The island nation, which is still officially a constitutional monarchy ruled by the queen of England, is set to vote whether or not keep its current flag in the coming months.
A government-appointed Flag Consideration Panel, made up of 12 people, recently selected 40 options from a possible 10,292.
According to the Daily Mail, the panel has some very clear opinions about what the flag should look like.
“A great flag should be distinctive and so simple it can be drawn by a child from memory. A great flag is timeless and communicates swiftly and potently the essence of the country it represents,” the panel said in an open letter.
“A flag should carry sufficient dignity to be appropriate for all situations in which New Zealanders might be represented. It should speak to all Kiwis.
“Our hope is that New Zealanders will see themselves reflected in these flags’ symbols, colour and stories.
“The message was clear, and the Panel agreed. A potential new flag should unmistakably be from New Zealand and celebrate us as a progressive, inclusive nation that is connected to its environment, and has a sense of its past and a vision for its future.
“In finalising the long list we invited a number of cultural (including tikanga), vexillology (the study of flags), art and design experts to review the selection, to ensure the designs are workable and there are no known impediments.”
The panel will now select four of the 40 flags – and New Zealanders will then select their favourite of the four in a referendum in September.
A second referendum will be held in March 2016, when citizens will be asked to choose between the existing flag and the new option.