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New Zealand's new national flag could feature sheep, ice cream or a laser-eyed Kiwi if some of the country's designers have their tongue-in-cheek way.

The government is looking to update the flag, which heraldry experts will tell you currently comprises a defaced Blue Ensign with the Union Flag in the canton and four red stars with white borders to the right. Or, put it another way, four red stars on a blue background with a small Union Jack in the top left-hand corner.

And the people are being asked to have their say. The Flag Consideration Project allows any New Zealander with internet access to submit their own designs until August. The new flag will then be voted on by referendum in March 2016.

But not everyone seems to be taking the project entirely seriously. Not surprisingly, there are an abundance of cartoon kiwis - the brown, flightless bird native to the country. Equally, there are plenty of comical-looking sheep - logical in as much as there are seven times as many sheep as people in New Zealand.

One eye-catching design from Jesse Gibbs, of Canterbury, features a cheery sheep on a blue background on the left-hand side, matched by a tasty-looking ice-cream cone on a red background on the right-hand side. "This design represents all of New Zealand because we have lots of sheep and love Hokey Pokey ice cream," explains Jesse.

Another novel design replace the four stars on the current flag with images of the three main characters in the HBO television series 'Flight of the Conchords', which was inspired by the New Zealand comedy band of the same name.

And arguably the whackiest design includes the silhouette of a kiwi bird firing a powerful green laser from its eye. "The laser beam projects a powerful image of New Zealand," states artist James Gray, of Auckland. "I believe my design is so powerful it does not need to be discussed."

Job done, then.


Talkback


Flight of fancy: flag designers opt for sheep and kiwis
Digital Mag

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