New Zealand Presents Forty Alternative Designs for New FlagWorld | August 12, 2015, Wednesday // 11:01| views
A handout picture released by the New Zealand Government on 10 August 2015 shows 40 new New Zealand flag designs, an official long list, after reviewing 10,292 entries. Photo: EPA
The government of New Zealand presented a long list of forty alternative flag designs, which will be competing to become the new banner of the country.
The Flag Consideration Project foresees the holding of two referendums, which will determine whether New Zealand will keep its current banner or choose one of the alternative flag designs.
After reviewing a total of 10 292 flag designs, which were submitted by citizens, the Flag Consideration Panel released an official long list of forty alternative flag designs.
These forty designs will go forward for further investigation as part of the official design review process.
In mid-September, the panel, which was appointed by the government, will shortlist the four alternative flag designs that will be subjected to a binding referendum at the end of the year.
Between May and July, the Flag Consideration Panel asked citizens to share their views and values as well as to suggest alternative flag designs.
In the first binding referendum, eligible voters will be asked to rank the four alternative flag designs selected by the panel.
In the second binding referendum, which will be held in March 2016, eligible voters will be asked to choose between the current flag of New Zealand and the preferred alternative design selected in the first referendum.
The results of both referendums are binding, meaning that the flag garnering the most number of votes in the second referendum will be the official flag of New Zealand.
The current flag of New Zealand was legally adopted in 1902 and on numerous occasions there have been talks for altering it, but there has never been a public discussion as the present one.
According to the legislation, the flag can be changed by a simple majority of the parliament, but the government has decided that a flag should be selected by all New Zealanders.
The panel selected the forty alternative flag designs, which were unmistakably from New Zealand and celebrated the country as a “progressive, inclusive nation that is connected to its environment and has a sense of its past and a vision for its future”.
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