What's the difference between a duck?
A change sounds like a good idea, if only to help people outside of New Zealand and Australia to recognise the difference between their two flags.
The days of New Zealand's flag bearing the Union Jack may be numbered after citizens voted in favour of a new design featuring the silver fern. The remodelled "black, white and blue" banner, by architect Kyle Lockwood, narrowly topped a poll offering five alternatives, according to the New Zealand Herald. The preliminary …
I'd only just got the hang of the differences between the Australian and New Zealand flags, following the recent rugby world cup. Now if they go and change it I'll no longer be able to show off my superior knowledge to my fellow northern hemisphereans.
(No need for a new Welsh flag. All English rugby fans know what that looks like, right?)
I think the Black Fern versions look great, with or without the Southern Cross, although it will be a nightmare for graphics people and manufacturers of flags.
I know there was kerfuffle over 'don't lose the old flag and the Union Jack, under which our troops served, this makes a mockery of our veterans' etc etc. Canada changed its flag in the 1960s and I don't think Canadian veterans had collective heart attacks.
Yes, but the Maple Leaf was cleverly pushed through on an off day in Parliament by a very presumptuous Liberal government. We'll never know what a democratic process would have brought us. In any case the solution with the veterans et al actually was quite interesting. They adopted the Union Flag a month earlier as also being an official flag. Even though the Maple Leaf is the only national flag, Canada now does have two official flags.
Yes, the two flags things was a nice fudge, wasn't it? A democratic process would have been a tricky one then -- we were still a bit 'colonial' and there would have been years of backing and forthing -- but perhaps we would have followed NZ's style now: a shortlist, a public vote, and then done-and-dusted.
I certainly like the Canadian national flag. Simple, clear, and also instantly identifiable. There are a few flags around the world that are like that: UK's, USA's, China's, a couple of others, and the rest are merely coloured bars. I hope to see the Black Fern adding itself to the cool countries' flags.
I didn't know that background, but the maple leaf flag is now one of the most iconic brands in the world, so it's a good job they did.
Sometimes all this public participation is just an excuse for junkets and inability or unwillingness to make a decision. Just pick one of these (designed by an actual professional, not the PM's unemployed graphic artist cousin) and move on.
Notice how it's all the unimportant decisions that are mired in "public process" and drag on for years. There was never a voting process for invading Iraq was there?
Canada now does have two official flags.
At least the Canadians didn't go the route that Oregonians chose to follow: one flag with two sides*. Canadians may have the maple leaf, but Oregonians got the beaver.
* Yes, Paraguay has a two-sided flag, too, but it is completely devoid of beaver.
Hang on - does that mean that all mothballed battleships are not kept fully armed and fuelled up, staffed by elderly ex-sailors, ready to go at a moment's notice? I feel somewhat misled by a documentary film reel I recently saw, presented by notable historians such as Dr 'Weps' Rhianna and someone called Sam...
Yes, research indeed.
While the full etymology of term "Union Jack" remains unknown, one possibility is from the small "jack" flag flown from the bowsprit of a ship, jack being an old term for "small".
A full size Union flag flown elsewhere on the ship would still be called a Union Flag, and there's nothing stopping a small flag (or Jack) being flown on land.
I think you will find that jacks fly from jackstays which are the ropes running up a mast, normally for the inner end of a yard or for the edge of a sail. Also used for raising flags for signalling or for 'jacks' to indicate status (OK that's a sub-set of signalling by how pedantic do I need to be here?).
Next can we do something about all those near-indistinguishable European flags
Ahh, but what happens when the Scots decide to secede and form the Scottish Soviet People's Democratic Republic?
The union flag would have to drop the saltire. Nobody really recognises the cross of St David anyway, but if we can get the Scots to shove off, then it'll make sense rebuilding Offa's dyke and giving the Welsh the perpetual single party state they want (and we in England will be better off because we won't be paying for these two public sector theme parks).
Then when thinking about boring European flags, is the cross of St George sufficiently distinguished on its own?
Looks like you need educating on your own flag matey.
Fair cop. But it still looks pants with a red x superimposed on a red +. And if we're letting the Scots take the high road, quietly making Wales a sovereign nation whether they like it or not, we'd have to let Ulster decide its own destiny.
So, back to the sub topic of a flag for England, how about this distinctive and appropriate design.
In heraldic terms: Black yellow and grey stripes, with a tenné roundle offset, and tenné zouche adjacent.
"And if we're letting the Scots take the high road, quietly making Wales a sovereign nation whether they like it or not, we'd have to let Ulster decide its own destiny."
Ulster is not part of the United Kingdom. Ulster is one of the 4 provinces of the whole Island of Ireland, along with Leinster, Munster and Connacht. Ulster contains 9 counties. 3 of those counties are part of the Republic of Ireland, whilst the other 6 form the country known as Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland is one of the 4 constituent countries of the United Kingdom.
