Flag of European Union

European Union Flag

European Union Flag

The flag of the European Union is twelve gold stars arranged in a perfect circle on a blue background. Each of the five-point stars are positioned point-up and are placed according to the hands of the clock on a 2:3 proportioned rectangular background.

When a council was formed in 1950 to choose a design for a European flag, there were many designs submitted by a variety of different individuals. Rejected designs included an emblem sporting a large white “E” on a blue background and one with a red cross positioned in a yellow circle which was centered on a blue background. The “E” on the blue background was not favored by the reviewers, and the symbolism attached to the cross prompted the committee to look for other designs. The final decision came down to a flag displaying a blue background with a constellation of stars designed by Salvador de Madariaga, or an emblem with fifteen gold stars in a circle backed with blue, created by Arsene Heitz. After much debate, it was decided that Heitz’ design with the stars arranged in a circle was the preferable option, but rather than fifteen stars, the ensign would have twelve. The twelve stars, considered to be a number of perfect completeness, symbolize ideals of unity, solidarity and harmony among the European peoples.

The EU flag was originally designed for the Council of Europe in 1955, and was later adopted by the European Parliament in 1983. The European Economic Community began using the blue and gold design as their official symbol in 1985 and as the European Union emerged it became their formal emblem, its use adopted into law even though it is not mentioned in the European Union’s treaties and its incorporation was dropped along with the European Constitution. Following the adoption of the current ensign as the official symbol of the European Union, the Council of Europe began using a modified design of the flag displaying twelve gold stars in a circular pattern with a lower-case “e” in the middle, backed with a blue rectangle. This emblem became known as “Council of Europe Logo”.