Current New Zealand Flag to be Challenged by Chosen Contender
T here were four finalists for the design of a new flag — shown in the photograph at the top of this article — on which a vote lasted for two weeks between Friday, November 20, 2015 and Friday, December 11, 2015 during the first referendum for residents of New Zealand who are enrolled to vote; and the Electoral Commission of New Zealand has released the preliminary result for the first referendum on the official flag of New Zealand.
Voter turnout was 48.16 percent of the people of New Zealand eligible to vote; and there were 1,527,042 total votes received.
In a second referendum — which will be in effect for three weeks between Thursday, March 3, 2016 and Thursday, March 24, 2016 — those citizens will then be asked to choose between the current flag of New Zealand and the preferred alternative design which was selected in the first referendum.
The results of both referendums are binding, which means the flag with the most votes as a result of the second referendum will become the official flag of New Zealand.
Poll of Readers of The Gate
In an unscientific poll in which readers of The Gate participated — which is shown above — the selected design was not the front runner; but rather the second favorite.
The Current Official Flag of New Zealand
The current flag — which is the third official flag in the history of New Zealand — was adopted in 1902; and since the 1960s, there has been a debate as to whether or not it should be replaced. Suggestions for alternative flag designs have been put forward from time to time; but until now there has never been an official public discussion to consider the flag.
Even though the official flag by can be changed by a simple majority of the Parliament of New Zealand, the view of the federal government is that decisions on the flag should be made by all residents of New Zealand who are eligible to vote.
Click here if you want to review statistics pertaining to the preliminary results; although the official result for the first referendum on the New Zealand flag will be declared on Tuesday, December 15, 2015.
If I were a resident of New Zealand, I would probably want the Union Jack — the design of the official flag of the United Kingdom — to disappear from the official national flag representing my country; but then again, that is my American mind thinking. That is not to say that I particularly like the preferred design of voters of the flag; but although it is a little busy, it is not all that bad, in my opinion.
In the meantime, what do you think? Please participate in the poll shown below; as well as impart your opinions in the Comments section below.
Source: The Government of New Zealand.