Peter Kramer

Peter Kramer
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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Flag Article. by K R Bolton

John Key has recently been drawn into the issue of changing the New Zealand flag. This is a matter that crops up every few years, with little support. Key has indicated he would back a referendum at the 2014 general election. Other party leaders indicated their endorsement for change, and as usual Winston Peters equivocated. Expect his policy to be that of a referendum also, which is precisely what the NZ Flag Trust has been campaigning for since 2004.
The two most widely expressed reasons for a change of flag are that (1) the NZ flag is too similar to the Australian. (2) We are a multicultural nation in the Pacific, not a colony of Britain. The first reason apparently is designed to appeal to those who are both colour blind and cannot count beyond four; of which there must be many among the supporters of NZ Flag Trust among sportspeople, businessmen and sundry other supposed ‘celebrities’ the Trust has hooked.
The second reason, that NZ is no longer a British colony but a multicultural nation is based on fallacious but widely assumed reasoning. A ‘multicultural nation’ is an oxymoron. One does not build a ‘nation’ on a multiplicity of cultures, but historically defines a national culture and a national destiny over a long period of time, and usually when people face a common adversary, as part of a complex nation-building process. Those who are pushing for a change in flag seek to bypass the nation-building process and create an artificial ‘nation’ around the most superfluous reasons. These are repeatedly justified by appeals to ‘patriotism’ and to ‘national identity’. At the bottom of it all is to define New Zealand’s place in the world economy. The traditional NZ flag reflects a cultural heritage, but not a viable commercial brand.
The most compelling reason to change the flag offered by the NZ Flag Trust is to adopt a more effective ‘brand’ or trade logo for New Zealand. Behind the façade of patriotism and ‘national identity’ stands the motive of profit, advertising and sales, on the world market.
That this change in heritage is being sold on the basis of New Zealand being multicultural is itself an evidence of the nationalist contention that multiculturalism serves globalisation and international capitalism. (See: K R Bolton, Babel Inc., London, 2013). Multiculturalism is the means by which nations are broken down, not created, by global big business (with the predictable support of the Left). The change of the traditional flag is part of that process, as it is a symbol that reaches to New Zealand on a deep subconscious level, which the changers want to trash for superficial, commodity-driven reasons.
The founder of the NZ Flag Trust was businessmen Lloyd Morrison (d. 2012). He stated: “We need a flag which is more symbolic of New Zealand as a free, independent country with its own culture: a melting pot of Maori, Polynesian, European and, more recently, Asian influences evolved over 150+ years. By contrast, the existing flag has strong colonial links, lacks identity and does not reflect the strengths of our culture today; To build our image internationally : in terms of global branding, there is no identification with our existing flag”. (http://www.nzflag.com/lettertopress.cfm)

Mr Morrison related the change of the flag to both the multicultural mishmash and the need for a more striking “global brand”.
Brian Sweeney, “co-director and co-founder of SVL, a firm providing advice, strategy, communications and resources to corporate organizations and brands throughout New Zealand, and the world”, likewise wrote among “eight reasons to change the flag”:
“New Zealand competes with other countries, cities, and commercial brands. Countries with the strongest, simplest flags tend to have the most cut-through impact. Today, commercial brands command greater recognition than most flags. As an export country competing on the world stage, we need our flag to be strongly competitive from a brand/ symbol/icon point of view. (http://www.nzflag.com/essay_sweeney.cfm)

Typical of the view of New Zealand as a corporate entity, Chris Morrison, Co-founder of Phoenix Organic Drinks and All Good Bananas , writes: “I see a future for New Zealand as world leaders in sustainability - we can create a unique country with a myriad of entrepreneurial and internationally significant companies, based on values around environmental protection, equity, diversity and justness. We need a new flag to represent this vision. The present one does not inspire us or reflect our uniqueness.”

Dick Hubbard, Founder Hubbard Foods, Former Mayor of Auckland, writes: “A flag is in essence a country’s ‘brand’ and an appropriately designed flag would give us a greater degree of national identity, both outside the country and inside the country than we have at the present time. A distinctive identity through a distinctive flag encourages patriotism and I believe that patriotism is something we currently don’t have enough of in New Zealand.”

This type of “patriotism” is equated with the Gross National Product. The Maori culture was marketed for years, at one time with the assistance of plastic “Maori artefacts” made in Japan for New Zealand tourist shops. Now corporate New Zealand seeks a new model that reflects our greater role in the world market.

Other views that equate profit with “national identity” and “patriotism”:

Kevin Roberts, CEO Worldwide of Saatchi & Saatchi : “Peter Jackson and LOTR has raised the ante. New Zealand is again a hot dinner topic in Los Angeles and New York. We must capitalize on this and not let the opportunity slip. We need to keep the conversation going; increase our national identity here at home and overseas. Change our flag - make a statement - put the world on notice! New Zealand is a place of mystery, fun and excitement. A place with its own identity, character, people, values and pride.”

Richard Riddiford, Managing Director Palliser Estate Wines : “As our most widely recognised brand is the Silver Fern (All Blacks) it would seem timely to once again look at whether our current Flag is relevant to today's world. Our flag should reflect our identity and it is arguable whether our current flag does this. We should as a country embrace change not fear it.”

Ruth Pretty, Chef, Caterer, Food Writer : “New Zealanders are very busy at the moment trying to define a New Zealander. It still seems to be a difficult term to define. To reach a conclusive definition we need to work out what a New Zealander isn't. A New Zealander isn't an extension of a person living in Britain. A really good place to start working out what a New Zealander really is, is to begin with a brand that encompasses New Zealand. A national flag should be that brand. Therefore, it is time we changed our flag to reflect our society and its place internationally. I like the silver fern. It relates New Zealanders to the land. A new flag should definitely be a topic for a referendum.”

We have been denied an identity precisely because we are being pushed into a multicultural quagmire. This by definition means a multitude of identities, heritages, outlooks, ethics, without a common bond, or sense of past, present or future. The changers offer a new identity into which everyone can be melded as an indistinct mass: that of an economic automaton working for “brand New Zealand.” Our traditional symbols, language, common law heritage, and thousands of years of culture transplanted from Europe, are all regarded as hindrances to this cooperate vision. Hence those who object are smeared as ‘racists’, ‘old fashioned’, ‘reactionary’, and so on.

If the traditional NZ flag is dragged down, in favour of some bland travesty (the favoured option is a white fern leaf on a black background) then let our flag become a symbol of rebellion against globalist takeover. Regardless of what the State and its corporate backers achieve, no matter whether a majority of New Zealanders have been sufficiently culturally deadened to vote for change in a referendum, the Old Flag will continue to fly.

K. R. Bolton

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