The Flag Consideration Panel is inviting people to upload designs for a new flag.
There’s more than 1000 in the gallery already.
I plan to feature one most days.
Today’s is Land Between Waves by Lukas van de Wiel:
Apropos of the flag change, David Squire writes the issue is cultural not political:
. . . I’m disappointed that so many people seem to view the current referendum as a political smokescreen.
They’re not wrong in saying that this government needs to do more to address the gap between rich and poor, or that $26 million is a huge amount of money. However, the flag debate is only political in a peripheral sense.
It is primarily a cultural issue, and I sincerely hope the New Zealand public can look past the way the process is being managed, and vote for a flag that truly represents our modern, mature, multicultural nation.
I am proud of my British heritage (as well as my Irish and American heritage), but I don’t believe that the Union Jack has any place on our flag. India, Canada, Jamaica, Samoa, Malaysia, Singapore, Papua New Guinea and a whole host of other Commonwealth countries have already come to this conclusion – now it’s our turn. . .
My worry is that the naysayers are dissing the concept of a flag change for all the wrong reasons, be it that they don’t like the personalities involved (someone has to drive the change – it may as well be the government that has the power to do something about it); the political agendas (I don’t like the TPPA either, but this is a completely separate issue); the erroneous idea that our forefathers fought and died for our flag (most of them rest under headstones with silver ferns); or misinformation about how it will affect our status as a Commonwealth country or constitutional monarchy (we will still be both). . .
I’m pretty sure that most New Zealanders feel a strong connection to the land, not too dissimilar to the way that the tangata whenua have for centuries. We have an ideal opportunity to create a symbol of our country that will stand out as distinctly New Zealand, something our oft-confused current flag does not do.
For this reason, I like versions that keep elements of the current flag, mixed with natural symbols of our homeland, such as Kyle Lockwood’s version (the current southern cross with the silver fern, but red and blue rather than black) or Dick Frizzell’s version(combining the southern cross and Hundertwasser’s koru, which could also be interpreted as a wave or mountain).
Both are not too busy, look attractive and distinctive when flying (an essential characteristic of a good flag), are not easily confused with other flags, embrace all the people of our land, and represent our independent South Pacific nation to the world in a fresh and vibrant manner.
The big difference between our flag change process and the one that took place in Canada is that the Canadian people were not given the final choice of flag: after much bitter debate, it was selected in parliament by closure.
It would be a real shame if, due to the more democratic nature of our process, change was stymied because of apathy, falsehoods or red herrings.
If the majority of the population really does believe that our quaint, colonial, dominion flag represents a modern Aotearoa New Zealand, then I shall reluctantly abide by that decision. But people should be able to look at the possibility of change without some of the ridiculous scaremongering and rhetoric that seems to be filling the headlines.