New Zealand awaits flag change verdict

By BBC

New Zealanders have voted to keep their existing flag, preliminary results show, after a national referendum.

The referendum asked whether the flag bearing the Union Jack should be replaced by a design called Silver Fern, which won an earlier ballot.

The results show 56.61% of people voted for no change, from a total of 2,119,953 votes cast, said officials.

PM John Key called on New Zealanders to “embrace” the flag “and, more importantly, be proud of it”.

  

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