Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A better, more British banner?

I know I criticised the quest for a new and improved national flag as a fools' game last year, but after goading from certain conservatives, who for some strange reason consider me an Anglophobe, I want to follow up yesterday's attempt to differentiate progressive and reactionary notions of Britishness with a piece of vexillological advocacy.

If conservative Kiwis are sincere about recognising Britain's contribution to certain progressive features of New Zealand - to universal suffrage, mass education, and the right to free speech - then they ought to support my proposal for the Union Jack, that symbol of Windsor inbreeding and colonial viceroys, to be dropped from our national ensign, and replaced with the British Republican flag, which was designed by the Chartist movement early in the nineteenth century, was apparently borne by pro-democracy protesters at Peterloo, before they were slaughtered by the king's hired hands, and was flown defiantly from homes in the East End of London, during the coronation of that very dapper fascist, King Edward VIII, in 1936.

The republican flag has the additional advantage of reminding me of one of that mystical vexillologist Kasimir Malevich's finest paintings, The Red Cavalry.

You can read more about the history of the British Republican flag here.

[Posted by Scott Hamilton]


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mosley became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom at the general election of 1935, as leader of the British Union of Fascists. In 1938 he formed a mutual support pact with Adolf Hitler and Tojo Hideki, and therefore became one of the Axis powers during the Second World War. After the Axis powers were defeated by a combination of the United States, USSR and British colonies "loyal" to the deposed King (Edward VIII), Europe fell mostly under Russian domination, with Britain a carefully neutral state, with Moscow and Washington vying for domination over her. Now, in 2006, with the Cold War over and the Soviet Union dismantled, Britain and her former empire have become more than ever dependent on the United States. Timeline (Mosley's Britain)

12:02 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Irish Republican flag flew above the Wellington waterfront in October 1913, at the outbreak of the great waterfront strike. This was seen as proof by the morning daily the "Dominion" that the strike leaders were traitors to their country. In fact, of course, they were flying a very old symbol of the working class movement
Wasn't it the unarmed and entirely peaceful Chartists who were hacked down by sabre-wielding cavalry at Peterloo? And weren't those upper-crust thugs commanded (from a safe distance) by Lord Castlereagh? And didn't Shelley later write an epitaph for this aristocrat, as follows:

The bounds of earth shall ne'er survey
A greater grave than this
Here lie the bones of Castlereagh
Stop, traveller, and piss

8:14 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

I hadn't seen that Malevich. The "finest"? Certainly quite beautiful and even eerie but not typical of his main work, such as his geometrical abstract works.

He was indeed in opposition to Socialist Realism, which had a deadening influence on artistic creativity.

The Union Jack is quite distinctive as flags go. Nothing quite like it.

Interesting to find there was a Republican flag.

9:21 pm  
Anonymous Scott said...

Thanks for that fascinating comment, anon! I'vead that there was a heavy crossover between Irish Republicanism and the early Communist Party of NZ.

Your old mate Ted tied the knot today Richard! (See facebook for pics...)

8:17 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Hi Scott I posted on FB I was not taken totally by surprise (although marriage wasn't something I guessed at I have to say); as I knew he was struck by Lose who I liked a lot myself, seemed a very lovely woman. I was rather in a strange space when I was at that party...

But I have been busy otherwise myself (but no danger of remarrying!).

Re the Irish business, I actually gave money to the IRA at one stage. I supported and still basically support them although I am of English extraction. I was thinking the other day that one place I would like to go to would be Ireland. Country of O'Casey, Beckett, Joyce, Heaney, Flann O'Brien (and Edna O'Brien): and the other country would be Australia. The whole history of Australia and it's culture fascinates me and I realise I don't know enough about it but I have read quite a bit and like many of the writers and things there and like the idea of it having a vast forbidding desert in it's heart.

8:47 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

And the Ireland of Synge and Yeats of course, and a lot of other people of various ilk and kinds.

8:49 pm  
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