Three of our Silver Fern Flag designs have topped a New Zealand Herald poll today.
The winner with 25% was the 'New Zealand Colours' Silver Fern Flag.
In second place at 23% was our Original Silver Fern Flag design.
Scoring third place with 10% was our Silver Fern Sports Flag.
These results show that if we were to update our flag, everyday New Zealanders are quite partial to our national symbol, the Silver Fern.
It's not surprising, as the Silver Fern is the most recognised symbol of New Zealand. For over a century the Silver Fern has been the emblem of our military and our sports men and women. The Silver Fern is used extensively as a symbol by Government, tourism, trade organisations and commercial brands. it's on our money, it's on our passports, it even appears on our war medals and is carved into the headstones of our fallen warriors.
The silver fern is our symbol, let's put it on our flag.
He expected that to happen in homes and workplaces rather than at public meetings, but said the Government would have been criticised if it had scrimped on consultation.
The deadline for designs is July 16 after which the panel will select a shortlist of four flags to vote on in a referendum in late November.
There had been almost 350,000 visits to the flag.govt.nz website where the designs are on show and 123,000 to the standfor.co.nz website. More than 2000 people had visited information stands. There had also been more than 202,000 visits to the Facebook page in the last week.
"The turnouts have been smaller than ideally we would have liked, but it is another way of getting to people. And we are committed to as many ways of doing that as possible," Professor Burrows said.
The debate over the flag has been bogged down in political arguments about the cost and the order in which the referendums are being held.
Professor Burrows admitted he was getting some flak from those who believed the $26 million process was a waste of money in the wake of polls showing low support for change. He said that was a matter for the Government.
"It is a lot of money and you can't conceal that fact. But that's what democracy costs and this has never happened before in over 100 years and it's not likely to happen again for many decades."
The silver fern and/or Southern Cross feature on most of the submitted designs. Many take inspiration from well-known alternative flag designs by the likes of Kyle Lockwood, Otis Frizzell, Gordon Walters and Friedensreich Hundertwasser. Variations on the United Tribes and tino rangatiratanga flags also feature, as does the kiwi.
Flag it • Submit a design at flag.govt.nz. The deadline is July 16.
• Roadshow meetings over the next week are on the West Coast and in Nelson.
• Have a say at standfor.co.nz
The results are in - but with so many similar looking designs in the top 10, what do these results actually mean?
Through a process of elimination 7734 New Zealanders have narrowed down the 2000+ designs at the flag.govt.nz website to a shortlist of 10 top designs,
The two real design contenders are:
1. Eight variants of the Silver Fern flag designed by Kyle Lockwood.
5898 Votes | 76%
2. Two variants of the existing New Zealand Flag designed by Sir Albert H. Markham
1836 Votes | 24%
Broken down into their variant subgroups we see the following results:
It appears that once the public are given options, an alternative design can become serious competition to the existing New Zealand Flag.
8 variants of our popular Silver Fern Flag dominate a headline survey according to research undertaken by survey firm Aardwolf Research Consulting, whose director Alex Kravchenko has lectured in econometrics at Waikato University and market research at the Waikato Instute of Technology.
Top of the leaderboard as at 9pm on 26/05/2015 is our original Silver Fern Flag which scores ahead of the existing New Zealand Flag.
We are not surprised by this result as similar polls taken in the past have delivered results where a variant of our Silver Fern Flag design has scored ahead of the existing flag.
You can read more and participate in the top 10 survey here:
It is heartening to see among all the negativity at standfor.co.nz, and in letters to the editor of local newspapers, glimmers of hope in the form of recommendation for our Silver Fern Flag.
The Flag selection project will use the most common words posted at standfor.co.nz as a basis for shortlisting 4 finalists for the referendum in September. The most commonly posted words at present are:
Heritage, History, Equality, Freedom and Future.
We believe our design sums up all those things and more, but despite our fern flag topping polls and people's choice awards, many New Zealanders have never seen our flag, and on seeing it for the first time, many staunch 'keep the flag' types can become swayed toward flag change, like this guy -
“Until a few months ago I had always been opposed to changing the New Zealand flag, your design in its traditional colour scheme is the sole reason that I have changed my mind. Your flag has the qualities to reach out beyond the usual flag change audience and be embraced by those who would normally be resistant to any proposed change. You are onto a real winner here.” Mark Leslie, Palmerston North.
We think we are in for a chance at getting a spot in the top 4, but we need your help, and it need not take up much of your time or cost you a cent!
It's time to Fly Our Fern!
1. Save the flag image above (or your favorite variant) to your device and go to standfor.co.nz and post the picture of our flag design with your "I stand for..." comment.
2. Download and print our flag onto A4 paper and display it in your office space.
3. Write a letter to the editor of your local paper, tell the public that you support our Silver Fern Flag designed by Kyle Lockwood.
4. Over the past decade we have sold thousands of flags, if yours is sitting around in a drawer, it's time to put it up on display for all to see, (be it on a flag pole or even up on your garage wall) this will get more people talking about the design. Send us a photo and we will post it here.
5. If you haven't got around to buying your flag yet, have a look at silverfernflag.org/store, there's a lapel pin there for $5.90, or a beautiful high quality flag there for a very affordable $22.90, delivered.
Let's get people talking and get this flag into the top 4
Fly Our Fern!
20 MAY 2015 10:00 HRS
For immediate release.
We note that many media outlets are using the 2004 version of our Silver Fern Flag design in publications.
An example of this can be found at:
There are also around 90 versions of the our Silver Fern Flag Design on the flag consideration projects site flag.govt.nz, many of which are attributed to Kyle Lockwood but were not designed by him.
As a result on 16 May 2015 the Sydney Morning Herald and the Melbourne Age erroneously reported that one of these variants bearing a Union Jack was designed by Kyle Lockwood, but was in fact designed by a John Smith (probably not his real name)
To assist media outlets we have released an official high-resolution updated .png graphic of the flag which can be downloaded at the location http://www.silverfernflag.org/kl