Tim Walker with The Flag

Whose bright idea was it to cut ties with the Commonwealth and ditch the almighty Union Jack; who thought it clever to allow the similarly mighty Southern Cross to fall from recognition or perhaps the worst thing, to trade majestic hues of red and blue for the so called ‘Colour of the Nation’, black?

I suppose in some ways it does make sense, in a country where everything sport-related is synonymised with the colour of death, that some might assert the material representation of said nation should also be black.

In New Zealand field hockey both the men’s and the women’s teams are known as the Black Sticks; basketball they’re called the Tall Blacks; cricket it’s the Black Caps; ice hockey we have the Ice Blacks; our male softball team is the Black Sox; the men’s wheelchair rugby team is the Wheelblacks; of course men’s rugby union has the famed All Blacks; then perhaps predictably, our woman’s team of the same code is named the Black Ferns.

Which nicely segues into the next. One proposed flag design is the laughably hackneyed backdrop of black, emblazoned with our other renowned sporting depiction, the silver fern – so everybody can see how very proud every Kiwi is of our sporting accomplishments…

Wait. What about those who have no affinity with sports whatsoever or, heaven forbid, have zero affection for the ever-so-revered All Blacks? Because let’s be fair, it’s New Zealand’s team of resident rugby zealots who most support the flag change; the original patriots of all things NZ appear decidedly less enthused.

I guess in this world of everything-at-your-fingertips, no-need-to-remember-anything-anymore because-everything-you-will-ever-need-to-know-is-in-your-phone which-you-always-have-on-you-anyway – in other words goldfish-like attention spans – it’s understandable that some of us have grown bored with something of which few of us even understand the origin.

Thing is, I have heard only two real complaints about the current flag’s appearance and both of them were asinine: for an undisclosed reason a portion of complainants want to be disassociated with the Union Jack; the other portion claim that our flag is too similar to Australia’s.

Guess what. Essentially, we are part of Great Britain. We are also very similar to Australia. They have over five times the population admittedly, also they sell their dirt so they’re a lot more cashed up than we, but other than that, we’re pretty similar. Reckon we should stop trying to fight the likeness and just accept it.

Besides, I don’t believe our flag is like theirs, I think theirs is like ours.



Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Eugene Jack

Photography by G C Scrap

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