New Zealand Flag Referendum

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dharmagoat
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New Zealand Flag Referendum

Post by dharmagoat » Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:45 pm

New Zealand has voted to retain its existing flag, so the proposed new flag is now history. John Key and his government spent $26 million trying to persuade us to rebrand ourselves under a new corporate logo:
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Re: New Zealand Flag Referendum

Post by DGA » Thu Mar 24, 2016 1:36 pm

This is a great topic.

It seems to me that critics of the old and current NZ standard have some legitimate criticisms to make. It really is difficult to distinguish the NZ flag from Australia's, even for many Kiwis.

If I were to vote in this referendum, however, I would have voted against the proposed replacement, because it appears to have been designed a an "exquisite corpse." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exquisite_corpse The mashup of the white on black silver fern banner on the blue/red southern cross banner really spoils both designs. Hideous work.

Call it a corporate rebranding if you like, but Canada's decision to jettison the Red Ensign in favor of the current maple leaf standard has paid off handsomely. You look at that flag and you know it's Canada, and not just another bit of laundry forgotten and left behind by a passing-through English admiral. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Can ... lag_Debate

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dharmagoat
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Re: New Zealand Flag Referendum

Post by dharmagoat » Thu Mar 24, 2016 2:20 pm

DGA wrote:This is a great topic.

It seems to me that critics of the old and current NZ standard have some legitimate criticisms to make. It really is difficult to distinguish the NZ flag from Australia's, even for many Kiwis.

If I were to vote in this referendum, however, I would have voted against the proposed replacement, because it appears to have been designed a an "exquisite corpse." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exquisite_corpse The mashup of the white on black silver fern banner on the blue/red southern cross banner really spoils both designs. Hideous work.

Call it a corporate rebranding if you like, but Canada's decision to jettison the Red Ensign in favor of the current maple leaf standard has paid off handsomely. You look at that flag and you know it's Canada, and not just another bit of laundry forgotten and left behind by a passing-through English admiral. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Can ... lag_Debate
It helps that Australia's flag has five white stars in their Southern Cross instead of our four red ones, and that they have another really big star under their Union Jack. But other than that I agree they are virtually the same flag.

My main complaint with the proposed flag is that it replaces the Union Jack with the silver fern of the All Blacks while keeping the rest of the flag unchanged. We are effectively snubbing our British heritage in favour of the corporate logo of a professional rugby team. While I agree that the Union Jack can be considered a relic of our dodgy colonial past, I personally would not like to see it simply substituted out.

The Canadian flag has an excellent design, simple and striking. If someone had come up with something comparable for the New Zealand flag, I am sure that the outcome would have been much different.

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Qing Tian
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Re: New Zealand Flag Referendum

Post by Qing Tian » Thu Mar 24, 2016 9:43 pm

I'm a Brit living in New Zealand and I found the whole referendum rather perplexing, much in the same way as the periodical republican referendum that the Australians like to indulge in.

It should also be noted that the NZ flag pre-dates the Australian one, so if anyone should be changing their flag it should be them! :tongue:
“Not till your thoughts cease all their branching here and there, not till you abandon all thoughts of seeking for something, not till your mind is motionless as wood or stone, will you be on the right road to the Gate.”

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Re: New Zealand Flag Referendum

Post by DGA » Fri Mar 25, 2016 6:23 pm

dharmagoat wrote:The Canadian flag has an excellent design, simple and striking. If someone had come up with something comparable for the New Zealand flag, I am sure that the outcome would have been much different.
I suppose it's worth asking (all of us, wherever we are) what flags are for. The worst ones don't do much of anything. In my home state of Oregon, we have a particularly hideous flag that is largely forgotten in the corner.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Oregon

Surely the Hudsons Bay company could have done better than to kill all the beavers and leave us with this.

By contrast, in New Mexico--which has a very well designed standard that speaks to local culture and identity--the flag is inescapable in public places, people have tattoos of it, and so on, which is to say that it serves an important function in civic life. It's a marker of community. People feel good about it. So it's useful.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_New_Mexico

Among Commonwealth nations, I wonder if the Jamaican flag might be a useful precedent for NZ, because it contains design elements of the Union Jack, while also offering a clean and unmistakable design.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Jamaica

The current flag of Newfoundland and Labrador attempts a similar design, but I don't think local folk like it as well. I think it's appealing; you'd think the symbolism in it would make it highly functional in honoring the community.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_N ... d_Labrador

Finally, among standards that retain the Union Jack, I've always admired the flag of British Columbia, which is distinctive but probably too busy for contemporary tastes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_British_Columbia

Anyway, I think all this matters in the end because when a community starts talking about the symbols it wants to use to represent itself, it's really talking about what kind of community it wants to be. That has the potential to be a very healthy activity. I hope it turns out to be so for New Zealanders.

