As John Key's great flag debate slowly dies of public disinterest, there is another option. We could abandon the out-dated concept of a national flag altogether, and go skinny-dipping on the world stage with no flag at all. That would certainly get us noticed, which, after all, seems to be the driving force behind the current exercise.
And if the urge to fly a symbol gets too hard to resist, we could proudly hoist the United Nations flag, which we signed up to in 1945, and challenge others to follow suit.
A year ago, when the Prime Minister first floated his flag initiative, he declared "the design of the New Zealand flag symbolises a colonial and post-colonial era whose time has passed". It was a timorous baby-step, as far as ridding ourselves of colonial encumbrances is concerned, ignoring, for example, the more immediate anomaly of our royal English masters and their archaic honours system.
Nevertheless, he was right in dismissing the existing flag as a relic of a jingoistic imperial age that all but destroyed itself in the battlefields of World War I. By all means scrap it for the reasons Mr Key cites, but why replace it with anything?
On a practical level alone, that would solve the problem the design panel are facing. All the obvious symbols for a new flag have long gone.
The silver fern on black background, which Mr Key apparently fancies, is historically synonymous with our sporting teams. It's a brand known the world over - well wherever they play rugby and netball anyway. My guess is the All Blacks and Silver Ferns will be reluctant to surrender that sort of brand image, and replace it with a limp koru or a cut-out cartoon of a visually-challenged, flightless bird.
The latter is the air force's symbol anyway. As for the koru, Air New Zealand has snaffled it. When it comes to the young Kiwis, wandering the world on their OE, they seem happy with either a kiwi or a silver fern back-pack badge.
As Mr Key said, a flag represents who we are. For the first 60 years after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, we were a British colony, Britons living in a far off land flying the flag of home. In the patriotic hubbub surrounding our participation in the South African Wars, we adopted the present flag in 1902, to distinguish our imperial troops from those from other parts of the Empire.
So who are we now? A tiny nuclear-free independent democracy who, in 1945, played a leading role in the San Francisco conference committed to establishing a world body that would prevent a repeat of the two world wars of the previous 40 years. Prime Minister Peter Fraser pushed for the principle of collective security as the best protection for smaller countries.
We signed a charter to "save succeeding generations from the scourge of war" and "to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights". It backed the rule of international law, and the promotion of social progress and better standards of living for all.
The United Nations flag, a sky blue background, with a white outline of the globe, features New Zealand, at top centre - rather elongated and distorted - but for those who think this matters, right there in pride of place. The UN flag code and regulations seem to say nothing against us adopting it for ceremonial occasions.
It "may be used to demonstrate the support of the United Nations and to further its principles and purposes". Further "it is deemed especially appropriate" to fly the UN flag "on all national and official holidays" and "on the occasion of any official event ... ".
With Helen Clark's bid to become the next Secretary-General, it will do her no harm to come from a country that decides to live beneath the flag of the UN charter.
As Mr Key argues, our existing flag is a gang-patch from the bad old days of empire and rampant nationalism. How better to signal we've moved on?