New Zealanders could be getting a new flag as early as March 2016 — and not everyone is happy about it.
The nation recently held a flag referendum with the preliminary winner, Silver Fern, sporting the iconic fern against a blue and black background with four red stars from the Southern Cross constellation.
The design was dreamed up by architect, Kyle Lockwood, who is also the man behind the runner-up design, Red Peak, featuring a red and black background instead of blue and black.
The votes were extremely close between Silver Fern (50.53%) and Red Peak (49.47%) with the final results of the first referendum scheduled to be released on Tuesday.
The issue of the national flag was raised by prime minister John Key earlier this year who said that there was “sheer confusion” between the Australian and New Zealand flag and that he wanted to see “overt patriotism” in the nation especially in sporting events.
But the new designs have drawn criticism over the $26 million cost of replacing a national flag which, some argue, is already a universally recognised design.
Around 10,292 entries were submitted over the course of seven months.
The winning entry is to go up against the current national flag in a second postal referendum in March.
Here’s a look at some of the responses below.
And only 48.16% voted. Less than half of the eligible voters. This revolting Lockwood flag doesn't represent us at all. #nzflag
— Lizzie Marvelly (@LizzieMarvelly) December 11, 2015
Finding out #NZFlag results is like finding out which bridesmaid dress you'll be wearing. There are no good options, only shades of awful.
— Alessandra Rachael (@AlessandraRach) December 11, 2015
Flag ain't gonna change. Such waste. At least if they'd *literally* burned the $26m it would have kept someone warm for a bit. #nzflag
— Rob Salmond (@rsalmond) December 11, 2015
Less than 50% turnout in New Zealand flag options referendum. Suggests not much enthusiasm for changing it in 2nd referendum next year.
— Jon Donnison (@jondonnisonbbc) December 11, 2015
— Wendy M (@quillfeather) December 11, 2015
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.