New Zealand flag referendum: blue and black silver fern design wins

Silver Fern (black, white and blue) beat four other shortlisted designs to go up against the current version — which features a British ensign and has been criticized for being too similar to the flag of Australia — that has flown over the island nation for more than 100 years, according to preliminary results released by the New Zealand Electoral Commission.

Simply titled “Silver Fern (Black, White and Blue)”, the design will go head-to-head with the existing flag in a second referendum in March next year.

“While this is a preliminary result, New Zealanders can now turn their attention to deciding whether to keep the current flag, or replace it,” deputy prime minister Bill English said.

Prime minister John Key has led the push for reform, saying the existing ensign is a colonial relic that is too easily confused with Australia’s flag.

This is the alternative flag design which will go head-to-head with New Zealand’s current flag in the referendum on change, in March 2016.

The preliminary result of the first flag referendum has been announced as Kyle Lockwood’s Silver Fern (Black, White and Blue). You can check out reactions to the result in a recap of our live coverage below.

Kyle Lockwood, designer of New Zealand’s next potential flag