Should New Zealanders Swap Flags?

New Zealanders have argued over their flag for decades. In 2014, the prime minister decided to put it to a vote. A panel considered 10,292 design submissions and narrowed the field to 40, and from those picked four for a vote in 2015. The winning design now faces off against the current flag in an election lasting two weeks.
  1. The current flag
    The U.K.'s Union Jack paired with a representation of the Southern Cross. The layout is nearly identical to the Australian flag — one reason many New Zealanders object to it. Also: It's too colonial.
  2. The challenger
    Featuring New Zealand's silver fern, a black corner and the Southern Cross. Both the fern symbol and the color black are widely associated with New Zealand, thanks to the All Blacks rugby team. Those who don't want this flag say the current one is a Kiwi tradition and a switch would be too expensive.
  3. The Koru design
    This design made it to the four-flag vote in 2015. It represents an unfurled silver fern frond, "but is also reminiscent of a wave, a cloud, and a ram's horn," according to the designer.
  4. Manawa (Black & Green)
    Here's one from the list of 40 that didn't make the cut.
  5. The Pride of New Zealand
    This one didn't make it to the first list of 40, but did resonate with the Internet. Submissions included a wide variety of designs, including bold geographic patterns and hand-drawn pictures.
  6. An NPR staff favorite: Fire the Lazar!
    "The laser beam projects a powerful image of New Zealand," wrote the designer. "I believe my design is so powerful it does not need to be discussed."