New Zealand's prime minister John Key has been pushing to change the country's flag since winning his third term in office. As a symbol of national identity, he believes it's time the former British colony's flag reflected their independence.
An independent panel was challenged with finding a replacement design, with submissions welcomed by the general public. They have now narrowed down the 10,300 entries to 40 contenders.
Recurring images are a silver fern and the constellation which can be seen on the current flag. These images are favoured by Key, as he admires how they reflect New Zealand's connection with nature.
The long list of 40 designs will be whittled down to four possibilities in an upcoming referendum. The victor will then go head to head with the existing flag in a second referendum in 2016.
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