Well, it's safe to say we blew it. Looking at the uninspiring final four designs unveiled this morning it's tempting just to flag the whole flag changing thing and move on.
We were given the once in a lifetime chance to reinvent ourselves, to assert ourselves, to rally behind a symbol that showed the world who we are and what we stand for. To come of age as a nation and proudly say, we are Kiwis hear us... chirp? Sorry, I don't know what sound a kiwi makes. Probably a sigh going by these...
This is the dreary selection that beat out the grass roots favourite 'Kiwi shooting laser', that beat out the internationally acclaimed 'Eggsplosion' and beat out all signs of good taste and basic design principle.
But here we are. Thanks to the uninformed eye of the grossly misnamed Flag Consideration Committee one of these four dullards could possibly, maybe, become the new symbol of our national identity.
I say four but it's plain to see that there are really only three designs to choose from. A slight colour variation between two of the flags hardly qualifies as a different design or a valid alternative choice.
It's nothing short of a national disgrace that the same flag clipart eats up half of the available final slots. The FCC should have picked one and put another option forward. Preferably one that didn't suck. Is it too late to make this happen? Can we, I don't know, hikoi or something? Too difficult? Ah well, some snarky tweets will have to suffice.
I guess this is what happens if you load your selection committee with middle management personnel instead of people with training, expertise and an informed opinion on what constitutes good design. It's been a brand exercise for NZ Inc rather than a search for a meaningful flag replacement. And that's a massively wasted opportunity.
But this is what we've been given, so let's take a look at the four logos, sorry, flags.
Rugby fans will be stoked that the All Black jersey has a good shot at moving off the paddock and onto the flagpole.
Titled 'Silver Fern (Black & White)' it has been endorsed by sporting personalities like Richie McCaw and celebrities like John Key. It has to be considered the firm favourite. Alarming news for those of us who think there's more to our little country than just the rugger, mate.
Up next is 'Silver Fern (Red, White & Blue)'. It's a design for fence sitters who want change, but not too much change. Change for change's sake, really.
If you want change but you also want to support the team then the third option, 'Silver Fern (Black, White & Blue)' is the flag for you.
This one says the exact same thing as 'Silver Fern (Red, White & Blue)' only in a more All Blacksy fashion. Which is important in a World Cup year.
Nothing in this world is ever black and white except for the final flag design, titled simply 'Koru'. There are a number of problems with this one, least of all its audacious omission of silver ferns.
Its monochrome colour scheme suggests a dull people with little imagination or, possibly, pirates. It's also obvious that 'Koru' will totally disappear on both our All Blacks jerseys and on plain white paper, but no one seems to have thought about that.
Not that any of it matters anyway. The whole 'Change the Flag' debate was just a big Government distraction to take attention away from the real scandal going on right under our noses.
Have you seen what our new money looks like? Yikes.
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