Will they won’t they? New Zealand seem to have been discussing the change of their flag for months and finally the closing date for new design entries has surpassed. 10,000+ entries have been submitted to a government flag design gallery.
All the kiwi symbols can be spotted among the designs, including of course the kiwi! You can also spot the silver fern and the statement stars on many entries, along with some slightly more wacky ideas.
It has been noted that this is the first time in history the New Zealand people have has the opportunity to voice their own opinions on what should be on their flag, representing them as a nation.
Today was the last opportunity for the nation to vote to keep the current flag or start the official process of selecting a new design. So… what are the implications of the New Zealand Flag Referendum?
The current flag was legally adopted in 1902, in that period this is the first time official public discussions have taken place regarding an alternative flag. These discussions are an expensive business with an estimated cost is $25.7m over two years, or around $5.60 for each New Zealander.
If New Zealand votes for change, within 6 months of the change it will be flown on days of national commemoration and on government buildings as detailed in the Flags, Emblems and Names Protection Act 1981. Outside of these rules, New Zealanders will continue to fly the flag of their choice (including the current or previous flags).
Flagmakers feels it is important to acknowledge the importance of the current New Zealand flag, whether the nation votes for change or not. A flag which serves a country for over a hundred years becomes lodge in a nation’s history. The important thing we felt here is that the people have been given the opportunity to make a decision and I’m sure their wishes will be respected, whatever the final flag might be.