Leading artists are flying their ideas for a new national flag in an Auckland art gallery ahead of next year's debate and referendum.
More than 40 designs are on display at Depot Artspace in Devonport, which invited public submissions as well as the work of artists and designers such as Dick and Otis Frizzell, Nigel Brown, Barry Brickell, Maureen Lander and Michael Smythe.
Called Flag It! the exhibition is in the Depot Artspace Main Gallery until September 18.
The opening today features a 2.30pm panel discussion with Dick Frizzell, arts historian Hamish Keith, Ngati Whatua elder John Retimana, Mr Smythe and New Zealand Listener editor Pamela Stirling.
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The gallery has a room for people to create their own design during the exhibition.
Gallery manager Helen Winskill said its March exhibition of flags relating to the Maori Declaration of Independence created a lot of interest in the cultural past and the latest show prepared for debate around changing the New Zealand flag.
In March, Prime Minister John Key said a referendum on whether the flag should be changed would not be held until the next Parliament was in place and after next year's marking of the Gallipoli centenary. He said a steering group of eminent people would be charged with ensuring a debate with public input on designs.
For the Devonport exhibition, Hawkes Bay-based Dick Frizzell has submitted a Southern Cross concept after coming up with several designs over the years.
For the exhibition, the gallery called for ideas to create a flag that "represents our country and some of the characteristics that contribute to national identity and sense of place".