That damned flag!

I’ve been all over the place on this issue. I began by being unhappy with the current New Zealand flag, largely because I could never remember if it was us or Australia who had the extra star. And while this is no excuse for my lazy ignorance, I know some born and bred Kiwis who live with the same confusion. So I was ready for a change until John Key put me off. This is the man who brought back Knights and Dames. Okay, ‘Sir John Key’ does have a punchy syllabic ring to it and I know he likes that sort of thing but to then dump the Union Jack! Has the man no shame?

And the manipulation continued with the flag selection process. Who, I don’t know, managed to slip in a ringer called ‘red peak’ after the measly few contenders we were offered had already been selected. This official sleight-of-hand was so breathtaking the nation was reduced to stunned-mullet silence. I was not amused. Bugger the new flag, I thought. That’s it, I’m staying with the old one.

And then the Aussies did the dirty on us. They said Kiwis were mates from across the ditch when there was plenty of work to be done but when it dried up they were no longer mates, just bludgers on an unemployment benefit. So they cut it. Not a peep from our government so the Aussies, never to be confused with little hot-house plants, realised they could get away with murder, or at least transporting their murderers over here. That these bewildered chaps spoke with Aussie accents had learned their murdering manners in Australian schools was not seen as an impediment to the scheme, and since the New Zealand government was incompetent to the point of paralysis why not take a punt? Which they have done, of course, leaving our government in panic-mode late night sittings looking for a plaster to cover an amputation.

This Aussie mateship lark is a fraud. I say let them go with the bullying kind of mates they have more in common with, like Guantanamo Bay, for instance. And since we haven’t got a government with the ability to confront them, the least we can do is choose a new flag that can never be confused with theirs.

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Chris Horan

Chris is a former social worker, probation officer and Family Court counsellor, living in Hawea in the South Island.