Artist Otis Frizzell has offered New Zealanders a radical departure from the current flag with a proposal combining a koru design and a night sky version of the Southern Cross.
Frizzell said the three designs he put to the selection panel all left out the Union Jack because it was outdated and New Zealand needed to assert a new identity.
"I think [soldiers] didn't fight for the flag, they fought for what it represented and alliances and for morals and for freedom.
"It didn't matter what the flag was; it was just what was there at the time."
His preferred flag portrays a white Southern Cross on the black night sky, separated from green land and sea by a "Maori design element referencing the first people of New Zealand" - the white koru swirl representing the long white cloud and whitecaps on water.
This flag won a people's choice award in a Devonport gallery's Flag It! exhibition last year which attracted more than 40 designs for a new national flag.
Two other versions Frizzell put forward have red stars instead of white, and one has a blue sky, which with the red was, he said, a nod to the colouring of the current flag.
His designs are among more than 150 that have been offered to the Government-appointed panel which will pick four, from which a national referendum will choose one for a binding public run-off vote against the current flag.
Silver ferns, the Southern Cross and kiwi patterns feature widely. Versions of the Union Jack are popular as one element on many flags too, although some have lost their British colours and gained koru flourishes.
Two versions of Kyle Lockwood's design, a runner-up in the Devonport exhibition, have been submitted. It contains a silver fern and Southern Cross.
The flag-choosing panel is seeking public submissions - and will hold more than 20 workshops - on what values should be incorporated in a new flag.
The chairman, Emeritus Professor John Burrows QC, said values cited so far included tolerance, respect and independence.
"We are not pushing any particular line. We just want to know how people see this country or what they think is special about it and that will inform flag design and/or help us make our selection."
How we'll decide
•The public can send proposals to the Flag Consideration Project until July 16.
•A panel is asking what people consider important in a flag at standfor.co.nz
•The panel will choose four flags to be put to voters in a referendum in November or December.
•The winner will be run off against the current NZ flag in a binding referendum next March.
For more on the campaign to change the NZ flag click here.