constitutional experts around here should check their facts. QEII is now the Queen of New Zealand, not just the UK and the Commonwealth as in the past.

    Britain is irrelevant in the matter of our head of state as is Jamaica, Canada, and the Isle of Man.

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  130. kowtow (7,953 comments) says:

    Don’t dismiss the great British people too soon.

    They joined what was an economic market but had a federal Europe foisted on them,and they ain’t happy.

    It’s not over yet.

    And we had our constitution and a tie to Britain usurped by Clark with the Privy Council cut. No referendum on that!

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  131. SJM (71 comments) says:

    Kimbo: NZ has ties with the UK via language, culture and our shared Head of State. There are other issue arond the inteligence services, armed forces cooperation etc that are most certainly a result of our shared history. Denying it does not change it.

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  132. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Having close ties with the UK doesn’t mean we need to keep their flag as part of our flag.

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  133. SJM (71 comments) says:

    JMS: British polticians decided to change whom they associated with, the British public had no say in the matter thanks to a campaign of deliberate deceit. Ted Heath admitted to this publicly in 1991 and this was confirmed by released cabinet documents.

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  134. Kimbo (747 comments) says:

    Kimbo: NZ has ties with the UK via language, culture and our shared Head of State. There are other issue arond the inteligence services, armed forces cooperation etc that are most certainly a result of our shared history. Denying it does not change it.

    Other than Head of State (which as I’ve posted elsewhere has no practical effect on the UK/NZ relationship), I’d argue all those things are more closely shared with the USA, certainly since 1951.

    But we don’t want the Stars and Stripes on our flag, do we?

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  135. Pete George (23,345 comments) says:

    Front page of the Guardian – Morgan Godfery and New Zealand’s flag represents a country that no longer exists

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  136. KevinH (1,160 comments) says:

    P.S. How about a new national anthem to go with the flash new flag, something a bit more modern and not so dirge like, for instance the opening stanza ” God defend New Zealand” is nonsensical and a product of a by gone era.

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  137. gump (1,553 comments) says:

    @Longknives

    “Not to mention the mandatory Transgender child…All frolicking under a huge rainbow..”

    ——————

    It’s bad enough that you post under a Nazi inspired nickname, but you just can’t yourself from bullying children on the Internet.

    You’re disgusting.

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  138. SJM (71 comments) says:

    Kimbo: We are an ‘anglosphere’ nation, while different from the UK in some ways, we have more similarities than not. This rapidly becomes apparent when NZ is compared to places like France, Russia or Italy, it is for this reason that we have been described, along with AU and Canada, as clones of the UK. I see this every day, as I now live in Australi,a and have been to the UK, there is bugger all difference between us other than matters of emphasis.

    As for the US… The brother with a different father, but still a brother.

    As for the flag issue, whilst I support the current flag, and loath the idea of one so closly linked to a sporting emblem, my issue is the manner in which this has happned. Such matters IMHO, should be a matter for the public to initiate and to approve; the public must lead and polticians should follow.

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  139. Jack5 (4,905 comments) says:

    Well from all this, the flag issue is on the election table, and those who don’t want it changed can take Key’s position into account when deciding their party vote.

    Whether they will let out Kimbo to vote is neither here or there.

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  140. Jack5 (4,905 comments) says:

    Pete from Dunedin puts a cross-reference to an article printed in the leftist Guardian, bythe NZ Maori blogger (Maui Street) Morgan Godfrey.

    Godfrey is hot on effects of the “colonial memory”.

    Is Key’s flag policy part of his strategy of encompassing Maori?

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  141. Akaroa (552 comments) says:

    Yes its high time we changed our flag!

    As a new immigrant to NZ back in the 70s I couldn’t have told you the difference between the Aussie and NZ flags……..especially when they were hanging limply from the flagstaff.

    I’ve no idea what any new design of flag will eventually look like, but – here’s a thought – a Kiwi was the first up the World’s highest mountain.

    So why not a depiction of a high mountain on any newly designed flag?

    Hmmm! On second thoughts maybe not – could easily look like a pile of unmentionable agricultural animal husbandry by-product!

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  142. CharlieBrown (925 comments) says:

    Regardless on whether the flag change is a good idea or not, the fact that Key is initiating the referendum is condescending and smug. If this issue really mattered to New Zealanders we would have a petition with 300,000 odd people asking for a referendum. Instead we have numerous referendum results being ignored by Key, when will he listen to the 1.4million kiwis who voted by post for the smacking law to change?

    This is why I hate John Key, the left are right when they label him as smarmy and arrogant. And the right are correct when they label him as ineffective and unwilling to make tough but necessary decisions.

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  143. Lucia Maria (2,239 comments) says:

    Pete, your link to the Guardian doesn’t work.

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  144. kowtow (7,953 comments) says:

    There’s another connection to Britain.

    Hilary was part of a British expedition when he did the climb.

