New Zealand has had the same flag design since 1902, and its inclusion of the British flag has often raised the ire of its citizens. In addition, the flag looks so similar to the Australian flag that leaders of the two countries have found themselves sitting in front of the wrong flag at events over the years.
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key would like that to change. He has asked its residents to help with the Flag Consideration Project, a massive crowdsourcing undertaking that may or may not result in a new flag design for NZ.
So far, more than 5,000 suggestions have been offered up for consideration, and tomorrow is the last day for aspiring flag designers to submit their ideas.
A judging panel will review the submissions, though, as The Guardian notes, the panel doesn’t have one actual designer on it, a fact that has the design community complaining a bit.
Still, the group will pick four designs and those will be offered on a shortlist in September. There will be a referendum by year’s end to pick a winner out of those four and then another referendum next year to decide between the current flag and the winning design. The whole process will cost NZ$27.3 million (US$18.1 million) over the two-year process.
The lack of professional training for the countries citizens is leading to plenty of awful submissions as well as some that use previously copyrighted images, such as the symbol for the All Blacks, New Zealand’s famed rugby team. There is a minor glut of completely ridiculous and bizarre submissions that tend to showcase the nation’s stereotyped connection to kiwi and sheep, crowdsourcing.org reports.