Barry Soper: The flag debate is now well and truly over

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The flag debate is now well and truly over and most of us are over it as well.

It takes a great deal of fortitude to even write about it, given that we're all embracing the existing flag that we'll now be proudly hoisting up our masts and draping it lovingly around us at sporting matches.

It's a bit like having an old granny around, she's been there forever but we've never paid her enough attention. And given that this one was unfurled in 1902, 14 years before the reigning Monarch was even born, we can now all feel comfort in the warmth she brings us as we snuggle up to the Union Jack.

The majority who went out and voted for her will now be feeling justifiably proud that democracy delivered them what they wanted.

But for at least one, she wanted that little bit more, to rub a nose in it. She felt the need to give them a flick with the damp tea towel and in doing so showed the Labour Party in a light that made its leader Andrew Little cringe.

Ever since taking over just over a year ago he's trying to present Labour as a broad church party, all inclusive alternative Government.

His former trade union comrade Sue Moroney put paid to that with a tweet which included a photograph of a beach house with the Kyle Lockwood ensign fluttering up the flagpole. She commented that just because you own a flash beach house it doesn't mean you get to decide our flag.

Her leader was justifiably unimpressed. Little called her and told her the tweet was ill judged and inappropriate which was something of an understatement, even though in fairness he may not have been aware of the MP's personal circumstances at the time.

Maybe it's not flash, but Moroney is the joint owner of a holiday house herself in the Coromandel, a family home and a rental property in Waikato and an apartment in the capital.

So not surprisingly after the call from the boss, the list MP backtracked, apologising for any offence caused saying that none was intended. She regretted it and could see how it could be misinterpreted because of course everyone has the right to have a view on the flag - and that now even seems to include the owners of flash beach houses.

How on earth her tweet could have been misinterpreted though is beyond most of us who voted in the flag referenda.

And of course the Labour Party had a firmly held policy on the flag before it threw its toys out of the cot when it didn't like the process - it's supported change, way back to the time when it used to run the red flag up the pole!

Debate on this article is now closed.

- Newstalk ZB

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