I mean, come on.. time you learnt about your own sovereign state, then you can start pontificating on flags !
I mean, come on.. time you learnt about your own sovereign state, then you can start pontificating on flags !
Nope. I didn't come here for well informed debate, and in that respect I came full prepared myself.
"Ignorance shall be my shield, vitriol shall be my spear."
(The Book of Ledswinger, ch 14 vs 54).
Quote: "Next can we do something about all those near-indistinguishable European flags that are variations on red, white and blue stripes (or black/blue, yellow and red ones; or green, white and orange/red ones)."
Dont worry, I'm sure the Germans are working hard on replacing all those european flags with just the one again........
PS dont mention the war
>let's ditch the symbols (and monarchy) of another nation.
Isn't that your monarchy?
For my money, the top two look like a cereal packet trademark, the third looks like a semaphore flag, then debian and the last two are sadly colour-deficient.
I'd be a bit upset if those were the options.
The Maple leaf is a clear, clean design. The fern is a bit busy, as are dual-coloured stars.
In the final round of ranking, the winning flag scored 50.53% to 49.47% for it's stablemate, so it was damn close. More people liked the flag that came 2nd (and thus is no longer in the running).
The ~10% of "informal" votes (read: spoiled), give a clue as to how many people who bothered to vote didn't like any of the choices. Add those to the 50% who could even be bothered to mail back the envelope, and you start to realise that the old flag is probably going to be a keeper.
I lived in NZ for a while in the late nineties, and the idea of replacing the flag was up for discussion back then too.
Basing a new design on the silver fern was a popular choice, though there was some opposition, chiefly because it was already a sporting emblem and there were many who thought that a nation's identity should not simply ride on the coat-tails of its national sport.
Because they're idiots who want to force their own agendas ahead of public opinion and realistic national debate. They want to present it as a fait accompli in the hope people don't realise they were voting in the pointless vote before the real one. This is why they spanked $20M- odd already.
I don't really care about the kiwi flag, much as I'm pretty indifferent to flags in general. People who get excited about them are usually extremist in their views, not realising it's a lump of cloth, not the actual ideologies and body of the country embodied. If more people want a new one than not, that's nice for them. Perhaps a fucking great QR code would be good, one that pointed to gov.nz, or to the All Blacks website.
The whole point of a flag is that you can identify the nation from a distance. That applies equally whether you're looking at the flag on a ship on the horizon, or trying to see your football team's flag in the corner of the pub TV on holiday.
New Zealand's complex new flag fails this test miserably. Mind you, their old flag was just as bad, and far too easily confused with Australia's.
Point to note: None of the five options presented for the poll was the existing flag, i.e. the question "do you wish to keep the present flag" was not asked; also none of the five options presented contained a union jack as any component of the proposed new flags.
This is the answer to a a nonsense poll.
That's one of the opponents' objections.
But the people behind this will be a small, noisey political elite with a pre-judged conclusion, probably that the existing flag has to go. If they'd started off asking "do you want a new flag?", they know the debate would have been closed off forever because nobody would have bothered to vote, and any outcome would have had no legitimacy. By doing it this way round, they create the debate with a prospective winner.
Of itself, as a Brit I don't have a problem with them changing their flag, and the "winning" design is pleasantly distinctive. But if I were a Kiwi I wouldn't like the manipulative way it has been done. But then again, what can we expect from the lying, thieving, self interested turds that are our political classes?
"the people behind this will be a small, noisy political elite with a pre-judged conclusion"
As a Canadian who was around at the time we got the red maple leaf, I think this more accurately describes those who wanted to keep the original.
My father always complained about being given a passport that described him as a "British Subject."
Since when has this had ANYTHING to do with being practical and sensible?
It's a massive (and rather pricey) distraction so Key and Co and continue looting the national silver. Which apparently all OK, as long as mom and pop get to buy a little of it too.
Try and get a referendum about an actual issue, that'll get buggered about like no-ones business. Want to distract everyone? Lets all discuss what flag we want, then have a shortlist, then have a campaign to get stuff added to the shortlist, then a referendum to choose the choice, then an actual vote on the flag, and then no doubt an appeal (legal or public) if things don't go the way someone wants.....
And all this time the actual governing of the country, the Nats being huger than usual shits, just gets ignored.
Goddamn distraction politics and USA style divide-and-rule works wonders in MMP.
I'm saddened to hear that New Zealand is being tempted to follow the bad example of my own country, Canada, which changed its flag to one without the Union Jack under Pearson, back in 1965. However, Canada did this without a referendum; had one been held, likely the change would not have passed, as it was widely viewed as a sop to the feelings of the French minority in Quebec.
"... as it was widely viewed as a sop to the feelings of the French minority in Quebec."
