The current New Zealand flag, right, flutters next to the proposed new flag in Wellington, New Zealand, March 4, 2016.
Marty Melville—AFP/Getty Images
March 24, 2016 4:16 AM EDT

New Zealanders voted to keep the country’s existing flag on Thursday.

More than 2 million voters, nearly half the country’s population, cast their decision in the second referendum, according to the Guardian. The original flag, which features the U.K.’s Union Jack, received 56% of the vote to the new design’s 43%.

The vote concluded a 10-month process that is reported to have cost $26 million dollars and inspired more than 10,000 design submissions, including one of a laser-eyed kiwi. In the end, Kyle Lockwood’s proposal featuring a silver fern, was picked to go head-to-head with the classic.


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