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Seven shocking New Zealand flag designs

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The New Zealand government had to be prepared for all sorts of ideas when they invited New Zealanders to come up with designs for the country's new flag.

Out of the 10,292 entries that were sent in between May 5 and July 16, a panel has shortlisted 40 of the best designs for further consideration. 

In a video uploaded to the New Zealand government's website, Mr Malcolm Mulholland, an academic and flag historian, explains why the government has decided to change the design of the national flag.

"Some people have a strong emotional connection to our current flag, while others think it isn’t a distinctive New Zealand design," said Mr Mulholland.

"The current flag is our third flag and was adopted in 1902 and since then, New Zealanders have questioned whether it should be replaced. Suggestions have been put forward from time to time, but until now there’s never been an official public discussion to consider the flag."

Needless to say, there were a number of peculiar designs that didn't make the top 40. Here are seven of the most shocking ones that we've come across.

Fire the Lazar!

Designed by: James Gray from Auckland

Designer's description: The laser beam projects a powerful image of New Zealand. I believe my design is so powerful it does not need to be discussed.

A kiwi shooting a laser beam out of its eyes? This design definitely does not need to be discussed.

It's immature and makes the pleasant national bird of New Zealand look like an alien invading the planet.

We don't think this deserves to be taken seriously since the designer couldn't even be bothered to give it a professional title.


Potato Man

Designed by: Lucca Cameron from Canterbury

Designer's description: It stands for New Zealand fish and chips.

Oddly, there doesn't seem to be a link between the design and the explanation given by the designer. 

We're not saying this is by any means a terrible design, it's just that we can't seem to decipher the message it's trying to get across.

You'd expect to see fish and some chips in a design that "stands for New Zealand fish and chips" but all we're seeing here is Mr Potato Head's ugly twin.

Maybe there's a nod to chips in there (potato represents chips?) but still, this doesn't explain why there isn't any fish.

NZ Magic

Designed by: Stuart Drummond from Auckland

Designer's description: It's really simply and easy to draw which would be great for children.

Ok, you've got to admit that this one's funny. Someone decided to take what the judging panel said very literally.

They wanted a flag "so simple it can be drawn by a child from memory" and this designer has given them just that. 



Bicycle of NZ

Designed by: James Ringwood from Auckland

Designer's description: I believe it accurately represents the NZ people as hardworking people from today on into the future.

Oh the irony. It has an awfully lazy design for a flag that's supposed to represent the people of New Zealand as hard working people.

The mess of a drawing is in itself a joke but the description given by the designer makes it all the more hilarious.

Either he misspelled "lazy" or just isn't very good at convincing others.


Flag-bearing kiwi

Designed by: George George from International

Designer's description: It represents kiwis, stars, and flags.

Just looking at this one is giving us a massive headache. 

The picture within a picture within a picture, or in this case flag within a flag within a flag, technique works in artistic photos but here, it looks like the designer is trying to be too clever.

It's a real shame because kiwi and stars make for a decent-looking flag but obviously the designer thought that it was too simple and decided to perform flagception on everyone. 


Deranged cat raking its garden

Designed by: Jeong Hyuk Fidan from Canterbury

Designer's description: Who doesn't love a cat that rakes its own garden?

Maybe the cat isn't the only one that's deranged.

We don't know what's more shocking — the drawing or that someone actually submitted this design.

The designer really went all out to make his cat look as deranged as possible when he gave it demonic teeth and pitchfork-like claws.

This flag has absolutely nothing to do with New Zealand, unless there are crazy cats hiding somewhere in the country. 


Te Pepe


Designed by: David Astil from Waikato

Designer's description: That feel when our eyes gaze upon the flightless and majestic rare-Kiwi bird is a classic icon of NZ's deep relationship with our ancestors, their spirit, land and culture. Te Pepe Tamariki, Te Papa Aotearoa.

We're pretty sure that was the look on the faces of the judging panel when they saw this particular design.

If you're going to incorporate a meme into your flag design (we're not saying you should), at least do it the right way. We thought it was Pepe the Frog sticking out its tongue until we read the description.

If there's anything the designer has succeeded in doing, it's creating an abominable kiwi/frog hybrid.


Sources: Washington Post, New Zealand Government Official Website, The Guardian

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