The Instigator
Kylar
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Ulysses.Hood
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

Should New Zealand Change It's Flag?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Ulysses.Hood
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/23/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,478 times Debate No: 63794
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)

 

Kylar

Pro

Greetings everyone it's Kylar. I would like to bring up a very interesting topic to debate someone about. As some of you may know, New Zealand's Prime Minister has announced that there will be a referendum in late 2015 on whether the flag should be changed. I love studying vexiology-the study of flags and so this is pretty significant as far as flags are concerned. I am adopting the pro viewpoint for this debate, and I'll tell you why.
1. The New Zealand flag is very similar to Australia's and it could lead to confusion in identification by some people
2. The New Zealand flag should be proudly displayed. The Union Jack does not resonate in the hearts of native New Zealanders.
3. The flag needs to be easily identified with New Zealand and not confused with other nations I. Australia
4. The flag needs to show emotional appeal that the citizens of the great nation of New Zealand are proud to be such.
5. The flag should show their right to be a sovereign state, not a protectorate of Great Britain.
Sources:
http://www.nzflag.com...
Thanks and I look forward to debating this with you-one flag lover to another. I hope for a courteous, polite, and friendly debate with you.
Ulysses.Hood

Con

Thank you for inviting this debate and I look forward to the challenge of opposing the proposition stated.

I shall begin by answering the five points you raise in favour which largely overlap and may be summarised in two main points: that the current New Zealand flag may appear too similar to that of Australia and that it will not inspire national pride seeing as it has evidence of its colonial past within.

There are indeed similarities with Australia"s flag but I would never be in any doubt as to which was New Zealand"s, therefore should we feel constrained to accommodate the ignorant? Does Luxemburg or The Netherlands ever feel perturbed by the potential confusion between their flags? No, they are confident enough in their own identify not to concern themselves with such trivial details.

I shall circumvent any consideration of the net benefits of national pride and for the sake of the argument assume for your benefit that it is a positive factor to be encouraged, and from this stance I would venture that pride in one"s country should be inspired by one"s people and their acts, not by the colour of one"s flag. It is the future of the country that matters and its history of which one may be proud. The current New Zealand flag has the Union Flag of the United Kingdom within it, but the United Kingdom is a significant part of New Zealand"s history. Do they wish therefore to forget their past or in shame hide it from their own eyes?

Having answered in the defensive the points proposed I would like to switch to the offensive and raise a point of my own against the proposition: what cost would one consider justified in changing the country"s flag? Perhaps you might imagine it wouldn"t cost very much, but I assure you that even the financial implications of the vote alone would be far more than you might imagine! Perhaps you think there wouldn"t be so many flags to change in the country, but it is easy to overlook the hidden costs, since they are, after all, hidden from view. Would government buildings display the flag that identifies them? What about everything right down to the letter headed paper government officials might use? But of course paper is cheap, signs outside buildings aren"t expensive, and flags that fly in the wind don"t cost vast amounts of money. But add everything together and the figures would be quite surprising I"m sure, except for me since one cannot anticipate and then be surprised. :-)

Does New Zealand really have so much money that it can"t think how else to spend it all? :-)
Debate Round No. 1
Kylar

Pro

Hi :). Thanks for offering to debate me on this topic and thank you for being courteous :). I believe that New Zealand, as much as the United Kingdom is a key part of their history, wants to move on from it. They should become more independently minded, not as a protectorate of the UK. A new flag would help spark this independent mindset. After all, as an independent nation, they became a member of the UN Security Council, a major independence step, showing they can survive with out the United Kingdom. A new flag would affirm this belief. I concur that it would cost a lot of money, but New Zealand is a wealthy nation. They can afford to make new flags and keep the economy strong.
Thanks again for debating me :), can't wait to hear your argument,
Kylar
Ulysses.Hood

Con

Thank you too for your continued interest and courtesy in manner. Permit me to continue.

Let us assume, again for the sake of your argument, that an independent mindset is something for which a nation should aspire. I would fist question if the current flag has any bearing on this since I use as an example Australia. When Sydney staged such a successful Olympics and achieved such athletic successes too, the UK looked on with a not unbiased envy and as a result determined to do better in both regards when it was London"s turn! :-) There can be no fiercer cricketing rivalry, with the possible exception of India and Pakistan, than between England (admittedly only a part of the UK) and Australia for the ashes. Let me put it to you: do you honestly believe Australians feel themselves in any way dependent or subservient to the UK? Quite the opposite I"m sure you would agree!

Secondly, if seeing the Union Flag occupying a part of the New Zealand flag inhibits the independent sentiments of they who gaze upon it, and this greater self determinism should be more greatly sought, then it is all the better that the flag remains since it will be a visible symbol, an ever present reminder, that they should venture forward in the world rather than making but a symbolic gesture that belies the fact that it changes nothing. Show conviction in deed and act, not empty gesture and symbolism.

