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Let's have a 'new' flag

JOHN TAMIHERE COLUMN
Last updated 05:00 09/10/2011

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As  we head into the quarter-finals of this Rugby World Cup, I have noticed a lift in Kiwi patriotism as the mighty All Blacks appear, at least in their performance in their group, 30 points better than most teams.

Another observation is that while we are all New Zealanders, we can always back another team.

I backed Ireland against Australia.

The Tongan, Samoan, Irish, Scots and English Kiwis fly their country of origin colours proudly.

Does this mean they are not true Kiwis/New Zealanders?

Of course they are true Kiwis.

We can have diversity in these matters but we do need something that reflects our shared history, and more particularly, representing a shared future.

Our present flag does not represent our evolution, it represents a past empire and us as a colony.

I would argue that while I have Irish, Scots and Maori heritage, I have an emotional bond, an immediate sympathy for any side of an argument or contest that this blood connection brings to bear.

The family dressed up in Irish colours and waved Irish flags as they beat Australia at Eden Park.

This World Cup has brought New Zealanders closer together.

It has allowed us to throw off the conservative, dour character that typified the NZ of my Dad and Grandad.

As we get down to the business end of the tournament, Kiwis are becoming more patriotic. They are rallying around a new symbol of national identity.

They are overtly worshipping the Black Flag emblazoned with the Silver Fern.

It represents the coming of age of us as New Zealanders.

The Union Jack is absolutely meaningless to my children and grandchildren.

The Brits determined over a generation ago that their destiny lay in Europe as their post World War Two Empire crumbled. Our future lies in Oceania/Asia.

Our identity as New Zealanders must now be shaped by claiming our future to be independent.

A great symbolic step would be to adopt, not a new flag, but one that has been with us for more than 100 years.

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- Sunday News

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