16 August 2016

#1138 The Netherlands

The Flag of Europe, or European Flag, consists of a circle of 12 golden (yellow) stars on an azure background. It is an official symbol of two separate organizations — the Council of Europe (CoE) and the European Union (EU) — both of which term it the "Flag of Europe" or the "European Flag". It was first adopted in 1955 by the Council of Europe to represent the European continent as a whole. Due to the subsequent emergence of the EU, the flag is sometimes colloquially known as the "flag of the European Union", but this term is not official.

The flag was designed in 1955 for the Council of Europe as its symbol, and the CoE urged it to be adopted by other organisations. In 1985 the European Economic Community (EEC), adopted it as its own flag (having had no flag of its own before) at the initiative of the European Parliament.

The flag is not mentioned in the EU's treaties, its incorporation being dropped along with the European Constitution, but it is formally adopted in law. In order to avoid confusion with the European Union, the Council of Europe has a distinctive "Council of Europe Logo", which employs a lower-case "e" in the centre. The Logo is not meant to be a substitute for the flag, which the Council flies in front of and in its headquarters, annexes and field office premises.

Since its adoption by the European Union it has become more associated with the EU due to the EU's higher profile and heavy usage of the emblem. The flag has also been used to represent Europe in sporting events and as a pro-democracy banner outside the Union. It has partly inspired other flags, such as those of other European organisations and those of sovereign states where the EU has been heavily involved (such as Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina).

Thank you, Riek !

Received on: August 15, 2016

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