Guest column: Most aren’t against a flag change, they’re against John Key

The Guest post by Rosemary Francis can not go unanswered, mainly because the vast majority of the public opposition needs to be called what it is.

This thinly disguised rhetoric from NZs small but vocal pseudo-intelligesta set is nothing more than anti-John Key sentiment. Most aren’t against a change in flag or the process, (although there are some who legitimately like our current flag and that is their right) they are just anti-John Key.

Whether or not it was wise use of funds is a valid point many of us may share, and maybe it is a ego trip for John Key … who cares if it is, but the rest of the argument about the process is just bollocks.

If you don’t want to change the flag you can vote to keep the current one.

The whole country had an to opportunity to submit designs early in the process. If you don’t like the outcome then perhaps you should have started campaigning for an alternative earlier.

You are entitled to your opinion Rosemary but for many of us the ties to Britain hold no water. My grandfather was English, he served in the Royal Navy on the Royal Oak as a 14-year-old after lying about his age. While I honour his service and my heritage I have no emotional connection to our current flag at all. To me the Union Jack is an imposter and I would be quite happy to see the back of it.  

The other common argument we hear is that our soldiers served under that flag and we are disrespecting them to change it.

My response to that is the pictures of soldiers graves in Europe posted below. I’ve been looking hard but I don’t see the current NZ flag on any servicemen’s graves.



The Silver Fern is a symbol for exporters and sports teams only? It’s on the gravestones of thousands upon thousands of soldiers who died fighting in the NZ military. Looks to me like a symbol of service, sacrifice and nationhood.

I love the silver fern. Overseas it is far more recognised than the current NZ flag. I wore it proudly while walking around London a few weeks back, but it is far more than the All Blacks. It is a symbol that, overseas anyway, unites Kiwis in a way no other could. The silver fern led to the friendly chat in Trafalgar Square with Tim the ‘coasty’ who now lives in Perth. Mark the chatty American and his Argentinian wife who just loves Noo Zealand. The 3 Maori boys from Auckland who greeted us with a handshake a hug and a warm “Kia ora brothers” on the way to Twickenham even though I had never met them before and we would have no doubt ignored each other had we crossed paths back here.

If we take all the politics and BS out of the debate there really isn’t one. There has been one internationally recognised symbol that has represented this country for almost a century (based on the date on the gravestove above) and that is the silver fern. That’s the symbol that should be on our flag.

– Brett Wilson

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.