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SALUTING THE FLAG.

i WHICH FLAG?-THE QUESTION; CONSIDERED. [BY J.P., BAY OF ISLANDS.] Now that the much-to-be-desired custom is becoming general, it is timely if we ask ourselves if it will be better for us to have the diversity of liberty, or the uniformity of order? In the few instances that have been reported, we already have diversity. In Parncll they hoisted the Red Ensign with the New Zealand Ensign; in Mount Eden they hoisted the Union Jack; at Clevedon they also hoisted a very fine Union Jack; in some other places Are are not tcld so clearly what flag was hoisted. As a very old student m this, to me, extremely interesting subject, 1 am a bit concerned about the diversity, and would at least ask leave to call attention to it. lam not complaining about the diversity of British flags; wo may rather rejoice in that, varied though they may be, the Union is ever present. I! refer, of course, to the national flags, not to the Royal Standard. But the question still remains: Shall each school adopt just that flag it happens to favour, or is it desirable that as far «3 possible all shall adopt the same? j We are tak ng the custom from our Ameri-1 can brethren. Their one flag is "Old 1 Glory," .'or although .'or a very few special purposes they use the stars only as a Jack, in the main they use the Stars and Stripesseven red and fix white stripes, with, at present, forty-five white stars on a blue ground in the upper corner. Of late they Lave favoured the display of the Union Jack mid some other lings on special occasions, hut formerly their decorations in the flag way were all of one pattern; and so with them, ihe "saluting the flag" referred to only one fl'ig. They had no diversity. We are not called upon to underestimate the value of the many Ensigns of our Empire, [ can remember the time, previous to the Crimean War, when the Royal Navy used the three ensigns, and we talked of Admirals ■M the Red. Admirals ot the White, and Admirals of the Blue; these were again livideu into "niizzen," " fore," and "main" aiasts. It took some time to instruct the inquiring youngster as to the several ranks. About that time the Royal Navy took to the St. Genii's Ensign (White Ensign, : red cross, Union in upper corner). The Bins Ensign was set a part for the use of the Naval Rf<erve and a few specially-authorised institutions and individuals, as. for instance, tho missionary yacht Southern Cross. The Red Ensign was henceforth the flag of the Merchant Marine, whether represented by Atlantic greyhound or Chinese junk. The Blue Ensign, of coarse, belongs to the Merchant Marine, but it represents the civilian soldier of the sea. I have passed over the ocean in ships carrying the Blue and others carrying the Red. Either of them is "good enough for me."

Most of us of mature years can remember how one after the oilier of the outlying portions of the Empire put their own distinguishing emblems in the field of their ensigns; all the time carefully retaining that symbol of union in the upper corner, until now we have in our own Empire quite a variety, but it is variety with unity. In connection with the Queen's visit to Ireland and the enthusiastic observance of St. Patrick's Day. we were told of a flag that I do not remember seeing flying in the pattern described—green flag with Irish harp, crown over, and Union in upper comer. This combination puzzles me. If I were an Irishman I would gladlv hail the crown over the harp, but would object that the Union on this Standard is no more needed than the Union in the upper comer of the Scotch Standard (yellow flag, with red rampant lion, double red lines, and fleur-de-lis). Now then, after viewing all this diversity, We still ask what is the one evidence of union that we should hold up to ourselves and to the young folk as being "The Flag'''' And when we put the question thus, it seems to me that there is but one answer— the Union Jack. I mean the naval flag without the white border. Viewed as an object or beauty, we may feel proud of it. But we are more mindful of the evidences that it proclaims to all and sundry of the once divergent national elements, and even still sironjer religions animosities, not. extinguished, but blended into a glorious, indissoluble union. To all this we may now add the ever ; lengthening series of events in which (his flag has been the prominent object. Probably this last is the most powerful force in operating on the minds of all of us. Volumes could be written with little more than a bare catalogue. Any teacher, with this flag before him or her, unable to use the flag as an up-lifting influence on the minds of the young folk, is not fitted for his or her position.

There is a mistaken idea in some people's ■ minds that this flag, being a man-o'-war ' flag, and so prohibited from being used by the mercantile marine without the white border, is also prohibited on shore. Some years ,ago I was told a tale about some policemen goinf, up Queen-street and hauling dtwn a Si. George that was flying from a house. I wrote to the Marine Department in Wellington, as years ago I wrote to the : Admiralty in London, stating the case as I had heard it, and asking if the same law obtains here as in the Old Country. The answer from Wellington intimated that the: Department knew of no law varying from the Old Country, and I was asked to tell the names of the policemen who had hauled down the flag. As mv purpose was served in getting the information, I did not answer to get anyone a rap. In the army the several regiments each have a pair of flags. The Union Jack, carried by all the regiments, is called the Queen's colour. The other, the regimental colour, varies in colour and design in each regiment. This flag has emblazoned on it the names of the battles in which the regiment has been engaged. The recent ivents in South Africa will add a few names iO the flags. If " peace hath her victories i 10 less renowned than war," it may be \ that a.< we advance on the peaceful road, ' our schools will adopt a school flag and re-, cord on it their successes. j In the very beautiful hatchment, painted ' by Canon Walsh some months ago, now set up in the Church at New Plymouth, he gave i copies of the flags of several of the regiments . engaged in the war in Taranaki. As I saw ! them in process of painting, I know that! considerable pains were taken to get the correct markings from the regimental authorities. /It would seem that the colonial ' troops had no Queen's colour. The flag of the Taranaki Volunteers, as well as that of the Taranaki Militia, has a view of Mount Egmont i/i the centre, and the Union in the I upper corner. One would like to know why ' the Auckland battalion of volunteers has the New Zealand Ensign instead of the Union I Jack. ! The pole or staff is not beneath notice, i The outdoor mast, of course, has a truck end signal halvavds, but T now refer to the pole of the indoor flag. I believe it should j be. painted dark bine. The Americans have '' a spear on the top of the staff. The French, [ in the time of the Empire, had the eagle. Our regiments now have the crown. When j there is a demand there will soon be a ; supply of handsome crowns or crosses with ] lions got up at a reasonable price. A pair of flags got up in the wav indicated would he a g-eat addition to the attractions of anv school. ' We may be permitted to hope that, much as we may rejoice in the outcome of this terrible war, when peaceful times shall again he ours, all the love for the old flag, with ; its glorious traditions, will still b" cherished. I And if we add a spice of interest by introducing as a companion a local Hag, einbla- i matic of our local surroundings, and a re- , cord of events we wish to be remembered, we shall help in the education of our young, folk. Tc sum up a*! this, we may put it that each school should have the New Zealand Ensign for the outdoor mast, and the Union I Jack, if pnf the pair, for the indoor rnlute. i P.S.—Since writing the above, I have read I of the hoisting of the flag in Devonport. There three flags were used, although not in the order I suggest. Yet the principle father " J.P.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NZH19000616.2.70.46

Bibliographic details

SALUTING THE FLAG., New Zealand Herald, Volume XXXVII, Issue 11400, 16 June 1900, Supplement

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SALUTING THE FLAG. New Zealand Herald, Volume XXXVII, Issue 11400, 16 June 1900, Supplement

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