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Back in August, New Zealand’s government announced a shortlist of 40 designs for a brand new national flag. Now, that shortlist has been whittled down to just four- one of which might becomes New Zealand’s new flag in the near future.
The flag’s redesign was proposed by New Zealand’s current prime minister, John Key. The flag’s change is meant to signify a break with the country’s colonial past… and help differentiate it from Australia’s flag. Early submissions varied, with traditional images like the silver fern featuring heavily… and more eccentric designs like a Kiwi bird with laser eyes.
After narrowing the submissions down to 40 possible choices, the list has been further condensed, resulting in four possible choices for the new flag. The silver fern is here once more, but one of the designs features the koru, an integral part of Māori art. Click on the names of each flag to visit the page on the New Zealand government website.
As you can see, the designs evoke traditional New Zealand imagery, with the red, white and blue colour scheme of the original heavily featured in one of them. As a design exercise, it’s an interesting one: figuring out how to capture the spirit of an entire country is no easy task, so it’s perhaps unsurprising the shortlist has resulted in similiar, familiar symbols.
But even with this shortlist, there’s no guarantee one of these flags will replace the current one. New Zealand citizens will have the chance to vote on their choice of flag from November to December, with the final design pitted against the current one next year in March. With the BBC reporting a mixed response to the shortlist, what do you think of the final designs? If you were redesigning a national flag, what would you create? And do you think one of these flags will ever replace the original? Only time will tell, and we’ll be looking forward to March when the results are announced.