Been a lot of talk about flags lately. Not just in good ol’ Aotearoa but the States as well, with attempts (some successful and some not) to ban the Confederate Flag as a symbol of hate and racism as it was the symbol of the ‘slave states’ (not true at all it was the Battle Colours of the Southern regiments, and Battle Colours are NOT a nations flag but a Unit Pride symbol)
Lovely post here on Facebook from a Southern Biker, a guy who other than living in the South of the USA is, like me, a biker who has a beard, loves to ride…and has a heart. When he himself felt under the gaze of racial profiling he stepped up to show ‘hey, I aint what I appear to be in your historically tainted point of view guys’
So, lets consider why the uproar to ban public displays of the Confederate flag are flavour of the month on the other side of the Pacific.
Many claim its the connection to the fight to retain slavery as an institution….technically that argument is invalid. The Confederate States had a variation of the Stars and Stripes as a Flag of State. The Confederate Battle Flag was exactly that, a BATTLE FLAG. It was designed so the southern troops could distinguish their own lines in the smoky hell of the battle fields of the 1860’s as the Unions flag and their own were….. yes, the same! Civil war…who’da thunk it?????
The Confederate Battle Flag in itself is no more a symbol of hate and oppression than the Olympic flag when analysed at the root level of its reason for existence. It was a symbol to state ‘our troops gather here, march here…kill here….die here’….. It was a Battle Flag, a battlefield location device in pre radio days and nothing more. Those who had relatives die under that flag have every right to defend its existence and display it to say ‘hey, right or wrong we bled, fought, cried, lived, and died under this symbol’ just as any other units regimental standard or symbol would be cherished. Its a coat of arms.
So now we have the New Zealand Flag Debate (debacle more accurately….)
I have for years, and years, since long before John Key uttered a word about it wanted a new flag for New Zealand. The Union Jack, like it or not, has more reason to be hated and banned from public display than almost any other on the planet. It was the English alongside Portuguese, Spanish, and the Dutch who created international slave trading as it was known in the 17-1800’s, FACT! No need for me to print references, you all have google so go check my facts and you will find I am not bullshitting you. Just like they (English) invented the Concentration Camps in South Africa long before Hitler was born. To the victor the spoils!
So we have, as all Historians know, a situation where the victor re-writes history to his own song.
The Union Jack on a New Zealand flag to me is a buy in to the false and twisted history of the myth of ‘England’s Imperial good intentions to bring freedom and order to the world through its Empire’…. and that’s a bullshit line in and of itself.
It was pure greed behind that flag, from the privateers of Queen Elizabeth (the Spanish Armada was a result of England’s being the worlds largest pirate fleet ever seen) not some benevolent drive to free the world…after all they were the largest supplier of slaves to the Continental Unites States over 200+ years! Yet no ones burning the Jack are they? (And nor should they, I am not trying to be an England hater, honest! Just pointing out that you cant have it both ways)
Our flag, the State Flag of New Zealand, many claim can’t be changed because our men fought and died for it… well no…
They fought and died for the solders beside them in the trenches, foxholes and minefields around the world. It was the flag they fought under which cannot be trivialized and I am not trying to. I am attempting to point out its not a sole reason to not change with the coming future of our land and its people.
And the old flag can’t just be forgotten, hell no, never! But the emotional knee jerk reasons for NOT changing it should be reconsidered without the emotion of ‘it was our flag’… but more ‘what does this flag represent?’ Not modern NZ in my opinion. The Union Jack represents the many poor decisions like sending our innocent youth of the early 20th century to invade and kill the sons of the fading Ottoman Empire (also a corrupt and evil entity of itself but why were we invading another country we had no direct quarrel with? An invasion impossible to achieve? The bloody poms is why).
I am in complete agreement with those socially aligned with fiscal irresponsibility of this referendum…. there is no need to waste so much money of referendums in these times of need…the cost of these arguments and processes is ridiculous. 26 million…pathetic. And the ‘smokescreen for TPPA’ …valid argument but only if we let it be. (Thank (insert personal deity) that has failed at the 9th hour….)
But I ask you, how many people in MY country applauded the banning of the Confederate flag because ‘it represents racism’ and then go on to cry foul at the suggestion we change our own? Without seeking specific posts I recall a few of my social media connections applauding the ban of the Rebel flag…. yet bemoaning the mere suggestion ‘NZ change its dear, treasured historic flag that is oh so relevant to us’….. hypocrisy or mere lack of historical knowledge? Any flag with the Jack on it has ties to hundreds of years of murder, rape, enslavement and theft on a grand scale impossible to measure. That my friends is a FACT!! The jolly old England of post WW2 is as alien to the pre-1939 Empire as modern South Africa is to its Apartheid past.
While it may be true that the Union Jack in the 21st century may not represent those factors currently, in relation to its history and colonial past, it sadly is a fact. So by association you cannot tar one battle standard as a hate flag yet ignore the past of another National Flag of State and its history and look me in the eye.
FAR more racism, hate, torture, murder, evil, and atrocious treatment of tribal people worldwide happened under the Union Jack than ever occurred under the Confederate Battle Standard. A simple truth you may not like to hear, but I am never shy of telling you a truth you may not like.
Consider this when I post on Bookface that I support a new flag.
I am not turning my back on my history, or the two grandfathers who fought under the current flag, the great uncle who died in the same conflict, the years my Grandpa spent in a German Stalag…. its still very relevant, absolutely! But so is the Confederate Flag… and if your going to celebrate banning THAT flag, then bloody well be prepared to change OURS!
PS I like this one myself.