Prime Minister John Key says he isn't reading much into the latest flag poll.
The UMR Research poll, which surveyed 1000 people, found the current flag came out on top when it went head-to-head with each of the five alternative designs.
When asked to rank the five alternatives, 36 per cent of those surveyed gave the red and blue fern design by Kyle Lockwood their first preference.
Around 33 per cent ranked the black and blue version of Mr Lockwood's design first, while Red Peak got 18 per cent of first preferences.
But when the flags went up against the current flag, the vast majority of those surveyed picked to keep what we've got.
Mr Key says he thinks the issue will crystalise when there's one flag up against the current flag.
"I wouldn't take too much out of those numbers," he told reporters.
"When the country decides what the alternative flag is going to be, I think there will be a more intense debate... you might see people getting behind a single design."
The poll had a margin of error of 3 per cent.
The first referendum on the flag will be held next month.
Voters will be asked to rank the five designs in order of preference
The most preferred design will be run off against the current flag in a second referendum in April next year.
Head-to-head: The alternative flags vs the current flag
* Red/Blue Lockwood design 36 per cent - current flag 64 per cent
* Black/blue Lockwood design 35 - current flag 65
* Black/white fern 19 - current flag 81
* Red Peak 18 - current flag 82
* Koru 13 - current flag 87.