New Zealanders know what their new potential national flag will look like, except that they’re not quite set on the color. In a postal ballot, New Zealanders chose from among five designs, and both their favorites feature the country’s iconic silver fern next to the stars that make up the Southern Cross constellation. The only difference is, one flag is black and the other is red. Preliminary results released Friday showed the black option narrowly leading the red in a race that’s too close to call since not all votes have been counted. The winner will be announced Tuesday. Whichever flag wins will then be pitted head-to-head against the current flag in a second vote to be held in March.
The winning design has similarities to the current flag. It retains the four red stars representing the Southern Cross, but ditches the British Union Jack in favor of the fern, which has become a national symbol and is worn by many sports teams including the beloved All Blacks rugby team.
New Zealanders were choosing between five options for an alternative flag. Two were designed by Kyle Lockwood with the color in the top left corner black in one design and red in the other.