OPINION: Kiwis given plenty of choice with flag designs

The top 40 flag designs considered to replace New Zealand's current national flag
The top 40 flag designs considered to replace New Zealand's current national flag

THE top 40 flags are out, I don't know why 40, I don't know how they break them down.

Actually I do... to the extent that I have it's hard to do on radio but we'll wack them up on Facebook.

There is tremendous similarity between most of them or at least groups of them.

There are ones with swirls or koru, there are a lot with ferns, a lot with stars but only one with the union jack... and even that is a stylised version of it.

But I think we can safely say that they're a good bunch by in large and we do not lack for choice.

Now that was interesting... and for those of us who have decided to take this seriously and hopefully change the thing when the list got published, there was a tremendous interest in the office, it sparked genuine debate.

What I saw for the first time was not the usual... it's a waste of time. It costs too much. What I saw was bunches of people gathered around the examples making their choice.

Even those who openly stated they have no interest in changing the flag were surprised at the quality of the designs and the potential they actually had... to make a choice.

For the first time, it seemed to go from theory to real.

I think the reality is that the final one will be similar to a number on the list... in other words if you look at them, the flag that will eventually go up against the current one will have stars and the fern, it will merely be the colour that is different.

Green or black, red and blue, blue and white... but I will be surprised if it doesn't have stars.

View all 40 contenders in this photo gallery, best viewed in full screen.

One of the bits I like the most about this process is that we we've done it, most of those final 40 are serious pieces of work.

You can argue around the edges... but each and every one of them stands on it's own- so those who took the time have done well.

And you know what?... the more O think about it... the more powerful I think the idea is that we get to make the choice... not everyone will be thrilled by the end of it but it's not like we didn't get a chance to participate.

And as I said the other week... I would vote for change if there was a descent alternative and at this stage short of some bizarre decisions being made for reasons no one can fathom.... there are some very good art giving the incumbent a run for its money.

Mike has been Newstalk ZB's breakfast host in New Zealand since taking over from Sir Paul Holmes in 2008. He also hosts TVNZ's nightly current affairs show, Seven Sharp. 

Mike's insightfulness and knowledge makes him one of New Zealand's most successful broadcasters.

Topics:  editors picks flag kiwi new zealand opinion

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