Microsoft is preparing to change the style of its famous Windows flag for the next version of its popular operating system. Currently nearing a Consumer Preview release, Windows 8 will swap out the traditional red, green, blue, and yellow flag for a 2D Metro style version. Chinese site cnBeta first published mockup pictures (see above) of the new flag earlier this week and we have been able to verify the authenticity of a new design.

The four-pane Windows logo, typically found projected onto a waving flag, has been replaced with a more flattened, angled, and window-like appearance. The new flag will appear in the charms bar, activated by touch, mouse or keyboard. It is also expected to replace other instances of the traditional flag in Windows 8, marking a fundamental change of design aesthetic combined with Microsoft's Metro style Start Screen. The flag change will tie into Microsoft's "Windows reimagined" marketing for the new operating system and is expected to be the first of many changes to the way that Microsoft markets Windows and its brand identity throughout 2012.