New Zealand votes to keep its flag

WELLINGTON (REUTERS) - New Zealand voted on Thursday (March 24) in favour of retaining the country's flag, the preliminary results of a referendum showed.

The existing flag features the United Kingdom's Union Jack in the corner and four red stars in a Southern Cross formation, indicating New Zealand's location in the South Pacific.

Just over 1.2 million people voted to keep the flag, while around 900,000 people voted for an alternative, according to a statement from the New Zealand government.

Thursday's results did not include any ballots that were already in the post but had not yet been received. The final results, which were not expected to significantly change, will be released on March 30.