Red Peak designer Aaron Dustin says sales of his design have "gone through the roof" since its unsuccessful bid to win stage one of the flag referendum.

"People just want to fly this flag," he said.

Dustin never expected his "underdog" design to win the referendum.

"We always expected to come third. The polls always indicated this. Red Peak was always the underdog."

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Despite this, he said it was clear many Kiwis felt a connection to the design.

"It's only 100 days old and has connected with many many folks. We hope Red Peak continues to grow in support over the years," he said.

"I think Red Peak has helped us understand there is more to New Zealand's identity than a solitary motif," he said.

Kyle Lockwood's blue and black silver fern design was crowned the preliminary winner of stage one of the referendum. The result will be officially confirmed on Tuesday.

When asked by the Herald whether he liked the design, Dustin said he had no comment.