I put forward Barry McDonald’s black “Star Fern” flag as the best referendum option. Barry explains his symbolism on his web site - http://www.starfern.co.nz/index.php%3Fpr%3DFlagMeaning.
I prefer his black and red flag because it ticks all the boxes for an elegant, relevant, recognisable, and truly representative new national flag.
The black highlights New Zealand's internationally recognised sports colour, the centrally-placed white silver fern our major exporters' logo, while the red on the flag’s right is a significant colour to Maori our Treaty partner and represents the mana of iwi.
The upright southern cross in the top-left corner honours the heritage of our existing ensign and our South Pacific location and geography.
Our existing national ensign could be retained for ANZAC Day and other national commemorations, as is similarly done in Canada.