Flying the flag: New Zealand debates a new flag

New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key proposed a few years back his desire to see a new flag for the country.

Referenda will be held later this year and in the early part of 2016 on whether to replace the existing flag the country has since 1902. He has come into some criticism for one-focusing on a flag and two the cost of doing such a lengthy process which will cost around $26 million.

Key has expressed a preference for using the Silver Fern which is used by the New Zealand rugby team and displayed on new aircraft of Air New Zealand. Essentially his main gripe against the current flag is that it is too much like the Australian flag and there have been occasions where the two have been mixed up at international summits.

The panel which has been set up by the government received over 10,000 designs of what a new flag could look like and they have today displayed the 40 options they have narrowed them down to.

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David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs