Friday, 22 July 2016

Unwanted Legacies

As part of the new nationalism sweeping the old British colonies (and also apparently some elements of Scotland as well), it is required to somehow reaffirm their 'identity', if not independence, by scrapping the Royal Family, becoming a Republic, and changing any old national flag that hints at a 'colonial' past.

Proposed New Zealand Flag Design

So New Zealand has just held a referendum, instigated by the current Prime Minister John Key's party, to scrap the old flag (which features a British Union Jack in one quarter).

The public went through a short list of forty designs first, and chose one with a silver fern on (the Maori symbol), for a final run off against the old flag ..... expectations amongst the pro-change group were that this 'unwanted legacy of colonialism', would be swept aside in a landslide of patriotic nationalistic fervour, embracing the 'New, New Zealand' (if you know what I mean).

Ahem, you know that expression, 'many a slip between cup and lip'? ..... well it appears the 'nation' has spoken.

Oops, rather like the pre-vote triumphalism of the Scottish nationalists, the expectations of the New Zealand 'Republicans', have apparently been dashed, with the news that the post vote polls of the 2.1 million who voted, suggest that 56.6% voted for no flag change, while only 43.1% opted for the new design.

Still The New Zealand Flag ...

The final result, taking into account late ballots was to be announced later but isn't expected to change the initial results.

Why nationalists and republicans in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and indeed Scotland, are so keen to break the ties of history is beyond me. But it apparently makes them seethe with anger that the 'English', for that's what this often boils down to, as all these countries were settled by large numbers of Scots and Irish colonialists, still have some links with their countries.

Odd really, as the legacy of this association with the English, is actually largely beneficial (and I include the USA in this).
  • They all speak the common tongue of 'English', which thanks in part to the rise of the North Americans (another ex colony), and the existence of the old British Empire, is the professional and commercial language of the world.
  • They all share a strong democratic form of governance.
  • They all have low public corruption and strong legal protection due to an inheritance of habeas corpus.
  • They all shared in the benefits of the original industrial revolution (and look at their local neighbours to see what an advantage that gave them in developing a national wealth, and amongst the highest standards of living in the world).

But, even so, and lets be honest its a list very like the famous 'What did the Romans ever do for us' speech from Monty Pythons 'The Life Of Brian', many still can't wait to be rid of us.

We English are apparently considered the devils brood and the cockpit of all evil in the eyes of a minority hard-core of the Celtic race. But therein lies their problem .... they are just a minority hard-core, and getting the rest of the population to share their righteous indignation, is a tad more difficult that they usually anticipate.

But then extremists of all persuasion often find that to be truth .... which is why they so easily turn to violence.


  1. It probably didn't help that the new design has black in it. The Union flag is very popular on a purely aesthetic level; in France it is ubiquitous on handbags, telephone cases, T-shirts, trainers, etc. despite their supposed anti-British attitudes.

  2. I didn't realise it was a popular design item in France. I was vaguely aware that it was popular in Japan and the USA as a fashion item.

    But I assumed that this was because there are restrictions on using their own flags.e.g. United States Flag Code/: "The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed, or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use." .... and other similar laws elsewhere.


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