A new flag might be coming to New Zealand, as the country has settled on a finalist that could soon replace the current flag. The new design features a black and blue design with a silver fern and red stars. The proposed flag is properly titled Silver Fern.
The Silver Fern beat out a similar design that featured the colors of red, white and blue. While late and overseas votes still need to be tallied, it is expected that the Silver Fern will prevail, although the winning margin is narrow enough that the result could still change.
From there, the new flag design will compete with the old flag design in a vote that will take place in March. This vote will decide whether to keep the old flag or move forward with the new one. Many New Zealanders have complained that the old flag looks too much like the Australian flag.
In all, five flag designs were eligible in the vote. Only about 48% of all eligible voters participated, as the vote drew criticisms for its cost and timing. The winner and the runner-up were both designed by architect Kyle Lockwood. The third place flag design was created by designer Aaron Dustin.
The Prime Minister of New Zealand John Key has supported the idea of selecting a new flag for the country. According to Key, the current flag is too similar to that of the Australian flag. The Prime Minister also believes that the Union Jack should be removed from the flag.
Key said that the voter turnout for the flag referendum was actually greater than he had expected. He stated that it demonstrated that people are engaged with the flag debate.
While it’s still possible that the old flag design is kept, there’s no denying that the new flag looks quite modern and sleek. Countries don’t change flags very often, so New Zealand definitely has a rare opportunity to make a statement.