From global warming and Covid flags to recently departed friends and berating Netflix, Paekākāriki local Keith Johnson’s choice of a remarkable range of flags often comments cleverly on issues. Flown from a flagpole on the northern edge of the Kāpiti village, he shares the reasons behind his 2020 selections.
What flags did I fly in 2020 and why? Lots. Why, is the challenging question. My choices have been idiosyncratic and erratic. Because I felt like it is hardly an adequate answer.
There was a lot of Covid flag flying. As different places came under pressure, I would fly flags in solidarity with the people.
I flew the Vietnamese flag because they had done so well in controlling Covid, despite sharing a 1400 kilometre border with China.
I flew the flags of Ameland and Amsterdam for Dutch visitors to the village and, particularly, for a Dutch couple who spent lockdown in the neighbouring Paekākāriki Holiday Park and left me a lovely note of thanks.
Amsterdam’s flag seemed particularly appropriate during a Covid lockdown as the three Xs are said to represent the threats to the city in the middle ages: fire, flood, and the plague.
I fly flags for people. Beloved Don Polly was honoured with the Mexican flag when he passed away recently and Diego Maradona with the Argentine flag, of course.
For many years I have flown the flags of the places at the greatest risk of being hammered by global warming:
2020 was the year when Black (and Brown) Lives Matter achieved much greater prominence, sadly because so many black lives had been lost:
A couple of years ago we visited Chile and Argentina and I bought flags of the Mapuche people from either side of the Andes:
And sometimes I fly flags for sheer foolishness.
As I write this, the flag of Oliver Cromwell’s Commonwealth of England and Scotland of the 1650s is flying. I chose it because Netflix has just decided not to add a disclaimer for The Crown reminding viewers that it was a work of fiction. Off with their heads!