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The four initial finalists. Photograph: www.govt.nz

New Zealanders to Vote on New Flag Design

The people of New Zealand took to the polls on Friday to decide on the country’s new flag.

The vote, which closes on December 11th, will decide which of five potential designs will compete with their current flag in a second referendum to be held in March.

The current shortlist includes five designs, four of which feature the fern, New Zealand’s unofficial symbol; the fifth design was included later, after a social media campaign.

The late addition. A fifth flag design for voters to choose from. Photograph: http://aotearoaflag.tumblr.com

The late addition. A fifth flag design for voters to choose from. Photograph: http://aotearoaflag.tumblr.com

The new flag initiative has been driven by Prime Minister John Key who sees the current flag, which features the Union Jack in one corner, as out dated.

Here’s what Mr. Key has to say about the flag campaign.

An opinion poll taken last month predicted that the design featuring a white fern on a red and blue background would win; a second poll suggested it would lose to the current flag in March.

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