"Don't change the flag, our forefathers fought for that flag"
We've had a few scathing critics of late who say things like 'don't change the flag it will be too expensive', 'don't fix it it ain't broke', and 'our forefathers fought for that flag' and all manner of put-downs and criticisms imaginable in order to keep the NZ ensign status quo.
I think that flag change should be a gradual process.
When we decide to choose a new flag, the existing ensign should be replaced at schools, government and at other private and public institutions only as they wear out, or as stationary and uniforms run out. It’s ridiculous to suggest, and there is simply no need to dispose of the nation’s entire existing flag stock and associated paraphernalia overnight. Waste not, want not.
In fact, don't throw out the old ensigns at all. There will be the conservatives among us who will undoubtedly choose to continue to fly the national ensign, and that's OK. I believe that the ensign should continue to remain official and be flown on days such as ANZAC day.
In the world wars people mainly fought for the freedom of their family, friends, and country - not just the NZ Ensign.
During wartime commonwealth countries generally rallied around the Union Jack, not their own respective ensigns.
Updating the flag is not disrespectful to our forefathers, they fought for our freedom, not for our ensign. besides after World War 2 Canada, along with over 50 other commonwealth nations updated their flag, however the Canadian ensign is still official and Canadians bring out their ensigns on remembrance days and other such events. Some members of Canada's older generation still fly their ensign, we can do the same.
It's a bit like how God Save the Queen and God Defend New Zealand are both official anthems of New Zealand. In the early 1980’s we learnt both at primary school, however most now choose to sing the latter in English and Maori.
The national flag will one day eventually be updated with a design that represents all who live in modern multi-cultural New Zealand, not just those of British descent.
A new flag will help New Zealand differentiate itself in the international community, a new flag will cease to be confused with that of Australia, and in future we will see an end to the embarrassment and confusion when the Australian flag is used at international events for kiwis, and vice versa - It happens more often than you think.
‘The times they are a-changin' That's why it pays to be forward thinking on flag change matters, and plan for a new design well in advance.
To quote a kiwi celebrity from the 1980's… 'It won't happen overnight, but it will happen.'
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