The panel charged with choosing a possible new flag for New Zealand has whittled down 10,292 submissions to a longlist of just 40.
The panel's chair, John Burrows, said it was important that designs were timeless, could work in a number of contexts, and were simple, uncluttered, and balanced.
"We would like to thank everyone for their design suggestions and we've been impressed with the very high standard," he said.
"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."
In an open letter, the panel's members said that they hoped that the flag would communicate the essence of New Zealand, and speak to all Kiwis.
"A great flag should be distinctive and so simple it can be drawn by a child from memory.
"Our hope is that New Zealanders will see themselves reflected in these flags' symbols, colour and stories."
Certain images or themes cropped up multiple times - koru, silver ferns and the Southern Cross - with most colour schemes sticking to red, black or blue, and white.
The chosen 40 flags will now undergo robust checks, including intellectual property reviews, to make sure they could work as the New Zealand flag, before being narrowed down to just four in September.
The first referendum is set to be held between 20 November and 11 December.
The entire project is expected to cost over $25 million.
Social media reaction
New Zealanders on social media were quick to respond to the list of flags, though some expressed concerns whether the flag referendum was a good use of taxpayers' money.
Do you think "Silver Fern Sports Flag" by Kyle Lockwood got there by mistake. (The clue is in the name he gave it.) #nzflag— Elizabeth S (@irihapeta) August 10, 2015
40potential new New Zealand flags & not a single reference to Middle Earth amongst them. Peter Jackson must be fuming http://t.co/IfXaHMlyzI— Uma Patel (@umabp) August 10, 2015
One of those looks like a tsunami warning. Not sure that's such a good idea. I'm going with Hundertwasser I reckon https://t.co/qmj6GY5qI6— John Edwards (@JCE_PC) August 10, 2015
Many of the flags chosen, including Otis Frizzell's 'MANAWA The People's Choice', appeared more than once on the longlist, in different colour schemes.
Twitter user Chris McDowall noted that, though there were 40 flags chosen, they represented the designs of just 25 creators.
The long list of NZ flag designs is dominated by a small number of creators. Lockwood & Baker alone constitute 25%. pic.twitter.com/GlgUB3w8Lb— Chris McDowall (@fogonwater) August 10, 2015