Any Girl Guide would know that you’re supposed to raise a flag at sunrise and lower it at sundown.
We’re not as regimented as that and once we put a flag up our flag pole it tends to stay there for days on end, or longer.
It might even stay up when we’re away, although we found out that’s not a good idea.
When we got home we noticed that our New Zealand flag which had been quite bright when we left just 10 days earlier was faded and tatty. We took it down, rolled it up, put it in a cupboard and forgot about it until a neighbour, an Australian with a sense of humour, asked for his flag back.
Oh dear, he’d swapped our bright, newish New Zealand flag for his older, faded Aussie one and while we’d noticed the state of it we hadn’t looked carefully enough to realise it had five white stars rather than four red ones.
This story will be grist to the mill of those who argue we need a new flag and one of the reasons for that is it’s so easily confused with the Australian one.
While not strongly attached to the current design I’ve yet to see any alternatives which appeal more but I’m open to the idea of an improvement on what we’ve got now.
A lot of people feel more strongly about flags and see suggestions we change ours as treason. Many too have very strong views on the Tino Rangatiratanga flag and whether it should be flown from the Auckland harbour bridge on Waitangi Day.
I don’t have strong views on that either but I agree with Keeping Stock who agrees with John Armstrong who commends John Key for his handling of the issue.
Key has very adroitly lobbed the issue back to Maori by saying a Maori flag can fly from the bridge providing Maori were consulted and the flag’s meaning was agreed upon.
Cactus Kate reckons Key is using the sort of tactics you might employ with young children or bickering employees. She’s right which confirms my theory that managing families, business and countries require similar skills and strategies and while our Prime Minister is new to the latter he has a lot of experience with the first two.