National identity more than a brand

NZ FlagLets keep the current New Zealand flag. When the alternatives appeared I was for a brief moment open to change. But any appeal they had due to be being fresh and new has quickly faded.  With the passage of only a few weeks, reflection upon them has revealed them for what they are. Shallow attempts to “re-brand” our nation.

In contrast as I walked up the green slopes of the Auckland Domain to the Museum this week, the flag flying high above it once again resonated in my soul. It holds a gravitas, a dignity, an authority that lifts it into a realm beyond the pretenders that are now on offer. It has stood the test of time.

In an age of  constant change to keep up with fashion, over a hundred years of faithful service is a treasure. It means our flag carries a mana not easily or quickly replaced. You don’t walk away from such precious things lightly.

The fact is that national identity runs much deeper than simply brand. It holds intangible values related to our long walk together as a people. The hopes and struggles, the tragedies and triumphs, the aspirations and heritage. These are all profoundly fused into the national psyche and character of the people of these islands.

In contrast “brand New Zealand” as some of our politicians like to call it, doesn’t even come close to expressing the depth of what our current flag proclaims. Long may it continue fly over our journey together.

Ewen McQueen
October 2015

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4 Responses to National identity more than a brand

  1. M Houlding says:

    Well…no. A near neighbour has one of the alternatives flying – and it looks fantastic. It says New Zealand straight away. It would be an international icon – totally on its own, instantly recognisable – and a proud banner. A flag with the union jack on it would be even better – but I could live with the red white and blue. No black in it, just red white and blue.


  2. Helen says:

    I totally agree with you, Ewen. Like you I was tempted when the proposed new flags first appeared but also like you I get a great feeling every time I see our current flag flying. What a gross waste of money this current John Key vanity thing is.


  3. M Houlding says:

    …similarly the United Tribes flag is a beauty and symbolises us and our history…


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