European flag

From Academic Kids

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European_flag.png
European flag

The European flag consists of a circle of twelve golden stars on a blue background.

Although the flag is most commonly associated with the European Union (EU), it was initially used by the Council of Europe (COE), and intended to represent Europe as a whole as opposed to any particular organization such as the EU or the COE.

The flag was originally adopted by the Council of Europe on December 8, 1955, from a suggested design by the Chief Herald of Ireland. The Council of Europe from the beginning desired it to be used by other regional organizations seeking European integration. The European Community (EC) adopted it on May 26, 1986. The European Union, which was established by the Maastricht Treaty in 1992 to replace the EC and encompass its functions, also adopted the flag. Since then the use of the flag has been controlled jointly by both the Council of Europe and the European Union.

The flag appears on the face of all euro currency banknotes, and the stars on euro coins.

The number of stars on the flag is fixed at 12 and is not related to the number of member states of EU. In 1953, the Council of Europe had 15 members; it was proposed that the future flag should have one star for each member, and would not change based on future members. West Germany objected to this as one of the members was the disputed area of Saarland and to have its own star would imply sovereignty for the region. On this basis France also objected to fourteen stars as this would imply the absorption of Saarland into Germany. Thirteen has traditionally been seen as unlucky, as well as the fact that early flags of the United States featured that number of stars. Twelve was eventually adopted as a number with no political connotations and as a symbol of perfection and completeness[1] (http://europa.eu.int/abc/symbols/emblem/index_en.htm) because of the ubiquity of the number for groups in European cultures and traditions such as:

The number has led to a number of unproved assertions that there is further meaning in the stars, for example its similarity to the twelve-star halo of the Virgin Mary seen in Roman Catholic art and thus part of a conspiracy to revive a Catholic supremacy or the Holy Roman Empire. Interestingly, some staunchly religious organisations make the counter-claim that the stars represent the Queen of Heaven in Babylonian myth and show the existence of an ungodly movement in the leadership of the EU. Most non-partisan authorities on the subject disregard such theories as myth [2] (http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/eun.html#hist). However, flag designer Arsene Heitz has acknowledged that the Book of Revelation helped to inspire him. [3] (http://www.economist.com/printedition/PrinterFriendly.cfm?Story_ID=3332056)

The flag's design is also very similar to that of the International Paneuropean Union [4] (http://www.paneuropa.org), an organization founded at the first half of the 20th century promoting European unity. This has led to further conspiracy theories, because this organization is currently led by Otto von Habsburg, the current head of the Habsburg family which has produced at least 19 Holy Roman Emperors.

Common Mistakes

The following are some common mistakes made in representing the European flag.

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This flag is, or the individual stars are, upside-down.
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Wrong_flag2.gif
The stars are rotated incorrectly. All the stars should be rotated the same i.e. with two points at the bottom and one at the top.
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Wrong_flag3.gif
The stars are in the wrong positions; they should be in the "O'Clock" positions.

See also

External links

de:Europaflagge et:Euroopa Liidu lipp el:Ευρωπαϊκή σημαία es:Bandera de la Unin Europea eo:Eŭropunia flago fr:Drapeau europen is:Evrpufninn it:Bandiera europea he:דגל האיחוד האירופי hu:Eurpai zszl nl:Europese vlag pt:Bandeira europeia pl:Flaga Unii Europejskiej ru:Флаг Европы sr:Застава Европске уније wa:Drapea di l' Union Uropeyinne zh:欧盟旗帜

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