Someone please let Geri Halliwell down gently: the Union Jack is on its way out.
We’re not referring to the ongoing tussle over Scottish independence (just yet), rather the news that New Zealand is considering changing its flag, a move which would surely mean banishing the tiny Union Jack present in its top left corner forever.
It’s not all bad though: a special committee has picked 40 favourites from 10,292 new flag designs and the results are cooler than you might expect.
First flown in 1902, New Zealand’s current flag has long been a source of debate for members of the public. Some feel it is far too alike to the Australian flag, making the issue of constantly being compared to their southern hemisphere neighbours even worse, while others actually believe the Union Jack itself to be the problem, an outdated relic referring to a colonial past.
Then there’s the staunch supporters of the flag, proud of its tradition and also not too happy at the projected £11m cost of such a widespread change. Such is the debate, the government has said decisions on the flag should be made by all New Zealanders eligible to vote, with a panel choosing the final four flag designs by mid-September – these will be voted for in a November referendum.
So have a gander at the 40–strong shortlist below.