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new flag


A flag with silver fern on a blue and black background and red stars will grace the new New Zealand flag. 

A recent referendum was delayed because of late and overseas voting, but the preliminary results were released last week. 

The country had five options to choose from (some of which were very weird) and a similar flag to the original was voted on under New Zealand's preferential voting system, where the public ranked the flags in order of their favourite.

The winning design will go into a head-to-head battle with the existing flag for a second referendum in March 2016 to decide if New Zealand will officially change it's historic flag. 

“We now have some time to consider the two flags side by side and have a good think about which one of them best represents us as a nation now and into the future,” deputy Prime Minister Bill English said. 



So New Zealand has decided – after years of being mixed up with their closest large neighbour – that it wants a new flag.

And some of the suggestions are seriously cool.

Prime Minister John Key himself thinks his nation's flag is way too similar to the Australian one, with only the colour of the stars differentiating the two (yup, we get confused all the time).

The New Zealand public were allowed to make contributions of suggestions for the new flag, and with more than 10,000 entries, there were definitely some weird and wonderful ones.

Two of the weirder suggestions we spotted (and yes, that is a lazer beam coming from the bird's eyes in the second snap) include the following: 

However, sadly both the kiwi fruit design and the lazer-eyed bird have already been discarded – leaving a total of just 40 long-list finalists.

The government in Wellington wants the new flag to be introduced by next March and they are currently electing a Flag Consideration Panel to choose the right one. 

"A great flag should be distinctive and so simple it can be drawn by a child from memory," the panel announced in an open letter yesterday.

Many of the final 40 options include a silver fern which is a motif for many of New Zealand's sports teams. 

Blue, green, red, black and white are used prominently, while the Southern Cross and traditional looping Maori symbol the koru are also particularly popular.

Take a look at some of the final options:

Which one would you prefer?