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New Zealand Is Not Getting A New Flag

Over 2 million votes were cast in the national referendum on the country's flag.

Posted on March 24, 2016, at 5:49 a.m. ET

New Zealand will not change its flag following a national referendum, provisional results suggest.

The original flag, created in 1902 by British explorer Admiral Sir Albert Hastings Markham, will remain the nation's official flag.

Here it is. Still New Zealand's flag.

And this is the rejected Silver Fern flag. Poor flag.

This whole process was kicked off back in September when New Zealand was asked to chose from five options in a referendum on the nation's flag.

The Silver Fern flag, designed by Melbourne-based Kiwi Kyle Lockwood, was chosen for a final referendum involving just two options, which took place over the last two weeks.

Just over 2 million votes were cast in the second referendum, the BBC reported.

New Zealand prime minister John Key had backed the proposed new flag, believing it was time to take the UK's Union Jack off his country's flag.

He tweeted earlier today, graciously accepting defeat.

New Zealand has voted to retain our current flag. I encourage all NZers to use it, embrace it and, more importantly, be proud of it.

Provisional results showed that just over 56.6% (1,200,003) of voters wanted to keep the original flag, against 43.2% (915,008) who wanted a change.

The entire process is estimated to have cost £12 million ($26 million NZD) and the results will be confirmed next Wednesday.

But campaigners for the Silver Fern flag say they won't give up.

“I do think it [a flag change] will happen in the next decade," Change the Flag campaign chair Lewis Holman told The Guardian. "This has kicked off the debate. This isn’t the end, just the beginning.”

New Zealand May Or May Not Be About To Choose A New Flag

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.