Ahh Patriotism, genuine pride in your nation. A feeling of love, devotion and sense of attachment to a homeland and alliance with other citizens who share the same sentiment. (Not to be confused with Nationalism which tends to encourage thoughts that one’s country is better than another).
Granted there are a few reasons to not be proud of some parts of our nation. Suicide rates, Maori separatism, our current government to name but a few, but Kiwis are known for loving their country. Everywhere you might travel overseas, you will see New Zealand flags (or at least a Silver Fern) flying proudly from campervans, emblazoned across backpacks, displayed upon a cap, t-shirt or beer-holder.
The flag links us to our fellow man. It is an open invitation to come and say “Gidday”, a fluttering beacon of civility, a conversation starter. Although to be fair, that normally goes along the lines of “Hey there, are you Ozstraylian”?
But we hardly ever see flags flown in New Zealand. Sure they can be found on the odd Council building, courthouse or WINZ office, but rarely on a residential building. Really the only places you ever see a Kiwi flag flying at a private residence are in the beach towns. One of the things I love about Mangawhai for instance is the flags flying proudly over the estuary. I never tire of seeing them there, up on the edge of the water, seemingly protecting all who would venture out over the treacherous bar. To whoever owns those properties, thank you, you are a true patriot. Yes even the one that is still flying John Key’s failed preference.
Well if you have read my bio below, you might have noticed that I claim to be a ‘proud flag flying Kiwi’, and this is true, but I have been a bit slack showing our colours at my main home so it was time for something to be done about it.
A quick search online can find flagpoles for as little as $99 from TradeTested and they seem fine. As my favoured spot can get a touch windy, I opted for a stronger unit, a 20-foot heavy-duty version, and a heavy-duty flag from theflagshop.co.nz. So thirty minutes of digging, breaking through solid schist, a couple of bags of instant concrete and there you go, a serious statement for all to see. I love my country, and I don’t care who knows it. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the best $300 I’ve spent for ages.
This thing gives me a lift every time I drive past. Hopefully, it helps others too as it’s clearly visible from the main road. Of course, not everyone gets it. My ginger-haired neighbour from across the road said “Why the hell did you put a flag up? You don’t even like the Government.” Patriotism girl, patriotism. I can hate this government but still love my country.
How about you lot out there though, do we have any proud flag flying Oilers out there in BFD land? Please feel free to post a pic of your own patriotic assemblage in the comments below.
If you enjoyed this BFD article please consider sharing it with your friends.