Flag options flagged - which four would be on your shortlist?

More than 10,000 design options for a new New Zealand flag have now been whittled down to a long-list of 40 possible contenders.

Flags in the long list of 40. Source: Supplied

And here they are.

These are the 40 alternatives which the Flag Consideration Panel will now consider, including checks to ensure there are no copyright or intellectual property rights issues.

From this group of 40 the panel will select the final four options by mid-September.

And those four will then go to the first referendum in November or December where eligible voters can decide on their preferred alternative.

That alternative then goes up against the current New Zealand flag in a second referendum in March next year.

Flag Consideration Panel chair, Professor John Burrows, says every member of the panel viewed every one of the 10,292 designs submitted and greatly appreciated the thought and hard work that was put into the flag design suggestions.

"The Panel made a unanimous decision and selected flag designs we believe best reflect New Zealand’s identity, as shared with us in the values and themes that New Zealanders expressed throughout this process," Professor Burrows says.

"In reviewing alternatives, we were guided that a potential new flag should unmistakably be from New Zealand and celebrate us as a progressive, inclusive nation that is connected to its environment, and has a sense of its past and vision for its future," he says.

In making its selection, the Panel invited a number of cultural (including tikanga), vexillology (the scientific study of flags), art and design experts to provide confidential technical feedback on designs under consideration. 

The long list of designs can be viewed at the Flag Consideration Panel website.