Here's how everyone is responding to New Zealand's potential new flag

Photo: www.govt.nz

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.

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