Flag panel reveals long-list of 40 designs

The $28 million referendum process takes another lurch forward.

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See also: A new flag is 'worth billions'. Really, prime minister?

The Flag Consideration Panel has released its long list of 40 designs that have been selected for further investigation as part of the official design review process. 

About 10,000 designs were submitted by the members of the public and professional designers.

The long list includes two designs from artist Otis Frizzell, though his father Dick Frizzell missed out.

The winner of Gareth Morgan's $20,000 competition did make the cut.

A striking white southern cross on a black background design by Auckland man Chris Keall also failed to make the final 40, although a more convoluted flag based on a similar concept but substituting the Matariki constellation was included.

The panel has the option to commission additional designs, or to finesse existing designs.

It must ultimately choose a shortlist of four possible flag designs ahead of two postal referendums.

The first, on November 20 to December 11 this year, will ask voters to rank the four alternative flags selected by the Flag Consideration Panel from most to least-preferred.

The second, on March 3 to March 24, 2016, will ask voters to choose between the current New Zealand flag and the preferred alternative design selected in the first referendum. The results of both referendums are binding.

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