Embrace the flag as our change in identity

Last updated 13:14 15/09/2015
David Walker

Should it stay or should it go? The New Zealand flag flies in suburban Christchurch.

Final five New Zealand flags: Which is your favourite?

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Which is your favourite flag?

Five reasons we should change our flag Five reasons we should keep our flag Make your vote for a fair referendum If you settle for less that's what you get We should give flag money to the poor Red Peak: A flag for all New Zealanders Opinion: There is no such thing as the 'perfect flag' Are we really ready for a flag change? I'm ashamed of our flag options We all deserve our say on the flag

The New Zealand flag represents where we have been

As a proud New Zealander living in Australia, I have watched the flag debate with more than a little curiosity. For anyone who has lived away from Aotearoa, the heart definitely grows fonder and some things, like the flag, mean so much more. At first I didn't think the change would gain any momentum.

Now we're down to the final four.

Whenever it's raised it invokes strong emotion. We are proud of our achievements and the flag is a physical representation of that pride.

New Zealand men and women have fought and died for our nation while proudly carrying the flag. No matter the dispute or where in the world they were fighting they distinguished themselves. Every Anzac Day we share a special bond with those special New Zealanders. It's a day of unity. This is epitomised by the flag. Lest we forget.

Questions linger over flag debate
Why a fern should be on New Zealand's flag
* The best flag designs that didn't make the cut

Sporting moments

New Zealanders have seen it raised over the years for all sorts; world cups, the Commonwealth Games and the pinnacle of sport - the Olympic Games. Sharing those moments with the likes of Peter Snell, Danyon Loader, Valerie Adams, Hamish Bond, and Eric Murray and so many more. Great moments where the nation comes together for a moment in time to watch the flag and hear the national anthem.

So why change it?

John Keys has used the excuse that the New Zealand flag is commonly mistaken with the Australian flag. Nonsense. He's looking to leave a legacy - the Prime Minister that changed the flag. I'm not sure that there was ever any concern of John Key being forgotten, but this will definitely cement his place in New Zealand history.

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For Kiwis, it's a change in identity

It's a change from identifying with colonial roots and embracing the nation we have become.

New Zealanders will continue to wear the flag with pride regardless of the colour or design. We will still share moments of sadness, happiness, reflection and achievement.

No matter what the flag, I will still proudly fly the flag whenever the chance arises.

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