New Zealand announces final four designs for proposed new flag

The proposed flags include three designs which feature the silver fern and a fourth design featuring a koru

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New Zealand has revealed the final four designs for its proposed new flag this morning at a ceremony in Wellington. 

The flags, revealed by deputy Prime Minister Bill English at Wellington’s national museum, Te Papa Tongarewa, include three designs featuring the silver fern, an popular New Zealand plant which has been an icon for the country for over 160 years and a fourth design featuring a koru - a spiral shape reminiscent of a fern fond and an important symbol in Maori art.

Two of the shortlisted designs also include four stars in the formation of the Southern Cross constellation, representing New Zealand’s geographic location in the antipodes. 

The four shortlisted flags were selected from 10,292 designs suggested by the public to the 12-person Flag Consideration Panel chaired by Professor John Burrows, these were later whittled down to a long-list of 40 flags.

The short-listed designs include:

Silver Fern (Black and White) by Alofi Kanter



Silver Fern (Red, White and Blue) by Kyle Lockwood



Koru by Andrew Fyfe



Silver Fern (Black, White and Blue) by Kyle Lockwood



Professor Burrows said the panel’s decision had been directed by public responses regarding what New Zealand “stands for”, as well as the panel’s own conditions.

Discussions about the new flag design took place in 25 public meetings held across the country, while more than a million took part in the process online.

However, many have criticised the lack of variety in the options.

The public will now rank the chosen designs in order of preference in a bidding proposal referendum held between 20 November and 11 December. A second referendum in March next year, will the decide whether to implement the proposed alternative or keep the current flag. If the new flag is favoured it will be adopted six months later.