For decades, parts of New Zealand's population have criticized the country's current flag, and therefore the country's inhabitants next year will vote to choose a new one.
New Zealand's current flag, dark blue with four red stars and a Union Jack in the left upper corner, is originally from 1902, but in 2016 it will be replaced in favor of a new flag, which according to the flag panel must 'clearly represent New Zealand'.
The dissatisfied voices have for years criticized that the New Zealand flag is almost indistinguishable from the Australian flag and is often confused with it, and that it does not radiate independence as Britain's flag is part of the flag.
Therefore, the Government has appointed a flag panel and asked people to send in proposals for a new flag. Of the 10 292 flags that came in, the panel has now selected the 40 best.
"A good flag should be as distinctive and so simple that it can be drawn by a child from memory. It must be timeless and clearly communicate the essence of the country it represents. A flag must be able to be appropriate in all situations in which New Zealanders can be represented, "writes the flag panel in a press release.
The flag panel of twelve people consists of everything from a law professor to a former mayor and an Olympic discus-thrower. In September, they will cut the list further down to four flags that New Zealanders are allowed to vote on to select one.
In a second referendum in March 2016, the population will have to to the polls again, to vote either for the new flag or the flag the country has had since 1902.
See all 40 flag proposals here.
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