Dick Frizzell flags, Flag, Maori flag, NZ blue ensign, Silver fern, United Tribes flag

62% favour flag change in Close Up poll – blue ensign and silver fern neck and neck

The flag debate which began on this blog has now exploded on to the front page of the Herald and exposed a real mood for change on Close Up.

In tonight’s phone-in poll of 12,000 viewers, only 38% supported the present flag, with 62% wanting a change.

That’s an astonishing result, as the last time I saw a survey more than 60% favoured the status quo.

I found it especially pleasing to see the silver fern almost tied with the incumbent on 37%, even though I’d vote for the present flag over the All Blacks ‘set of steak knives’ logo that was used to represent the fern.

The silver fern was far and away the preferred alternative symbol, with a Dick Frizzell Southern Cross flag (representing ‘others’) scoring 10%, the United Tribes flag 9%, and the Maori flag 6%.

Hone Harawira surprised me by favouring a silver fern on black design as the national flag, though ironically many white liberal make-believe Maori would happily adopt his tino rangatiratanga flag as their own.

Of course, the TVNZ survey was not scientific, being a self-selecting sample, but I was pleased to confirm my long-held view that the fern is the only realistic alternative emblem.

I’d now like to test Kenneth Wang’s and my fern against the All Blacks design, so stay tuned for another flag poll on this site.

4 thoughts on “62% favour flag change in Close Up poll – blue ensign and silver fern neck and neck

  1. I am a little disturbed that so much time and focus is being spent on our flag, when there are so many issues of real importance!

    Our fathers, uncles and friends died fighting under the present flag. It was a source of great pride for them all, Moari and European alike. Are they now to be forgotten under the guise of “progress”?

    I’m sorry jan, but I think this (oft-expressed) argument amounts to emotional blackmail.

    It suggests that those proud soldiers fought for New Zealand on the condition that the country be preserved as it was in 1945, and that no account must ever be given to the wishes of future generations.

    Do we know that all those men who gave their lives even liked the flag (as opposed to loved their country)? Did they enlist because they liked the flag? Did others refuse to enlist because they didn’t like it?

    Would those who did enlist have refused to fight if the flag had been changed mid-campaign to a sheep rampant on a field of gorse?

    Should we give the same power of veto to SAS soldiers in Afghanistan who may prefer to fight under a silver fern flag?

    Of course not.

    Has even one New Zealand soldier gone off to war purely to preserve his nation’s flag?

    I doubt it.

    These brave men fought for their country – a free country, a democratic country where all citizens agree to abide by the will of the majority, whether they agree with it or not.

    I’m pleased to see the head of the RSA acknowledge that his organisation believes more in the will of the New Zealand people than in the preferences of its own members, strong though many of those preferences undoubtedly are.

    That comment reflects well on the RSA, and to have suggested otherwise would have exposed those old soldiers as selfish.

    As Canadian PM Lester Pearson bravely proved only 20 years after the end of World War II, a free nation can simultaneously remain deeply indebted to its soldiers and retain its monarch and change its flag.

    At the end of the day, the flag is a purely emotional issue, with each citizen entitled to express his own emotional view, and none more entitled than any other.

    That, I believe, is what those young men now lying in foreign fields fought for. Selfish they were not.

  2. I can’t stress this enough:

    > Of course, the TVNZ survey was not scientific, being a self-selecting sample

    I was surprised by the 62%-38% vote for change, and doubt whether that’s the true picture. Could even be the reverse.

    But the margin in favour of the fern tallied with similar polls I’ve done and seen.

  3. Hidden in the NZ Herald article on their poll was the fact that the most popular symbol to have on any new flag was the Union Jack. As the main thrust of the Herald campaign is to remove the Union Jack, that must have been a disappoitment to them.

    Yes, I said that: 38% for the present flag, 37% for a silver fern flag. I was pleasanty surprised the fern got so close. Believe it or not, the present flag is my second favourite option.

  4. The current flag combines the historical legacy and sacrifice that no design-by-committee can ever match. A flag is not for the vagaries of a specific fleeting time, but is for all time.

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