The flag change campaign has reached truly epic levels of shrill hysteria. It’s hard to move without tripping over a celebrity or journalist ranting about the flag.
Apparently we need a new flag to represent who we are, it’s the last chance for a generation, we shouldn’t let the opportunity go by, we shouldn’t waste the money spent, we should sever our links to our colonial past (while retaining Honours and the Queen as head of state) and so on and so on. Also it seems that it’s all Labour’s fault. Apparently Labour has politicised the process and those who want to keep the current flag are being led by Labour’s petty partisan politics, they just hate John Key, they are desperate, unreasonable, snobby, elitist, mean and cynical, and so on an so on.
So there we have it – apparently the Labour Party is so all powerful and persuasive that roughly 2/3 of the electorate is under its spell. That bodes well for the next election!
Or, alternatively, maybe most people just don’t want to change the flag, and never have.
Here’s a quick timeline of (most of?) the relevant polls:
September 6, ONE News Colmar Brunton: ” 66 per cent want to keep the current flag, up 2 per cent from 18 months ago”.
September 15, Aardwolf Research Consulting: 60.3 want to keep the current flag.
September 21, 3 News Reid Research: “almost” 70% want to keep the current flag.
October 23, Auckland University: 61% want to keep the current flag. “There was not a single group bar one, which is male university-educated high-earners where it’s touch and go, that’s in favour of a flag change,” Dr Milne said.
February 1, Newshub/Reid Research: 61% want to keep the current flag, 30% want the new one.
February 26, One News Colmar Brunton: ” 63 per cent want to keep the current flag, only 26 per cent – barely more than a quarter – favour the alternative Kyle Lockwood Silver Fern design”
March 5, UMR: “59 percent of people wanted to keep the current flag, 32 percent wanted to change it and 9 percent were unsure.”
Personally, I wouldn’t mind changing the flag, preferably as part of becoming a republic. I liked Red Peak, advocated for it, and voted for it in the first referendum. But I don’t like the proposed flag at all, and have voted for the current flag in the second. That’s my preference, and I don’t take kindly to all the shrill hacks telling me what a fool I am. Having said all that, so intense is the propaganda barrage that I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out to be successful and the proposed flag does get over the line.