New Zealand Flag Debate



The Axeman


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All works printed by the artist on Epson Velvet Fine Art Paper and K3 Archival Inks.


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Hone Heke! Someone most of us will have some idea about. "Axeman, Stand to Your Log" has been created from an image I found on an old cigarette card or such. It brings that image forward into our present and makes a joyous and amusing reference to his acts of cutting down the flagpole at Kororareka to make political statements. Heke was present at Waitangi and early to sign the Treaty. He was another Maori trading entrepreneur and war chief and I have always seen him as a sporting man. On the occasion when a Pakeha butcher ran off with one of his wives he found the Pakeha presence intolerable. He cut the flagpole down and pigs were stolen and women mocked by the posturing of bare buttocks. The flag was toppled several times subsequently and latterly a foolhardy act from a ship in the harbour is credited with escalating the riot to more serious proportions and the rest is history as they say.