New Zealand in a referendum voted to keep its current national flag which features a Union Jack.
New Zealand votes to keep its current flag by 57 percent to 43 percent in nationwide ballot https://t.co/SjvGmf36Ql
— The Associated Press (@AP) March 24, 2016
New Zealanders have voted to keep their current flag, following a lengthy referendum process https://t.co/bvfwZw88PD pic.twitter.com/4DfkXh49sC
— Sky News (@SkyNews) March 24, 2016
Prime Minister John Key first suggested revamping the 112-year-old flag – featuring a Union Flag in the corner – as it represented the country’s colonial era and it looked too similar to Australia’s.
“Our current flag reflects the way we once were, rather than the way we are now,” he said.
According to the New Zealand Electoral Commission, 1.2 million people, or 56.6 percent voted to keep the current flag and 915,000 people, or 43.1 percent voting for the Silver Fern flag.
Total votes received were 2,124,507, which included 4,942 informal votes (0.23 percent) and 4,554 invalid votes (0.21 percent.) Total voter turnout was 67.3 percent.
The results of the referendum, which is estimated to have cost NZ$26m ($17.4m), are expected be officially declared Wednesday, March 30.