The People Have Spoken: No New Flag For New Zealand

The People Have Spoken: No New Flag For New Zealand

9:18am Mar 24, 2016
The "Red Peak" design, by Aaron Dustin, was inspired by traditional Maori weaving patterns and references a Maori creation myth, the designer says.
The "Red Peak" design, by Aaron Dustin, was inspired by traditional Maori weaving patterns and references a Maori creation
New Zealand government
  • The "Red Peak" design, by Aaron Dustin, was inspired by traditional Maori weaving patterns and references a Maori creation myth, the designer says.

    The "Red Peak" design, by Aaron Dustin, was inspired by traditional Maori weaving patterns and references a Maori creation

    New Zealand government

  • The "Koru" design, by Andrew Fyfe, represents an unfurled silver fern frond "but is also reminiscent of a wave, a cloud, and a ram's horn," the designer writes.

    The "Koru" design, by Andrew Fyfe, represents an unfurled silver fern frond "but is also reminiscent of a wave, a cloud, and a

    New Zealand government

  • The "Silver Fern (Black and White)" design featured, like four of the other finalists, a silver fern. Designer Alofi Kanter described it as "strong and simple."

    The "Silver Fern (Black and White)" design featured, like four of the other finalists, a silver fern. De

    New Zealand government

  • The "Silver Fern (Red, White and Blue)" design is nearly identical to the winning alternative design, and is by the same designer, Kyle Lockwood. The red represents "heritage and sacrifices made," he says.

    The "Silver Fern (Red, White and Blue)" design is nearly identical to the winning alternative design,

    New Zealand government

  • The final proposed alternative, "Silver Fern (Black, White and Blue)."

    The final proposed alternative, "Silver Fern (Black, White and Blue)."

    New Zealand government

  • "Pride of New Zealand," by Theo Her.

    "Pride of New Zealand," by Theo Her.

    New Zealand government

  • "NZ One," by Travis Cunningham.

    "NZ One," by Travis Cunningham.

    New Zealand Government

  • "Huihui/Together," by Sven Baker.

    "Huihui/Together," by Sven Baker.

    New Zealand Government

  • "Regional Pillars Fern Leaf," by Sam Stradwick.

    "Regional Pillars Fern Leaf," by Sam Stradwick.

    New Zealand Government

  • "Fire the Lazar!" by James Gray.

    "Fire the Lazar!" by James Gray.

    New Zealand Government

  • The current New Zealand flag (left) hangs next to the alternative flag on a building site in Wellington on March 4. New Zealanders began voting March 3 on whether to adopt a new flag.

    The current New Zealand flag (left) hangs next to the alternative flag on a building site in Wellington on March 4. New Zealanders began voting March 3 on whether to adopt a new flag.

    Marty Melville / AFP/Getty Images

More than 2 million New Zealanders voted to keep the Union Jack on their national flag, ending a 10-month process and squashing a move Prime Minister John Key said would make it easier to distinguish from Australia's flag and bolster national pride.

The current flag has been the national symbol for 114 years, according to The Associated Press. The rejected design, which featured a silver fern, was selected from more than 10,000 submissions from the public.

Some people called a flag on the play over the estimated price tag: NZ$26 million, which is about $17 million in U.S. currency.

"Naturally I'm a little bit disappointed the flag didn't change tonight," Key told reporters on Thursday. But he accepted the decision, tweeting:

And, strangely, American comedian and actor Andy Richter seemed to follow the whole thing really closely, even offering up his flag choice:

The preliminary voting result was announced on Thursday, and final numbers are expected next week.

As a reminder, here's a taste of the flags New Zealand could have had — including the front-runners and some very, very long shots.

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