Air New Zealand could quite literally become the Kiwi flag carrier if moves to change the New Zealand flag to the iconic 'silver fern' are successful.
The country is gearing up for a national referendum in March 2016 to pit one new design – narrowed down from 40 options – against the current flag (below), which is often criticised for both being beholden to Great Britain (courtesy of the Union Jack) but also often being mistaken for the Australian flag.
And the NZ fern is considered a front-runner, appearing in five of the 40 designs under consideration.
"Like the maple leaf to Canada, the silver fern screams New Zealand, and it's not just a mere sports symbol," says Kyle Lockwood, spokesman for the Silver Fern Flag group.
"The silver fern is on our army and navy logos, our firefighter, police and sportspersons uniforms, it's on our money, it's on our passports, it's on our national airliners, and soon our fern will be on New Zealand rockets sending satellites into space, it's our national symbol and it's time we put it on our flag."
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has previously voiced his own support for the flag to pair a silver fern against a black background.
That of course neatly mirrors the livery of Air New Zealand, especially the new-look designs of the airline's Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, which come in a special-edition 'all black' paintjob...
... along with a more standard white-and-black treatment.
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