Saturday, January 16, 2016
The video above shows the final two flags that will face off in the second flag referendum in March. It was posted on YouTube the day the final results of the first referendum were announced. And that is how the publicity for the second referendum began: With barely a whisper.
This, of course, makes perfect sense: The results were finalised only ten days before Christmas, and everyone was too busy with holiday plans to take any notice—including me, of course, because I didn’t notice until last night, and even then only because YouTube included videos from the Stand For NZ YouTube Channel among my “suggested for you” videos. This lack of attention during summer holidays is also why advertising won’t start any time soon—no one will be paying any attention.
As with the first referendum, we’ll probably first see TV ads promoting voter registration for the second referendum. Then, the informational ads will start. It’ll be interesting to see if there are any TV ads promoting one flag or the other.
One thing I’ve noticed is that there’s been an increase in people flying the New Zealand flag (so far, I’ve only seen one house flying the alternative, and they were before the first referendum, too). However, that’s not a huge number—it would be exaggerating to say I’ve seen a dozen houses within a ten minute drive of our house flying any flag, and of them only maybe four would have been added since the referendum debate began. Maybe we’ll see more when the final referendum debate actually begins.
New Zealanders aren’t overtly patriotic by nature, certainly nothing like the over-the-top and sometimes jingoistic nationalism of Australians or Americans, so seeing individuals flying the flag is unusual. I think New Zealanders’ low-key patriotism is great, but maybe a few private flags flying would be nice, too.
In any case, the actual debate for the second referendum is still a while away yet, and so are the informational ads. That’s good: Even I’m ready to pay attention yet.
Below are the videos of the final two flags flying alone: First is, of course, the current New Zealand flag. The video was posted before the final results, which makes sense, since its presence in the second referendum was a given. Below that is the challenger, Kyle Lockwood’s “Silver Fern (Black, White and Blue)”, the design I’ll be voting for in March. That video was posted as part of the information campaign for the first referendum.