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Re: New Zealand Flag Referendum

Post by DGA » Fri Mar 25, 2016 6:28 pm

Qing Tian wrote:I'm a Brit living in New Zealand and I found the whole referendum rather perplexing, much in the same way as the periodical republican referendum that the Australians like to indulge in.
Yes, I agree that it is perplexing... that it didn't pass on the first try, so the reasonable ones have to keep bringing it up again

:stirthepot:

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Re: New Zealand Flag Referendum

Post by Wayfarer » Fri Mar 25, 2016 10:28 pm

I'm an Aussie not a Kiwi but followed the story with some interest - I thought some of the proposed new designs were striking and I was sure they'd pick a new one. So the whole thing turned out a bit anti-climactic. I was surprised when the no change vote won, kiwis are generally very progressive about such things.
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Re: New Zealand Flag Referendum

Post by Grigoris » Fri Mar 25, 2016 10:44 pm

dharmagoat wrote:My main complaint with the proposed flag is that it replaces the Union Jack with the silver fern of the All Blacks while keeping the rest of the flag unchanged. We are effectively snubbing our British heritage in favour of the corporate logo of a professional rugby team. While I agree that the Union Jack can be considered a relic of our dodgy colonial past, I personally would not like to see it simply substituted out.
The Ponga is not the symbol for the All-Blacks, it is an integral part of Maori art and symbolism (as the koru), that has been adopted as the symbol for the All-Blacks (and others). New Zealand's Maori heritage stretches back a little (a lot) further than it's British heritage and including the symbol in the flag would have been at least a token acknowledgement of that.

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dharmagoat
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Re: New Zealand Flag Referendum

Post by dharmagoat » Fri Mar 25, 2016 11:14 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:The Ponga is not the symbol for the All-Blacks, it is an integral part of Maori art and symbolism (as the koru), that has been adopted as the symbol for the All-Blacks (and others). New Zealand's Maori heritage stretches back a little (a lot) further than it's British heritage and including the symbol in the flag would have been at least a token acknowledgement of that.
The silver fern emblem, as worn by several New Zealand sports teams, is a distinctive abstract form of the silver fern or ponga leaf shown on a black background. The ponga leaf itself does not feature in traditional Maori art in any form, but the emerging spiral fern frond or koru, as you point out, is a well-known classical Maori motif and is depicted in a variety of forms.

I support the principle of a flag that acknowledges New Zealand's pre-European heritage, but not as a patch over the existing Union Jack.

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Re: New Zealand Flag Referendum

Post by pothigai » Sat Mar 26, 2016 4:46 am

Qing Tian wrote:I'm a Brit living in New Zealand and I found the whole referendum rather perplexing, much in the same way as the periodical republican referendum that the Australians like to indulge in.

It should also be noted that the NZ flag pre-dates the Australian one, so if anyone should be changing their flag it should be them! :tongue:
There has only been one referendum regarding whether or not to become a republic as far as i know.

The union jack is seen by a lot of people as a symbol of British colonialism, I think that is in part why some people do not like a flag with such a symbol on it.
ہستی اپنی حباب کی سی ہے
یہ نمائش سراب کی سی ہے

hasti apni habaab ki si hai
yeh numaaish saraab ki si hai

Like a bubble is your existence
This display is like an illusion

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dharmagoat
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Re: New Zealand Flag Referendum

Post by dharmagoat » Sat Mar 26, 2016 4:59 am

pothigai wrote:The union jack is seen by a lot of people as a symbol of British colonialism, I think that is in part why some people do not like a flag with such a symbol on it.
That is why I think it is better to change the whole flag, rather than just the bit many would rather forget.

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Re: New Zealand Flag Referendum

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sat Mar 26, 2016 5:07 am

pothigai wrote:The union jack is seen by a lot of people as a symbol of British colonialism, I think that is in part why some people do not like a flag with such a symbol on it.
It is also a symbol of English cultural heritage, which fewer and fewer Aussies share.

:coffee:
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