The European flag is the symbol not only of the European Union but also of Europe’s unity and identity in a wider sense.
The European flag consists of 12 golden stars in a circle on a blue background. The stars symbolise the ideals of unity, solidarity and harmony among the peoples of Europe.
The number of stars has nothing to do with the number of member countries, though the circle is a symbol of unity.
The history of the flag goes back to 1955. The Council of Europe - defending human rights and promoting European culture – adopted the present design for its own use.
Over the following years the Council of Europe encouraged the emerging European institutions to adopt the flag as well.
In 1983, the European Parliament adopted the flag. In 1985, it was adopted by all EU leaders as the official emblem of the European Union (called the European Communities at the time). All European institutions now use an emblem of their own.