Living in Wellington and working at Parliament, flags are a more visible part of my everyday life than most people's, I suspect.

For example, on my way to work this morning I passed at least 30 flags.

Most were on the empty floats waiting to be filled with Sevens rugby players for the parade through the city at lunchtime today.

The wind favoured the British flags, although for some reason, I associate the British flag more with football hooligans than rugby.

Then, coming into Parliament, I passed another five flags flying on the forecourt - the United States, Australian and Canadian flags with two New Zealand flags at either end.

They always fly two New Zealand flags, and anyone on the parliamentary mail system gets notified as to which flags will fly and why.

The reason for today's choice is that there is a meeting of veteran ministers being held here today with representatives from those three countries.

My first day back at work in Wellington was the day Prince William was opening the Supreme Court.

I found myself next to a Maori guy at the barriers opposite the republican demonstration and we got talking.

His name was Hayward Brown and he had driven down from Waitangi the night before with a mate to fly the flag of the United Tribes of New Zealand, which became the New Zealand flag in 1834.

He draped it over the barrier and when the republicans started up their chants he said: "Don't they know New Zealand is already a republic?"

He didn't say so, but I'll bet he is one of the Maori from Waitangi who does not want the tino rangatiratanga flag flown there on Saturday.

My colleagues Yvonne Tahana, Claire Trevett and Edward Gay will be covering events at Waitangi this year but I have covered many a Waitangi Day in the past 15 years.

I remember in 2003 at the dawn service in the Ceremonial Treaty House that poor old Chris Carter, who was Ethnic Affairs Minister at the time, got a right dressing down during his speech.

He had not noticed that while delivering his speech he was walking all over the kotahitanga flag, laid out on the floor next to the United Tribes flag.

The most moving flag story I have covered, however, was in May 2002 in Dili at the independence day ceremony.

These weather-beaten old freedom fighters of Falintil marched in formation together up to a group of the new East Timor Defence Forces. One of them held a folded flag of the new state. He kissed it and passed it to the younger soldier.

The United Nations flag came down and the Timor L'Este flag went up with the Indonesian president at the time, Megawati Sukarnoputri, there as a special guest.

It still makes me misty-eyed to think of it.

One of Phil Goff's press secretaries, John Harvey, was telling me today about one of his own misty-eyed moments.

A former editor of the Manawatu Evening Standard, he was a reporter covering the Munich Olympics in 1972 when the rowing eight won gold and says that was the first time the national anthem had been played at a medals ceremony instead of God Save the Queen.

Changing the New Zealand flag, like republicanism, is inevitable. The Herald's campaign to change the flag is timely.

I have been critical in the past about the process John Key used in approving the tino rangatiratanga to be flown next to the New Zealand flag because it was done so hastily.

But it does seem quite ludicrous that the Maori flag will be flown at Parliament and from various public buildings on Saturday but not at the treaty grounds itself because the private trust that administers the grounds says so.

Maybe it is time not only to change the New Zealand flag but for the Government to nationalise the treaty grounds as well.