And look how well that sop soaked up the vinaigre! Not at all. The problem with acceding to the somewhat random current demands of "change is needed!" groups, where the only constant is they want to stay on the podium forever, and so there are always new 'changes' needed following thereafter.
I rather like the idea of presidents/etc. having only one term of office, perhaps at 1.5 the length of the old shorter terms. Can we also wish that the 'change' people were also limited to one movement per decade say?
And Ireland's flag and that of Cote d'Ivoire are pretty much the same.
Which caused some concern during the last soccer world cup.
"Or maybe hobbits, those guys seem to come from New Zealand."
Yes, you wouldn't even need the whole hobbit. A flag with just a couple of big hairy feet on it would suffice - and it would look great going round the track at the opening ceremony of the Olympics.
Re those black and white versions - don't they look vaguely piratical? Maybe have Cap'n Jack Sparrow as the flag bearer at the Olympics if they choose one of those.
Everyone I know is quite happy with the current flag, and sees this whole flag palaver as a pointless waste of money pushed by our lame duck PM John Key as his pet project. I didn't bother voting since I'm not interested in wasting money on changing to any of the new flag 'choices.'
It reminded me of the Boomtown Rats song "Another Piece of Red" mourning the death of the British Empire (until then Geldof had still been pretending to be Irish), a song so bad that it doesn't seem to have made it onto Youtube.
I was reading in New Zealand about Ian Smith
I was thinking they were lucky to be rid of that shit.
The people here can still believe in stiff lips and stiff collars
They're speaking deals in English
But they're making deals in dollars.
They're breaking up an empire
Nobody's buying British
They're calling for an umpire
Nobody's playing cricket
The flags are coming down everybody stands saluting
But somewhere in the distance, I can hear somebody shooting.
And another piece of red left my atlas today.
then wait until they become a republic and they remodel their flag off of that.
Why couldn't we just stick a kiwi silhouette in the bottom left corner (for pedants, the "third quarter"), in place of where the sun goes on the Australian Flag? It's not rocket surgery!
(I'm a Kiwi, my ancestors emigrated voluntarily!)
" where the sun goes on the Australian Flag?"
That is not the sun! Were you an Australian, I would roundly abuse the Australian education system's malaise.
"The sun" as you call it, is a star with each point representing one of the 6 states and the territories
First you have a referendum on what you think you might like the flag to be if it changes.
Then you have a referendum on whether it should be changed.
All with a roar of publicity and a lot of money spent, on something that's been debated for 40+ years and the vast majority of the population either oppose or are ambivalent about (the greatest amount of support has always been for simply dropping the Union jack and keeping the Southern Cross red stars on a blue background)
When NZ changed its electoral system (which is far more important), they had "should we change?" and "If we change, what should we change to?" on the SAME referendum.
The cynical would argue that the publicity this is getting is a way of distracting from the far more important things that Kiwis _can't_ vote for this year:
Sending troops to Iraq (again)
GCSB spying bills
Deepwater oil drilling
The deepening housing crisis (both affordaibilty and black mould epidemic)
Massive MP pay rises
Rapidly worsening environmental pollution.
62% of NZ rivers are now unsafe to swim in, let alone drink from, up from under 20% 20 years ago. The NZ environment agency's response has been to rewrite standards so that these levels of pollution are now legal - http://www.writehanded.org/blog/2015/11/19/nz-100-pure-bullshit/
As a NZ native I've very well aware that Kiwis are amongst highest per-capita generators of pollution and trash, carbon use, car ownership and gun ownership in the world (The USA Only overtook NZ for that in the 1990s). There have always been some extreme pollution hotspots and the only reason NZ has had reputation for "greenness" is because the population is so small plus the prevailing winds carry most air pollution off to the southern oceans. Since the 1990s increasing energy consumption, official corruption and special treatment of dairy farming (in particular) have resulted in wide areas being increasingly polluted with no action being taken. You're looking at the steady creation of another Haiti.
"62% of NZ rivers are now unsafe to swim in"
That's _overall_. It's over 90% in lowland areas and what few swimming spots there are in the mountains are polluted.
You don't want to drink NZ river or lake water pretty much anywhere, even in the mountains. Giardia infestations have become universal since the 1990s (started spreading after WW2) and that parasite will make you quite ill.
So they've spent NZ$26 million already. Nice little bonuses for some politician's friends no doubt.
I wonder if they've calculated the one-off cost of having to prematurely replace all the flags for every flagpole, naval vessel and government building, ditch any amount of printed material and pay another set of graphic designers and printers to tool up for the replacements along with web designers and no doubt other costs I've not thought of?
To make an informed decision the electorate should be given an estimate first. And of course gathering that information will cost too.
As others have commented, it's just a rag for idiots to wave at sports events or when the scum, sorry, cream of other nations visit. Frak!
Anyway, as a true believer and a fully paid up minister the only flag I revere is this one.
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