There could be hope for Red Peak yet - the Green Party will today seek leave to introduce legislation to have the design included as an alternative flag choice.
Growing popular support for the design appeared to count for little after a stand-off between National and Labour on how it could be added to the four designs already selected.
However, the Green Party has now offered a solution, and will seek to introduce a Bill this afternoon to have Red Peak added to the first referendum.
NZ First will block the measure, meaning it will only be successful if National has agreed to pick it up as their own bill.
If that happens - and Prime Minister John Key has come under pressure to include the design - then Red Peak will be added as a fifth option.
A spokeswoman for Mr Key said National would not block the Greens' bill. Asked if National would pick up the legislation if it was blocked by NZ First, she said "we will wait and see what happens in the House".
To enhance the chances of that happening, the Green Party have undertaken not to support any amendments Labour might put up to change the first referendum question.
"Regardless of whether MPs want to change the flag or not, the referendum is going to go ahead anyway so it may as well include an option that a large number of Kiwis want," Green MP Gareth Hughes said of his New Zealand Flag Referendum Amendment Bill 2015.
"While there are clearly problems with the way the referendum has been handled, we also don't think politics should get in the way of what people really want, which is more of a choice."
Mr Hughes told the Herald that he had spoken with National and was hopeful that if his Bill was blocked, they would pick it up.
"But I won't speak for them. I don't want to speculate on what they are thinking or feeling, but Key did issue a challenge to Parliament last week which is, if all parties except New Zealand First can support a bill, he will too."
Mr Key has repeatedly said he would add Red Peak as a fifth option if Labour agreed and threw its support behind the flag process rather than criticise it.
In return, Labour leader Andrew Little said he would give Labour's support but wanted the Prime Minister to include the question on whether the flag should change in the first of the two planned referendum - something that would require a law change.
Mr Little has since accused Mr Key of acting in bad faith and trying to put the blame on Labour for blocking Red Peak, saying National could make the change without Labour's support.
Currently, the first referendum will ask New Zealanders to rank the alternative flags. The winner will then run-off against the current flag in a second referendum.
"We won't be supporting any changes other parties may put up to this Bill. We want to keep it simple and allow the opportunity for Red Peak to be included without re-litigating the whole referendum process," Mr Hughes said.
"If the Bill is blocked today, we would call on the Government to adopt it as its own, to put politics aside and provide the choice that New Zealanders clearly want," Mr Hughes said.
A spokeswoman for Mr Little said Labour would not block the Greens' bill.
A recent 3 News Reid Research poll showed that 25 per cent of people want to change the flag after seeing the four shortlisted options, while almost 70 per cent said no.