You may have heard that New Zealand is in the midst of a debate about what their national flag should look like. It isn’t that they don’t have one. They do. It was created over a century ago. But in 2016 the look of the flag may change.
I’d never thought of a country with a long history changing their flag and had no idea this was on the “to-do” list in New Zealand. That is until I came across a recent article in the Economist magazine titled “Hang up the fern! A new flag for New Zealand”. http://www.economist.com/news/asia/21664232-changing-national-symbols-proves-irksome-hang-up-fern It seems that New Zealand has decided to redesign its flag that has to create one that people believe represents the country as it is today.
If you think about a country as a brand and the flag it’s logo, then maybe this move isn’t so startling. Companies do it. Think of the global brands whose look (and slogans) have been “updated.” Among them are Google, HSBC, McDonalds, Coca-Cola, Starbucks and T-Mobile.
But a country? Whose flag stands for its history, traditions. For the struggles and successes of its citizens through decades and even centuries? Its colors, stripes, stars, bars, triangles all have meaning. It seems change can at least be considered.
To find a new design the government asked the citizens of New Zealand to submit their suggestions. Of the thousands received the possibilities are now down to five. To see the designs follow this link. (http://www.fastcodesign.com/3051496/a-fifth-design-joins-new-zealands-controversial-flag-competition)
In the months ahead, these five will be narrowed down to a single option. The final decision about changing the national flag will be made by referendum in 2016. At that time New Zealanders will decide between two choices: keep the existing flag or go with the new design.
How would you vote?