Brussels, 8 December 2021 (TDI): On this day, 66 years ago, the European Union flag was officially adopted. Over the years, it has become the most recognizable emblem of the European Union and, more broadly, the identity, diversity, and unity of Europe.

European Flag

It features a circle of 12 gold stars against a blue background. They are a symbol of the solidarity and ideals shared by Europe’s peoples.

The star’s number does not reflect the number of members countries. However, the circle symbolizes unity. The circle of gold stars represents the unity, solidarity, and harmony among the peoples of Europe.

Symbolism and graphic elements

The circle of gold stars represents the unity, solidarity, and harmony among the peoples of Europe.



12 stars are the symbol of perfection, entirety. Not related to the number of member countries.



Colors – Golden stars on a blue field.


The History of the European Flag

Since its inception in 1949, the Council of Europe was conscious of the need for a symbol that can identify the citizens of Europe. So, on 25 October 1955, the Parliamentary Assembly approved the emblem, which comprised a circular of 12 golden stars set against a blue background. Therefore, on 8 December 1955, the Committee of Ministers adopted this as the European flag.

In a repeated statement, the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe said that it was the desire of other European institutions for the symbol to be adopted, in order to strengthen solidarity between different organizations within a democratic, united Europe.

The European Parliament took the initiative to adopt the flag of the European Community. After the first European elections in 1979 with universal suffrage, it made a draft resolution. Moreover, the April 1983 resolution of the parliament stated that the Flag of the Community must be the same as the 1955 Council of Europe Flag.

The European Council, meeting at Fontainebleau in June 1984, stressed the need to present Europe’s image, identity, and values to its citizens and the wider world. Then in Milan in June 1985, it approved the proposal of the Committee on a People’s Europe that the Community should adopt a flag.

Therefore, Institutions of the Community have been using it since 1986. Thus The European emblem (and flag) are a symbol of both the Council of Europe as well as the European Union. It has now become a symbol of unity and European identity.

30 years of the EU Flag: Commemorative euro coin

To commemorate the 30th anniversary of EU leaders adopting the flag as an EU emblem, 19 countries from the Euro-area issued a special commemorative coin. In 2015, the European Commission ran an online contest where citizens and residents of the Euro-area voted to choose the design of Georgios Stamatopoulos, an engraving artist at Bank of Greece. It depicts 12 stars that morph into human figures, which symbolize the birth of a new Europe.