Key's fern flag pin at TPP signing insensitive

By Rosie Dawson-Hewes -
Rosie Dawson-Hewes. Photo / Bay of Plenty Times
Rosie Dawson-Hewes. Photo / Bay of Plenty Times

Our beautiful nation has been under a global spotlight this week, with representatives of 11 countries gathering here to join New Zealand in signing the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership.

I'm not here to discuss whether the TPP is good or not.

I do, however, have plenty to say about our flag.

You see, when speaking to global media about the TPP on Thursday, Prime Minister John Key wore a black and blue silver fern flag pin on his lapel.

Yes, I do mean the flag that's not actually our flag yet. Or possibly ever, depending on the outcome of the next referendum in March.

The Prime Minister has made no secret of his desire for a new flag that bears the silver fern and has been wearing a silver fern pin at various events for some time now.

Read more: Local convoy wades into TPP protest

Whether you agree with the TPP or not, you can't deny that Thursday was an historic day in our country's history.

It will be remembered by many, some for the international trade agreement, some for the 30,000-odd people who protested against it.

An event of such magnitude calls for a sense of decorum.

There is a proper way for things to be done on such occasions.

If you're going to proudly wear a flag while the attention of international media is pointed in your direction on a day that will go down in the history books, it should be our country's actual flag. Not the flag you wish we had.

Mr Key said last year that he wore the silver fern because "it, to me, symbolises this country that I love and so proudly serve".

I understand, Mr Key, that the silver fern means more to you than our current flag.

But I guarantee there are plenty of Kiwis who feel the same way about our current flag.

Until the March referendum decides otherwise, the Prime Minister needs to set his personal feelings aside and respect our current flag.

This week, Mr Key stood in front of the world as New Zealand's representative.

He was representing you and me on that stage.

Except his insistence on wearing a flag, that hasn't been selected by me or you, meant he didn't represent us at all.

We won't know who he represented until we all have our rightful say on the matter in March.

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