Man flying the alternative flag
Derek Lugton’s support for the alternative New Zealand flag is obvious most places he goes.
The Matamata man is flying it on a flag pole on his Piakoiti Rd property, on his car and is even thinking of printing it on shirts.
Between March 3 and March 24 2016, New Zealanders will get to vote in the final binding referendum on the future of the New Zealand flag.
He said the silver fern, like the one on the alternative flag, represents New Zealanders all over the world.
Lugton was ‘‘taken back’’ by the RSA’s comments that soldiers fought under the current flag.
He has visited world war graves in Tunisia, North Africa and Flanders Field where the New Zealand soldiers’ graves all had silver ferns on them.
‘‘My father certainly fought under the flag but all his mates who died in the war are represented by a silver fern on their headstones.’’
He said when sport stars wrap themselves in the country’s current flag you can’t tell if it is a New Zealand or Australian flag.
‘‘It would be lovely to have a flag that gives us a separate identity to Australia.’’
The national supporter said politics didn’t come into his support of the flag. ‘‘I know there has been a little bit of ill feeling because people think it is a John Key project but I disagree with that. I think it is a New Zealand project.’’ He said in 20 to 40 years time people will say who is John Key?
He also knew that the $26 million flag referendum put some people’s ‘‘hackles up’’ but said that was ‘‘a drop in the ocean’’ in his estimation of the $400 million lost in benefit fraud annually.
He also thought selling products under the silver fern, ‘‘which is unique to New Zealand’’, would provide the country with more leverage.
What are your thoughts on flag referendum? Are you a Matamata resident flying the current flag to show your support for it? Email email@example.com.