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  145. SJM (71 comments) says:

    CharlieBrown (760 comments) says:

    March 12th, 2014 at 5:54 pm
    **********************************

    Exactly right.
    There is a distubingly patronising attitude among all NZ politicians in the manner in which they treat the public. Our opinon matters only if it aligns with their own, to be ignored when it does not, and they behave as if they do us a great service in simply asking.
    If something changes in NZ, its not the government or flags, monarchy or republic, its that the public must constrain the power of parliament and polticians, if for no other reason than to administer a well deserved attitude ajustment.

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  146. SJM (71 comments) says:

    kowtow (6,535 comments) says:

    March 12th, 2014 at 6:11 pm
    There’s another connection to Britain.

    Hilary was part of a British expedition when he did the climb
    **************************************

    Indeed, something we tend to gloss over or ignore.

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  147. Longknives (4,686 comments) says:

    “It’s bad enough that you post under a Nazi inspired nickname”

    As I have explained previously I got the name from an old AC/DC song I was listening to when I first posted on Kiwiblog!
    Nonetheless- If we are going to play those games I find ‘Gump’ horribly offensive to handicapped people…

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  148. dime (9,668 comments) says:

    Long knives – you know kiwiblog is where all the tranny kids hang out, please don’t bully them.

    Gump – weirdest comment in months.

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  149. Ben Dover (526 comments) says:

    Aussies know how to look after flags

    http://www.cv.vic.gov.au/stories/craft-where-is-it/10919/shrine-of-remembrance/

    Above the crypt in the sanctuary the NZ flag hangs

    Australian Flag
    http://deanoworldtravels.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_1625-683×1024.jpg

    Hanging identically opposite in similar fashion is the NZ flag

    It is quite a touching to see the respect shown in Australia for our National symbols.

    outside the shrine a tree represents every Australian unit that served
    and when you see how many trees and plaques you see the enormity of it all

    They even let a Kauri tree be planted

    New Zealand Sub Branch RSL
    Sunday 10 April, 1:30pm
    Planting and dedication of New Zealand Kauri Tree A35a
    Shrine Representative: Shrine Trustee Colonel John Wertheimer AM RFD (Acting Chairman)
    In memory of New Zealanders who have served.

    Only Safe place for it

    Australia

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  150. gump (1,553 comments) says:

    @dime

    One of my best friends from childhood was born male. She hung herself in a wardrobe in her early teens – because she couldn’t cope with living in a world that wouldn’t accept her.

    It really gives me the shits that people here are prepared to pick on transgender kids. Because they really don’t choose to be the way they are.

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  151. Longknives (4,686 comments) says:

    “Because they really don’t choose to be the way they are.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=11208173

    To anyone with half a fucking brain it is blindingly obvious who is making all the ‘choices’ for this kid…
    SEVEN years old for fuck’s sake- and being pumped full of every drug and hormone imaginable.
    What a fucking train-wreck..

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  152. V (694 comments) says:

    I don’t know what the design of the flag will be, but it will have the most advance flagpoled ever. It will have a slot to accept koha when the thing is raised or lowered and in order to get it to fly it must be accompanied by primative yelling, thigh slapping and poi twirling.

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  153. V (694 comments) says:

    I’m thinking John Keys face in the centre, with the KFC, TAB, WINZ and IRD logos, all on a blue background.

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  154. Ben Dover (526 comments) says:

    STOP THE LIES

    AND STOP USING THE SYMBOLS OF NEW ZEALAND’ FALLEN

    FOR YOUR TRAITORS AGENDA

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  155. Ben Dover (526 comments) says:

    Trying to make coinage our of a NZ service persons grave

    YOU MAKE ME PUKE

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  156. Ben Dover (526 comments) says:

    IF YOU ARE GOING TO BRING UP THE MILITARY SYMBOLS OF OUR NATIONS

    ASK

    JOHN KEY IF

    ANY OF HIS FAMILY HAVE SERVED IN THE NZ ARMY?

    HAVE THEY?

    HAVE THEY?

    HAVE THEY?

    I WILL TELL YOU ONE THING HE MAY BE
    YOUR DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED LEADER

    BUT YOU AND HIM

    DO NOT – I REPEAT

    DO NOT HAVE

    A DEMOCRATIC MANDATE

    TO CHANGE OUR FLAG

    YOU MIGHT THINK YOU HAVE BUT

    YOU DO NOT

    I SUGGEST YOU TELL HIM TO GET ON WITH THE JOB
    HE VOLUNTEERED FOR

    AND LEAVE THE SYMBOLS OF OUR NATION ALONE

    IF THEY NEED CHANGING THE PEOPLE
    OF NZ WILL TELL HIM

    NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND
    AND IF HE DOES NOT LIKE
    BEING A PUBLIC SERVANT

    HE SHOULD RESIGN HIS POST

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