Saturday, November 11, 2017

Best laid plans

Today we planned to fly our flags for the first time, in answer to long-held wishes. It was the perfect date to begin, but the weather didn’t cooperate, and we instead only had a dry run with no fulfillment. Life is like that.

For more years than I can remember, Nigel and wanted to have dual flag poles so that we could fly the flags of both our native lands. Quite how we would make that happen was the sticking point, and we never did it. We had flags, of course, and at various times we hung them in our house, but the only time we ever hung them outside was in 2011, when the Rugby World Cup was held in New Zealand, and we hung them out under the cover over our deck. And no one outside the family knew.

When we moved to this house, we talked again of flag poles, but erecting free-standing poles in the ground is expensive, and we really had nowhere suitable. So, we decided to hang them from our deck, Nigel found a suitable source for poles, flags, and mounting brackets (not easy to come by in New Zealand…), and we were ready.

Nigel installed the flag holders yesterday, and we did a trial fly, pictured above. It worked well, and our neighbours wondered what the heck we were doing (Nigel saw them, I didn’t), but we brought them inside as soon as we were satisfied that the position was right—entirely our esthetic choice, since New Zealand offers no guidance on how to display flags from buildings, despite offering other advice on NZ flag etiquette.

Today, November 11, is Armistice Day in New Zealand, and Veterans’ Day in the USA, a day to fly that country's flag (the Ministry for Culture and Heritage has posted a list of dates on which flying the New Zealand flag is encouraged). What better day could there be to fly both countries’ flags? The weather thought otherwise. Rain threatened all day, and the winds were mostly very strong, so flying the flags couldn’t happen, despite our best intentions. We’ll eventually have the right weather, I assume.

We both wanted to fly the flags because we’re proud of our respective homelands, even though there have been times they didn’t deserve our affection. And, if I’m totally honest, it doesn’t bother me at all that the fact I want to display the flags of both my countries upsets both those on the Right and those on the Leftward side of Left. It turns out that mainstream Liberals like me can feel for the flag as strongly as the Rightwing does, and despite what the Leftwing thinks—the sort of feeling and freedom of expression that good people gave their lives defending.

So, we now finally have our dual flag poles, and our dual flags (with more to be added). I don’t know when the weather will cooperate, but we’ll be ready and willing when it does.

Today's empty flagholders.

No comments: