The European Drapeau is the symbol not only of the European Union, but also of the unit and the identity of the Europe in a broader direction, since it initially was the flag of the the Council of Europe. The Cercle of gilded stars represents solidarity and the harmony between the people of Europe. The number of stars is not related to the number of Member States. It comprises Twelve stars, because this figure is traditionally a symbol of perfection, plenitude and unit. Thus, the flag remains the same one, independently of widenings of the Council of Europe (currently 46 members) or of the European Union (currently 27 members).
Description nelle ConstitutionThe the Treaty of Rome of 2004, in its article I-8 (symbols of the Union), specifies that “the flag of the Union represents a circle of twelve gold stars on blue bottom”.
Geometrical descriptionThe emblem is consisted a blue rectangle whose leaf has once and half the length of guindant. The twelve gold stars are aligned regularly along a nonapparent circle, whose center is located at the point of meeting of the diagonals of the rectangle. The ray of this circle is equal to the third height of guindant. Each star with five branches is built in a nonapparent circle, whose ray is equal to one eighteenth the height of guindant. All the stars are laid out vertically, i.e. with a branch directed to the top and two branches being pressed on a nonapparent line, perpendicular to the pole.
- For blue: Pantone Blue Reflex camera or 100% of Process Cyan mixed with 80% of Magenta Process in Quadrichromy or (0, 51,153) = #003399 in RVB;
- for the yellow: Pantone Yellow or 100% of Process Yellow in quadrichromy or (255, 204,0) = #FFCC00 in RVB.
History of the flagThe history of the flag goes back to the year 1950. At that time, the European Coal and Steel Community (organization having preceded the European Community and the European Union) was made up only of six States founders (FRG, Bénélux, France, Italy). However, another organization gathering a greater number of members, the the Council of Europe, had been created, as of 1949: this one in particular took care to defend the Human rights and to promote the European culture. The August 18th 1950, the the Council of Europe seeking a symbol to represent it, load a commission to translate “ spiritual values and morals which are the common inheritance of the people which compose it ”. Paul-Henri Spaak, one of the fathers of Europe, marmonne then: “ delicate Question ”. Robert Bichet is the rapporteur of this commission. Many proposals had been presented, inter alia, the sign of the European Mouvement, a “E” green on white zone, or the flag of the movement Side-Europe, a gold disc and a Red Cross on blue bottom. But the first alternative did not give satisfaction from the esthetic point of view. As for the second, like all the proposals containing a cross, it was rejected because of the resistance of the Turkey.
An exposure to the Palais of Tokyo (Paris) is organized where a Japanese to the novel idea of a large star gilded on blue bottom. The colors blue and gold made followers, and several proposals comprising each star gilded on blue bottom were examined. El Salvador de Madariaga (a antifranquist born with Corogne, 1886-1978) then proposes a field of azure with stars instead of the capitals. But the constellation thus formed resembles the Grande Ourse. Others propose the shape of cross which is challenged by the Socialists. The September 25th 1953, Bichet announces a bottom of azure then carrying a circle of fifteen gold stars (the Council of Europe comprises 15 Member States then). However, the Germans rise with the pretext that the the Saar, which sat at the Council, had its own star. The November 12th 1954, the rapporteur puts to vote eight gold rings but this project is withdrawn because of the protests for the resemblance to the Olympic Drapeau (mentioned in the report/ratio), but also because the rings evoke the chains of the constraint, for semiologists, a telephone dial and that the Christian-Democrats and the Socialists oppose it.
Compulsory figures by the commission: simplicity, legibility, harmony, esthetics, balance, value symbolic system, are respected. Paul Mr. G. Levy addressed himself to Arsène Heitz, which proposed a simple circle of twelve gold stars, on blue bottom. After new discussions on the number of these stars, one ended up preserving this number of twelve of it, although the Council of Europe never comprised twelve members. The October 25th 1955, the parliamentary Parliament chooses an emblem of azure unanimously carrying a crown of twelve gold stars. The Committee of the Ministers for the Council of Europe definitively adopted this proposal at its meeting of the 7 with the December 9th 1955. The spangled banner will be inaugurated solemnly the December 13rd same year with Paris.
Mr Arsène Heitz had taken as a starting point his catholic faith mariale, and perhaps by the stained glasses of Cathédral of Strasbourg (http://www.adpfrance.com/europe.htm), to make this flag made up of twelve stars (symbol of Marie, of the twelve apostles and the twelve tribes of Israel) on blue bottom (color of Marie in the catholic tradition). The Committee of the Ministers for the Council of Europe was not with the current of this inspiration which was presented to them like a universal symbol: twelve signs of the zodiac, twelve tribes of Israel, twelve months, twelve hours, twelve work of Hercules, Law of the Twelve Tables Roman…
The Council of Europe then asked the other European institutions to adopt the same flag. In 1983, the the European Parliament, elected by the universal direct suffrage in 1979, chose this emblem for itself by a nonconstraining resolution and proposes that it becomes the flag of the Community. It should be said that it sat then, for its ordinary sessions, in a building rented with the the Council of Europe with Strasbourg which raised this same flag. Finally in June 1985, the flag of the Council of Europe was adopted by all the heads of state and government of the Communities, as the official emblem of the European institutions which at that time bore the name of European Communities, to come into effect at January 1st 1986, date on which the European Community would comprise twelve Member States, with the entry of the Spain and the Portugal (at the same date, which is a required coincidence). Since the beginning of the year 1986, the flag is used as symbol at all the European institutions. It more and more is used by the Member States, is joined or associated with the national flags (public buildings, processions). The European flag is the single emblem of the European commission, the executive of the European Union.
Since, the the Council of Europe adopted like logo a European flag modified by the addition of a “E” gilded, into cursive, to mark its characteristic. Contrary to the flag and the anthem, which became common European symbols, this logo is a distinctive sign, suitable for the Council of Europe. The organization obtained this logo at the time of its 50e birthday, in May 1999. Its maintenance was ratified by a resolution of the Committee of the ministers in 2000. Its use is subjected to authorization.
- the number Twelve : In various traditions, twelve is a symbolic system number representing the complétude and the perfection: twelve Mois, twelve tribes of Israel, the twelve apostles, twelve stars on the medal of the Rue of the Vat, twelve signs of the Zodiaque, twelve hours of the day and the night, which means that Europe is located in time and evolves/moves. This number was wrongfully presented like the symbol of the first 12 Member States of the European Union, since there exists since 1955.
- the Bleu : the blue color represents the sky of the western world.
- the stars : they represent the people of Europe. In a speech made in Strasbourg in 1990, Václav Havel considered twelve stars as a recall which the world could become better, if we had from time to time courage to look towards stars.
- the Circle : it is inter alia a symbol of unit, solidarity and harmony. The points of stars are not touched, the circle thus remains open, which means that Europe does not form a closed company, but opens on the contrary on the world.
- “an imposing sign appeared in the sky, a covered woman of the sun, the moon under its feet, and on its head a crown of 12 stars. ” (Apocalypse XII, 1)
A vexillologist, Patrice of Condamine, sees there a “message aterritorial”, the evocation of “this continent without precise shores which was built while going to the meeting of the people, bringing to the others and assimilating what the others brought to him” ( Colors of the European Union , free Enclaves, This-Eygun).
Some see in this flag a symbolic system mariale: it is besides the vision of Arsène Heitz, the draftsman of the flag, enthusiastic catholic. Others, like the mediums of the New right-hand side, a maconnic symbolic system. Does interpretation mariale reflect the European spirit of the members of Parliament of the Council of Europe who adopted this symbol a December 8th, feastday of the Immaculate Conception? At that time, Turkey was already member of the Council of Europe and its representatives would not have accepted a Christian symbol. It is interesting to announce that Winston Churchill and Léopold Sédar Senghor, for example, was members this same Parliament parliamentary.
Other symbols of Europe
Chronology of the flag
- On the site of the European Union (of which a graphic handbook and remote loading with the format eps): http://europa.eu/abc/symbols/emblem/index_fr.htm
- Selection of European flags not selected (the Council of Europe): http://www.coe.int/T/F/Com/Dossiers/Evenements/2005-12-drapeau/non_retenus.asp:
- File " Fifty ans" European flag (the Council of Europe): http://www.coe.int/T/F/Com/Dossiers/Evenements/2005-12-drapeau/ Video
- : 50 years ceremony of the European flag - European Navigator
- Testimony of Paul Mr. G. Levy on the creation of the European flag
- “history of the European flag”
- Draft amendment of the European flag by the Dutch architect [[Rem Koolhaas]] (in English)
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