With all due respect, I don’t give a hoot what the Prime Minister, Richie McCaw and Dan Carter think about the flag. To me, the relationship Kiwis have with their flag should be wholly their own. They are absolutely entitled to their own views, but it is not for All Black legends or a leader democratically elected to serve all New Zealanders, to try to tell us what to think, much less how to vote in this ballot of lasting national significance.
So Marvelly says it is wrong for celebrities such as McCaw and Carter to say how they are voting on the flag referendum. Now this is a valid point of view (not one I agree with though) – that celebrities shouldn’t influence public opinion.
The thing is, I doubt even the pro-Lockwood campaigners could look New Zealanders in the eye and say, hand on heart, that this alternative flag is the best flag they could have imagined for Aotearoa. Until there is such a design, one capable of flying alongside Tino Rangatiratanga (now that is a well-designed flag, whatever you think of its connotations), of representing us in times of triumph and in times of tragedy, of inspiring a rush of love for our homeland here in New Zealand and overseas, I’ll be voting for our current flag.
Marvelly then spends most of the rest of her column rubbishing the Lockwood flag and stating she’ll be voting for the current flag.
Now I’ve got no problems with Marvelly using her column to campaign for the current flag. Just as I have no problem with McCaw saying on Facebook why he supports change. But is it rather rich to complain about McCaw stating his view in public, and then doing the exact same thing you complain with.
On the substance of the issue, I think it is absolutely sensible for people to say they are voting for the current flag as they prefer it to the Lockwood flag. However demanding that the alternate flag must be the “best” flag imaginable reminds of the old saying “perfect is the enemy of good” and I’d predict that if that is the standard, we’ll still have our current flag in 50 years time.