The citizens of New Zealand have voted to keep its existing flag. The country has been involved in a ten-month long process to redesign it, but preliminary results from its national referendum show that the majority of voters chose to keep the existing design.
According to the BBC, a total of 2,119,953 votes were cast in the head-to-head competition, which saw the existing flag up against the newly designed Silver Fern, pictured below. So far, 56.61 percent of people voted to stick with the old flag—though that figure could change slightly as late ballots still need to be included.
As far as New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key is concerned, though, it’s a done deal. In fact he’s taken to Twitter to encourage New Zealanders to “embrace” the old design and “be proud of it”:
The quest to find a new flag began with the country crowdsourcing new designs. The field was then whittled down to a long list of 40 finalists, then to a short list of four, and finally just to one, the Silver Fern, which had to battle it out against the old faithful.
Ten months and $16 million later...nothing has changed. Be proud of it, New Zealand.