New Zealand has decided to stick with its original flag – despite having more than 10,000 choices for a new one, with some designs featuring traditional New Zealand symbols, and others just including ice cream, bicycles and more for the fun of it.
The preliminary results of the nationwide poll show that 57% want to keep the current flag, which features a Union Jack and the Southern Cross, while 43% opted for a new design with a silver fern on back and blue.
The New Zealand government had opened up the process for a new flag, accepting more than 10,000 entries from the public before whittling them down to the sole challenger.
While the silver fern was not selected, it beat out the other three designs that made the shortlist, two of which also featured a fern.
But naturally, in a competition open to the public, people from around New Zealand submitted some very creative ideas on what the new flag should look like.
The designs are still viewable on the government’s website, and while many feature New Zealand symbols like the fern or the Southern Cross, others feature bicycles, ice cream and sheep.
While those imaginative designs brought much joy and media attention to the small nation’s flag debate, it turns out they aren’t even the strangest of the bunch.
Stuff.co.nz reports that a man named Ben More filed an Official Information Act request, asking that the government release some of the images that were completely rejected from the race.
Since the rules states that flags could not be offensive or have words, photos or pictures of people, many didn’t make it through. Those flags included images like Prime Minister John Key with a Pinocchio nose, one with the slogan “We are not Australians” and naturally, some nudity.
Moore told stuff.co.nz that the rejected submissions were actually quite restrained and called it “an interesting glimpse into the New Zealand psyche”.
The official results of the vote will be announced Wednesday, 30 March.