There is a diversionary aspect to the present flag debate. It’s not always easy to know what our attention is being diverted from though. An atmosphere of general bewilderment and indifference is emerging while our politicians try to outdo each other in their flag-changing frenzy. The semantics fly while the country is being divided. The political debate, we are told, is “won in the centre”, but the rhetoric comes from the extremes.
A university publication I read recently states that “Burning and other forms of dishonouring the flag are against the law and therefore a popular form of protest.”[i] Comments like these have the feel of legitimatising such actions and square with the whole move to dump what we have for something else.