Thursday, February 10, 2011

Unfurl something new

Here's my rant for my TV show this week - Let's Talk, Stratos TV...
Listener magazine editorial writer waved the flag this week for a new flag. A flag for us in New Zealand, not one with Britain’s flag still stuck in the corner. A flag that says something about us as an independent Pacific nation. One that means you’d no longer have to pause and think, now is that ours with the four stars on the blue or is it the Australian one?
Of course this sort of talk instantly gets people shouting and grumbling. Half of us cry, "Don’t change it’, soldiers have died for it, it’s our history, how can you even think of ditching it!"
Me, I’m in the "yes, let’s change it' camp. I reckon Britain stopped loving us long ago, but still we cling to this tiny little remnant of the time when world maps were scattered with the pink landa of the dear old British Empire.
Canada woke up, dropped the ensign and opted for its bright maple leaf flag more than 45 years ago. Not without pain, mind, because diehards there scrapped like pitbulls to retain the old design.
You probably don’t know what it used to look like. It was kind of like ours, though red rather than blue. That's it at top right...boring, huh, when you compare it with the current blazing maple-leaf design.
There was a Union Jack in the corner, and a shield with a mish-mash of symbols in the middle. Completely blah. A few million maple leaves later, the queen is still the Queen of Canada. I don’t think she’ll have conniptions if we run something new up our flag poles. We just need to do what the Canadians did – appoint a design-savvy team and get on with it. And just imagine how much fun it would be to get in ahead of the Aussies.

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