Poll: Which New Flag Should Represent This Country?
T here are four finalists for the design of a new flag — shown in the photograph at the top of this article — on which a vote will last 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 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 will have been 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.
Between Tuesday, May 5, 2015 and Thursday, July 16, 2015, the Flag Consideration Panel asked residents of New Zealand to share their views and values as well as suggest alternative flag designs, which included:
- A national road show with 25 workshops and hui across the country
- Visits to busy shopping malls, libraries and markets
- Greater than 700,000 visits to official Internet web sites; and
- Greater than 1,000,000 people who were reached via social media
Of the 10,292 designs for the new flag which were submitted to the Flag Consideration Panel, 40 finalists were chosen — except that one of the finalists was removed due to a copyright claim; so there were actually 39 finalists. Of those 39 finalists, four designs were chosen — details and larger views of those four designs are found here in this .pdf file you can download — and for the first time in the history of New Zealand, its residents will get to decide which flag they want as the 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.
The estimated cost is expected to be New Zealand $25.7 million — or approximately United States $16.3 million — over a period of two years. Of that amount, members of the Flag Consideration Panel will receive $640.00 per day actually worked; with the Chair to receive $850.00 per day…
…and if a new flag is voted to replace the current official flag, the minimum cost is expected to be New Zealand $2.66 million.
Do you believe that one of the four designs — or perhaps even the design of the current official flag — follow the four criteria?
- Unmistakably be from New Zealand and celebrate us as a progressive, inclusive, environmentally connected country, that has a sense of its past and a vision of its future
- Be a ‘great’ flag, which means that it adheres to the principles of good flag design, has an enduring quality which will not become outdated and will work well in all situations from celebration to commemoration
- Be inclusive, in that all New Zealanders should be able to see themselves within it
- Not have any impediments to its use as a potential New Zealand Flag
I understand unofficially that Canada is considering a change in its official flag as well; but I have been unable to confirm that as of yet. I intend to research that some more for a possible future article.
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.