New Zealand chooses original flag design
New Zealanders have chosen to keep the nation’s current flag, despite its ties to the United Kingdom.
On Thursday, 8.30pm local time, preliminary results showed that 56.6% of voters wanted to keep the original flag design, while 43.2% opted for the proposed new design by Kyle Lockwood, featuring a silver fern.
When the silver fern design was chosen in December 2015, there was some controversy around the selection process and the lack of professional designers involved. There was a low turn-out among voters and a high percentage of spoiled ballot papers.
The fern flag design was supported by New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key – but that was not enough to convince the public, who chose to keep the original flag; a design that includes the Union Jack, as well as four stars representing the Southern Cross asterism within the constellation of Crux.
Though the colonial associations of the current flag will likely remain a concern to some, it was widely felt that the replacement flag options were insufficiently executed in terms of both design and process. The cost of the entire process was also a sticking point.