One should never move on if it means forgetting or ignoring the past, since it is from the past we learn every lesson to aid us in the future. The UK has a past of which to be proud, and New Zealand should be proud to be a part of that history too. The UK has a past of which to be ashamed as well, but to move on would be to shirk the onerous duty of remorse. Yet the UK is part of the EU, the most modern collective brotherhood of nations, so by recognising the nation"s past does not prohibit its ability to move forward. The British may be proud of their once great empire, but that doesn"t mean it"s going to look to the Union Flag and, thus inspired, decide to invade India again. :-)

I"m glad if New Zealand is rich enough to spend money on expensive symbolism, but Sweden is a very wealthy nation and I believe is still the most generous donator to international charities. Couldn"t the money saved by keeping the current flag not therefore be invested in helping those less fortunate, for example the disposed who may not even have a flag to call their own? Let me be a little ungenerous in my proposition: how many starving Africans would it be justified to allow to die so that money can be spent on a new flag instead. One could say that about any public project it is true, but some public projects can be justified more easily than others, and the whole point of my thesis is that a new flag is one that cannot be justified.

I"m still open to the possibility that I am wrong of course so will look forward to hearing your reply and rebuff.
Debate Round No. 2
Kylar

Pro

Again, thank you for your courtesy :). The Union flag holds brilliant symbolism, yes I agree. I agree that the United Kingdom would not invade India or some other nation because they are proud of the Union Jack. And yes, the Australians flag is remarkable, and it shows they are proud to be Australian and affiliated with the UK. In New Zealand's case however, they have a much more distinctive culture and are a protectorate of the United Kingdom in essence. They are an independent nation, but their affairs are run by the United Kingdom. This makes them basically British and federal subjects of the Queen, God bless her! However, New Zealand is it's own nation, not a protectorate, and we saw that clearly in the election of their great nation to the security council of the United Nations. The flag of New Zealand needs to be one that makes people proud to be New Zealanders, not a United Kingdom protectorate. New Zealand theoretically based on your arguments, could use the money it has in it's great economy to change it's flag and yes, provide money for it's citizens. It could also use the extra money for starving children in Africa. Therefore, the flag of New Zealand should be changed, it will make them proud to be New Zealanders, and they will still have money left over. It needs to show national pride, and national emblems that make the country known for what it is i.e. the fern or the southern cross. Therefore, I rest my argument for round 3.
Ulysses.Hood

Con

Thank you for your reply, however I think you"re unfortunately slightly off the mark in regards to New Zealand"s political status. It, like Australia and Canada, are autonomous, independent members of the Commonwealth with Elizabeth II as head of state, but effectively as little more than a figurehead exercising little to no control over any Commonwealth nation"s self-governing parliaments.

I choose both Canada and Australia as examples deliberately since the latter also has the union flag within its colours and the former does not. Do Canadians have any greater sense of national identity than Australians? I think not. In sporting terms as I say, Australia is less subservient than a perennial thorn in the UK"s side! I think Australians would be offended at the suggestion that New Zealanders are MORE distinctive than them, but that"s for them to take offence, not me. :-)

New Zealand fought a trade war with America because they declared their territorial waters, and their country, nuclear free but America demanded unrestricted access for their nuclear powered naval vessels anywhere in the world. New Zealand effectively won. The UK by contrast would never dare to cross America! Who, then, is the more independent minded?

I also contend that the colours of a flag would realistically increase national pride. After all, we do not see the flag anywhere displayed within the words of this debate but the words "New Zealand" occur frequently and yet at no point would a New Zealand citizen, upon reading those words, feel themselves in any way Dutch as a result. (For anyone who does not know, Zealand is a part of the Netherlands and thus it was that the first Europeans to sight these new lands named it after a part of their homeland. Cook was only the first European to LAND on the new territory). Wouldn"t you be better renaming the country first if you"re worried about any reference to the country"s past making them feel less independent?

You suggest the fern or Southern Cross for a new flag. The fern is already the sporting flag for the All Blacks and the Southern Cross is already in their national flag. What can be nicer than a flag that shows the stars to follow to lead one to their country, and a little symbol of their proud past contained within too? Far from avoiding confusion with Australia"s, changing New Zealand"s would INCREASE confusion. Let"s say 50% of people are ignorant. Change the flag and immediately more than 50% are ignorant because they wouldn"t know the flag has changed. As it became more recognised it would still be a long time before even 50% would not be confused since if asked "Pick out the New Zealand flag" they would see the Australian flag, know that the New Zealand flag has blue with stars and, not seeing a second with blue and stars, assume that it must be Australia"s, even though it doesn"t look quite right, since it"s the only blue with stars they can find.

