Flag of the EU

The flag of the European Union is a blue field with 12 five-pointed gold stars arranged in a circle in the center.

Blue represents the sky of the Western world, the stars are the people of Europe.

The stars form a circle, symbolising unity, solidarity and harmony within the European Union. The number of stars is fixed, twelve being the symbol of perfection and completeness and bringing to mind the apostles, the sons of Jacob, the labours of Hercules, twelve astrological signs, the months in the year, etc. Other sources point at the “crown of twelve stars” of blessed virgin Maria.

The history of the flag goes back to 1955. The Council of Europe chose the present design for its own use. In the years that followed, it encouraged the emerging European institutions to adopt the same flag.

In 1983, the European Parliament decided that the Communities’ flag should be that used by the Council of Europe. In 1985, it was adopted by all EU leaders as the official emblem of the European Communities, later to become the European Union.

The design of the flag is contributed to Arsène Heitz, a German-French draughtsman, born in Strasbourg, who worked at the Council of Europe, in collaboration with Paul M. G. Lévy.