A campaign to try to force the Government to add a fifth design to the shortlisted alternative flags has almost 14,500 signatures after three days - but the Government has ruled out any changes.
A petition was set up at Change.org to push the case for Aaron's Dustin's design of 'Red Peak' after a groundswell of support for it on social media.
However, it may be too little too late for fans of the flag which was on the long list of 40 but did not make the final cut. The shortlisted four will be voted on in a referendum in November.
A spokesman for Flag minister Bill English said there would be no changes to the shortlist. "A lengthy process was followed, the panel has made its recommendations and the referendum is proceeding."
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Red Peak may also not be as popular among the wider public as on social media. It features an abstract design whereas the silver fern was by far the most popular symbol for a new flag in the most recent Herald Digipoll survey. More than half of those polled (55 per cent) said the silver fern should either on its own or alongside another symbol.
Most of those - 30 per cent - said the alternative flag should feature the Southern Cross and silver fern, as in the two Kyle Lockwood designs. A further 15 per cent chose the silver fern on its own.
The Governor General has already signed the Order in Council formalising the official four flags selected by the Flag Consideration Panel and signed off by Cabinet. Electoral law expert Graeme Edgeler said it was technically possible for Cabinet to revoke that and pass a new Order in Council to swap Red Peak for another shortlisted design, but a law change would be needed to add a fifth option.
There may also be practical difficulties if the Electoral Commission had already started printing referendum papers.
The decision on whether the flag changes could to come down to whether people like the alternative. That showed while 23 per cent supported change in principle, a further 24 per cent said it would depend what the proposed new flag was. Fifty three per cent were opposed to change in principle.