Thursday, September 10, 2015

On dying under things

First off, if you're interested in such, Love and Pop has my review of HP Lovecraft's The Thing On The Doorstep. It's mostly good but an unfortunate shade of murky green.


As you're probably aware, even if you're not a New Zealander, we're currently going through a process of referenda on the way to possibly changing our flag. I'm not super keen on this, for reasons that can be tidily summed up by Toby Morris (tl;dr, I think changing the flag eventually is a) inevitable and b) a good idea but I'm suspicious of the current timing, and I'm pretty uninspired by the process).

However, there's one particular argument I hear from people in favour of keeping the current flag, which I think needs to be disposed of - the idea that you can't change the flag, because New Zealand soldiers died under it*.

I'm loath to Godwin myself so easily, but here's a flag people died under:

and here's another:

here's one people are dying under right now:

It is entirely possible for people to commit themselves sincerely to a cause, and its symbols, and be wrong. It is equally possible for people to be misled as to the actual purpose of their actions - this is my view of soldiers who died in WWI in particular. Enshrining symbols and the causes they represent, just because people were willing to die for them is a terrible idea.

*Lest you think I'm overstating this, the NZ RSA wants people to spoil their flag ballots for this specific reason.

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