The fern on a flag fails two major national flag related tests:
It is not distinguishable at a distance - it looks like a smudge
A child of five cannot draw the flag
... and the current flag fails these two tests even more. The current flag can't even be distinguished up close by some ;-)
A flag that appears to be smudged at a distance still has visual characteristics that allow it to be distinguished from other flags. It could be a very unique smudge.
I'm not sure where these test criteria come from but if you apply them to lists of the best national flags then the large majority fail the "child of five" test. Check them out for yourself - I googled "best national flag" and get lists like these:
http://listosaur.com/miscellaneous/10-best-national-flag-designs-in-the-world/. This one has a worst list which includes designs that a child of five can easily draw because they are just two colours: Monaco, Indonesia and Poland. Note that the worst list does include flags that do not represent countries.