5 of the best designs that didn’t make the new New Zealand flag longlist

12 Aug 2015

New Zealand is considering adopting a new flag and the government of the country, in its wisdom, decided to crowdsource ideas for the design from members of the public.

More than 10,000 designs were submitted for the new New Zealand flag and these were whittled down by a panel to a longlist of 40, which was revealed on Monday (10 August).

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The panel will whittle this list down further to four and then a referendum will be held later in the year in which the public will choose their favourite design. Then, in March next year, there will be a second referendum in which the public will decide whether they want to adopt a new New Zealand flag or keep their current flag, which is heavily based on the Union Jack and, to the chagrin of many Kiwis, is often mistaken for the Australian flag.

The majority of flags that made the longlist contain symbols traditionally associated with New Zealand – the silver fern, the Southern Cross constellation and the koru, a Maori symbol based on an unfurling silver fern frond that symbolises new life, strength and peace.

However, with more than 10,000 entries it was inevitable that some, eh, quirky designs would feature. Here are some of the interesting entries we can’t believe didn’t make the top 40.


Sheep and ice-cream? What’s not to like?



Designer Jesse Gibbs said: “This design represents all of NZ because we have lots of sheep and love hokey pokey ice-cream. I even included the blue and red to keep all of you naysayers happy. Kiwi as bro.” I support having ice-cream on any flag, to be honest.


I want to ride my bicycle


Designer James Ringwood said: “I believe it accurately represents the NZ people as hard-working people from today on into the future.” Eh, fair enough, ride on James!


Blue (Da Ba Dee Da)


Keeping it simple, and economical, was Phil Plunkett: “Blue sky, blue sea. K.I.S.B. Keep it simple bro! Everyone has a blue sheet at home they can cut up. Bam! 12 flags from one sheet. We will have flag saturation, everyone can afford to fly one.”


Sweet as, bro


Telling it like it is was Davy Lee: “Because it portrays we are a nation of happy, harmless kiwis.”


Laser vision


Designer James Gray was a man of few words about his design: “The laser beam projects a powerful image of New Zealand. I believe my design is so powerful it does not need to be discussed.” My personal favourite.


Gigglebit is Siliconrepublic.com’s daily dose of the funny and fantastic in science and tech, to help start your day on a lighter note.

All flag design images via www.govt.nz. Main image via Shutterstock.

Brigid O Gorman is a former sub-editor of Silicon Republic.