New Zealand Pares Flag Options Down To Four

New Zealand has decided that the time has come to redesign their flag. No longer will the flag of New Zealand simply look like Australia’s with a simple change in the color of its stars.

Ten thousand flags were submitted for the redesign of New Zealand’s flag, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. Three of the final four are actually quite similar, which all sport a silver fern leaf, which is the unofficial icon of New Zealand. The final one celebrates the heritage of the Maori tribe, which is indigenous to New Zealand, which features a silver swirl upon a field of black. This is actually also based upon a silver fern, and is called a koru.

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The citizens of New Zealand will vote later this year for their favorite in a sort of semi-final vote. Then, the two that get the highest number of votes out of the four will be voted on in a final referendum next March.

The head of the project to find the new flag of New Zealand, John Burrows, has distinct reasoning for the change in New Zealand’s flag, as Australia’s ABC News reports.

“It should celebrate us as a progressive, inclusive nation that’s connected to its environment, has a sense of its past and a vision of its future. For well over a century, the fern’s been an iconic and instantly recognisable symbol of New Zealand, it’s been a very strong part of our heritage and it works so well on a flag.”

The current flag of New Zealand is simply just the same as Australia’s, including the British Union Jack, and the government officials in charge of the redesign feel that should change, including the Prime Minister of New Zealand, John Key.

“We are a very proud and passionate nation but we don’t utilise our current flag to demonstrate the love we have of our country.”

Not everyone in New Zealand is happy about the change, and in fact, there are many people who are not taking the change of the flag of New Zealand seriously.

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Understandably, many of the citizens of New Zealand do not want the icon they have grown up under to change, which has been reflected in a poll which reveals that 53 percent of voters say they do not want the New Zealand flag to change at all.

The process has actually not been cheap, and has cost the citizens of New Zealand $NZ26 million, which is equivalent to $23 million in United States currency.

[Image by Sandra Mu / Getty Images]