Postcard with 'The King's Message' and 'New Zealand's Reply'

NZ Postcard.jpg

Description

A postcard showing the flags of France, Belgium, Great Britain, Russia, and Servia (sic) planted in the turf.

Context

Produced in 1914, the flags pictured on the postcard represented Britain’s new Allies: France, Belgium, Russia, and Serbia. It served as widely disseminated propaganda to inform the dominion of where their loyalties lay at the beginning of the global conflict - an efficient and immediate tool to demonstrate whose side the New Zealanders were on. Alongside the flags were the King’s Message and New Zealand’s reply. The King's message was an appeal for the Empire to stand united and New Zealand's reply was an extract from a speech made by Lord Liverpool, the Governor-General, on 6 August 1914 stating that New Zealand was prepared to make sacrifices to maintain her heritage and birth right. The appeal for loyalty and support from the New Zealand population, evidenced in the postcard, would help ensure the success of the British Empire. Unusually, rather than making links between New Zealand and the other dominions and colonies, it is the Allied forces who were focused on. In many of the recruitment posters and posters directed towards the dominions from Britain, the imagery relied heavily upon the idea of an imperial family, with Australia, Canada, South Africa, and India featuring alongside New Zealand. Rather than playing on the martial and colonial hierarchies of the British Empire, the connections between Britain and her European Allies, more recently called into question, were promoted. This was particularly significant given the minority non-British European diasporas in New Zealand, including German migrants.