Freedom and Heritage believes that symbols of nationhood and patriotism, embedded in long history and values, are very important. We need to know who we are, where we have come from and what our values are.
Much of the West is suffering from a crisis of confidence in its own values – and indeed, in the value of Western civilization itself. Many people on the extreme left believe that it is “racist” or (for heaven’s sake!) “fascist” to place value on our traditions of nationhood and PATRIOTISM. This is madness, and reflects George Orwell’s comment that “There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them.”
Australia and New Zealand are close cousins. We share a common heritage of the Westminster Parliamentary system, British Common Law, constitutional monarchy, deep institutional arrangements, and Judeo-Christian culture. We are both defined by this inheritance from Britain – represented in our flags by the Union Jack – and our location in the southern hemisphere, symbolized by the Southern Cross.
Australia and New Zealand have both received largescale immigration of non-British people, especially from other parts of Europe, Asia and the Pacific Islands. This does not change our historical foundations. Nor does it deny the fact that overwhelmingly, immigrants have come into our countries because they wanted to share in the benefits of our society and accept our values: to BE Australians or New Zealanders.
The only clearly identifiable immigrant group standing outside this desire to assimilate – to become like us and become part of us – is a component of the Muslims.
Way back in 1993 the American intellectual Thomas Sowell, then at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, delivered this withering critique of the “progressive” mindset and record of “achievements” which characterizes the chattering class throughout the West, including in Australia and New Zealand:
“Much of the social history of the Western world, over the past three decades, has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good.”
This goes for many things: the assault on the traditional nuclear family, the assault on Christianity (uniquely: not on other religions), and endlessly tolerant non-judgmentalism and permissiveness which destroy any sense of limits on behaviour of children and adults.
It also shows in an attack on our Constitutional arrangements because becoming a republic “sounds good” – until you identify the myriad of detailed questions associated and the range of possible consequences. A good maxim is “Test everything; hold fast to that which is good.” Or in other words, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Another issue caught up in this mania for “fixing things” by people who affect to have superior wisdom than our forefathers, and disdain for our traditional values and symbols, is the idea that we (both Australia and New Zealand) should change our flags, specifically to remove the Union Jacks.
Freedom and Heritage VEHEMENTLY OPPOSES THIS as an assault upon our identity and pride in our nationhood and our origins.
Across the Tasman, progressivist, then Prime Minister John Key held a competition in which New Zealand citizens got to vote, in two stages, (1) to choose a single finalist candidate for a new flag, and (2) in March 2016, to decide between this final candidate and the existing New Zealand flag.
The existing New Zealand flag has the Union Jack plus four red but white-edged stars of the Southern Cross. This current flag was designed and adopted for use on Colonial ships in 1869 following an Imperial statute and became New Zealand’s national flag in 1902.
Ther Australian flag differs from the New Zealand one in having an extra, small star in the Southern Cross, which is all white; and in having a larger, also white, Federal Star under the Union Jack.
Freedom and Heritage Society of Australia is very pleased that in the March 2016 second and final referendum, Kiwis voted to leave this important national symbol alone. In a turnout of 67.78% of the electorate voting, 56.73% voted to keep the current flag of New Zealand. It is of interest that the vote for the existing flag was strongest in the reserved Maori electorates.
We are confident that in any future referendum on the Australian flag, the existing beautiful Southern Cross and Union Jack design will be strongly reconfirmed.