Which One of These Designs Will Become New Zealand’s Next Flag?

The Kiwis might be about to go through a radical, graphic-design oriented identity change.

The next design could be any one of these. Image courtesy of

A flag is more than a piece of cloth that floats in the breeze: it’s also an identity. In New Zealand, that identity might be about to radically change. As of this week, the tiny island nation began to consider new designs that would potentially replace its traditional flag. There are currently 40 flags in the running, from the geometric to the whimsical, all submitted by the public.

New Zealand’s current, boring flag.

For decades New Zealand’s flag has been a point of controversy, with citizens arguing that the Union Jack occuping its top-left quarter--a reminder of New Zealand’s genesis as a British colony--does not represent the wildely unique country and its heritage. The topic has become so heated that last year Prime Minister John Key was forced by public opinion to announce a referendum on the flag, which will ultimately be held in 2016. After it was announced, the government was flooded with over 10,000 submissions.

To make the flag more unique to the region, many proposals included easily recognizable motifs like the silver fern and the koru. As Hyperallergic pointed out, the fern “already appears on the country’s coat of arms and its one-dollar coin, not to mention the merchandise of many of its sports teams; the spiral-shape koru, which is Māori for “loop,” celebrates its diverse population, of which nearly 15% identify as being part of the indigenous group.”

Discussed on the government’s website, this potential new flag should “unmistakably be from New Zealand and celebrate us as a progressive, inclusive nation that is connected to its environment, and has a sense of its past and a vision for its future.”

Silver Fern (Black & White) by Kyle Lockwood

Silver Fern (Black & White) by Kyle Lockwood

Koru Fin by Daniel Crayford and Leon Cayford

Unity Koru by Paul Densem

Huihui/Together by Sven Baker

For the full list, check out the 40 designs currently on display here.

Julian Meehan

Young leaders from around the world are gathering at the United Nations Headquarters in New York Saturday to address arguably the most urgent issue of our time. The Youth Climate Summit comes on the heels of an international strike spearheaded by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, who arrived in New York via emissions-free sailboat earlier this month.

Translated from Swedish, "berg" means "mountain," so it may feel fated that a young woman with Viking blood in her veins and summit in her name would be at the helm. But let's go out on a limb and presume Thunberg, in keeping with most activists, would chafe at the notion of pre-ordained "destiny," and rightly so. Destiny is passive — it happens to you. It's also egomaniacal. Change, on the other hand, is active; you have to fight. And it is humble. "We need to get angry and understand what is at stake," Thunberg declared. "And then we need to transform that anger into action."

This new generation of activists' most pernicious enemy is denial. The people in charge — complacent politicians and corporation heads who grossly benefit from maintaining the status quo — are buffered from real-life consequences of climate change. But millions of people don't share that privilege. For them, climate change isn't an abstract concept, but a daily state of emergency, whether it comes in the form of "prolonged drought in sub-Saharan Africa…devastating tropical storms sweeping across Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific…[or] heatwaves and wildfires," as Amnesty International reportsare all too real problems people are facing on a regular basis.

RELATED: Greta Thunberg urges people to turn to nature to combat climate change

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"We need to act right now to stop burning fossil fuels and ensure a rapid energy revolution with equity, reparations and climate justice at its heart," organizers say.

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People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

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