Money is finite, even for wealthy New Zealand. They"re not sitting on a mattress stuffed full of millions of dollars wondering what to do with it all. Therefore changing the flag will be at the expense of something else. New Zealand couldn"t afford to feed every starving African if they chose to spend more on aid, so I think that point still stands. What public service or charitable donation do you feel is justifiably expendable compared to changing the design and colour of a piece of material that flaps in the wind?
Debate Round No. 3
Kylar

Pro

Your points are very valid and appreciatted :). I sincerley appreciate debating this with you. I conceed that some people may be ignorant of the flag change and money is finite. And thank you for helping me understand New Zealand's status more thorougly. In my opinion, I do admit that there is some stupidness in me by proposing the southern cross when it is already in their flag. Yet, I think that the fern is a symbol of New Zealand and should be on a black background, the fern white, and the southern cross on it, also white. This design would bring out joy at being a member of New Zeland's nation. However, yes, there would still be the factor of money. I think that if the people want a new flag, they would gladly pay for a new one to be made. And in the case of Africa, they could start fundraisers for them.
Ulysses.Hood

Con

Thanks for your continued input. You suggest a new flag should have the Southern Cross (it"s not "stupid" to not know that that"s what"s in the current flag, few do I"m sure) but to have a new flag that simply has the old flag without the Union Flag in the corner seems like a deliberate slight against the UK really, and why include the fern? Should The Netherlands change theirs to a tulip or France to the iris?

But let"s not get distracted, since it seems your debate has taken the form of why YOU would like the flag changed and what YOUR preferences are for a new one. Remember that they may choose something you don"t like at all and even to be asked is a waste of money. Nothing will change by changing the flag and if it changes the native"s perceptions of their own country then it they"re not perceiving their country aright in the first place I"d say. The argument should be why THEY should change the flag, not yours or my opinion about it.

There is a reason they need a referendum: because some people will not be in favour (but it shouldn"t really go to a referendum anyway because those in favour will naturally be keen to vote, but those who think it a waste of time (and money) will be less likely to vote thinking it a waste their time voting to prevent wasting of time). One doesn"t need a referendum to spend more on hospitals for example, because everyone wants that. So spending it on a flag will upset some people, but spending it on a new hospital won"t upset anyone really. One can"t have everything remember. It"s not a case of "being wealthy" so they can afford it. Pay for a decent rail infrastructure if they really have that much money! :-)
Debate Round No. 4
Kylar

Pro

Thanks again for your kindness in debating me, and I am slowly understanding this much better. I agree that a referendum is needed 100%. But like I said, a new flag is necessary, to instill greater national pride. With New Zealand on the UN Security Council, it is time to show a flag that would help instill greater pride in being on the UN Security Council. A new flag would also show great fervor in waving it at sporting events, to show nationalistic pride.
Ulysses.Hood

Con

The flag is the symbol of the nation. If anyone doesn"t like the flag they have, they surely cannot like the nation as it currently is. Should it be these people who decide upon the nation"s best interests rather than those who show greater passion for its current state? I"d rather a nation"s best interests were decided by those who love it the most.

But even a referendum can only divide the nation and cost it money it need not spend. I don"t see Australia blushing at the UN Security Council after all. Let"s all remember that there are far more important things in the world to worry about than what colours we feel really represent or personify "us" as a nation. A vote for common sense and pragmatism should prevail!

By the way, are you sure you want a black flag with white symbols on it since that"s the ISIS flag? :-)

Thanks for the debate though.
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by InnovativeEphemera 2 years ago
InnovativeEphemera
You just wait until New Zealand becomes part of NSW again! Then you really WILL be flying the flag ;)
Posted by Ramos-7 2 years ago
Ramos-7
Why does the flag of a country matter? First of all, why claim people should be proud of their country, why not instead support the idea of world peace and unity amongst all?
Posted by Mr.Chorlton 3 years ago
Mr.Chorlton
should be interesting. Didn't know about the referendum.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Mr.Chorlton 2 years ago
Mr.Chorlton
KylarUlysses.HoodTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct was good on both sides. Pro was the only one to use a source but scored it a tie because the debate was mainly based on opinion and so sources were not needed. I felt Con had the better arguments because I found the arguments more convincing and Pro conceded some of those points made without enough of a rebuttal. Con on the other hand was fully able to make his rebuttal to Pro's arguments. As for S&G, good on both sides except for the constant use of ; ) & : ) which if it wasn't for the fact you both used them I would deduct points. Don't sacrifice S&G for the sake of conduct guys.
Vote Placed by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
Blade-of-Truth
KylarUlysses.HoodTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct - Tie. Both debaters had proper conduct throughout the debate. S&G - Tie. Both had adequate spelling and grammar throughout. Arguments - Con. While pro started off strong, there were several rounds which called for rebuttals that Pro just never provided. Additionally, Pro conceded several points which placed more weight in favor of Con. As for Con, he covered every argument raised by Pro, while also having arguments himself which remained standing unchallenged. Due to these reasons, Con is awarded argument points. Sources - Tie. Neither utilized sources to further validate their arguments. This was a great debate from both sides, and a clear win for Con.