It is hard to understand the threats of vandalism towards the alternative New Zealand flag if it is flown from the Elizabeth St flag pole.

In the Bay of Plenty Times Weekend we reported that Steve Morris, a Tauranga City councillor, has described threats to burn the alternative New Zealand flag design as "feral behaviour" carried out by a "bunch of punks".

People who are opposed to the alternative flag have their chance to vote in the upcoming second referendum in March.

So why the vehement objection?

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Personally, I am for the Kyle Lockwood-designed flag.

To me, the old flag represents an allegiance to an increasingly irrelevant and distant monarchy, whereas the new flag represents progress and independence while still respecting history.

But there are many who disagree.

Everyone will have the opportunity to have their say in the upcoming referendum and whatever the result, the process has been democratic.

But in the lead up to that vote, those threatening such extreme action as burning a flag that they can vote against anyway seems mindless violence.

Democratic communities come from respecting other people's opinions even when they are in opposition to one's own.

One can disagree strongly without resorting to fire.

To me it makes sense in the lead up to the vote to put both flags in the minds of the public.

There is nothing to fear in that as the public will have its say.