I think I have finally had enough time to form an opinion on the New Zealand flag debate - which really means I have finally found out that one night I must have drunkenly had a conversation about it and I took some notes.
So here are my super timely thoughts.
It seems there is at least some public support to change the New Zealand flag to a new design that better represents New Zealand as a country/people. Apparently things such as the Union Jack, and similarities to the Australian flag mean the current flag does not represent our country's identity any more.
If that is true (which it might be), then I have another suggestion
Why don’t we change the name of the country?
You might not love the idea, but surely you have to at least consider it as a viable opinion, right? (please?)
I mean, we are NEW Zealand. How exactly does that represent people?
We are named after the Dutch province of Zeeland. Surely that has less to do with the country than the Union Jack does?
Sure, that is what someone named the country ages ago, but, are the ties we have to the Netherlands really that strong? (Serious question, I have no idea). Does that really represent our national identity?
I don’t have anything against the Dutch (the few Dutch people I know are totally excellent), my point is that if we really feel strongly that our flag doesn’t provide us with an identity because it has the Union Jack, or because it is too close to the Australian flag, then shouldn’t we at least ask whether the name New Zealand fits as well?
The best thing about the name question (as opposed to the flag question), is there is an easy and obvious solution - we already have another name - Aotearoa.
(I am not saying this is the solution, it just seems like an easy fit if there aren’t better ideas)
Actually - reading the Wikipedia article about New Zealand, and specifically the naming of the country is quite interesting. Did you realise that the names of the North and South Island weren’t actually real names until 2013(allegedly?)!
I don’t actually know what that means (if anything), but it did make me go “hmmmmm”, which counts?
Oh, right, the flag… I never had any problem with the current flag. I never confused it with Australia's (but I am from New Zealand, so I guess you wouldn’t expect me to). I also don’t have a problem with it containing the Union Jack (we are still owned by them, after all?).
I largely hated the first four alternatives they came up with (as everyone else has said, they were all basically the same flag), and like everyone else I think the red peak is by far the best alternative available. But, are we really going to change to that just because it is better than the other four?
It is hard to say which side will win out - people not wanting to change because it’s a hard decision, or people wanting to change just because there is the option to do so.
One other thing which I haven't heard people mention (because I am not in New Zealand?), what happens to the rest of the flags?
Or, how about this new alternative - get rid of the Union Jack and replace it with the flag of the Netherlands. Sure, it doesn’t necessarily make sense, but when does anything I say?