Recognised Europe-wide and beyond, the azure flag bearing twelve gold stars is 60 years old. It symbolises the ambition and the reality of European unification.

Since its adoption by the Council of Europe in 1955, the European flag has continuously symbolized the resolve to promote peace and prosperity for all European countries, upholding common values such as democracy, human rights, rule of law and diversity.

In 1983, the European Parliament officially adopted the flag and recommended that it become the emblem of the European Communities. The European Union Summit adopted this proposal in June 1985. Since 1986, the European flag has become the supreme symbol of a common European identity.

The number of stars on the flag is invariable and is not linked with the number of member states. The figure twelve is synonymous with unity, harmony and accomplishment.


This anniversary will be marked by several exhibitions and events:

  • A display on the railings of “Lieu d’Europe” retraces the history and the symbolism of the European flag (in three languages), and has been replicated on posters for schools;
  • A short film on the flag’s historical background has been produced;
  • Several visibility items have been created: a school exercise book, a gym sac, a child’s T-shirt;
  • A quiz was devised and proposed to primary pupils on the occasion of the Open Day for schoolchildren on 19 February 2015;
  • The presence of the Council of Europe at the Brussels Book Fair (25-28 February) was placed in the dual context of the Belgian Chairmanship and the flag’s anniversary;
  • Europe Day in Strasbourg and Paris will be dedicated to this anniversary;
  • The European Walk during the Strasbourg Road Races will be dedicated to the anniversary: each participant will carry the yellow gym sac with the colours of the European flag;
  • At the start of the Strasbourg Road Races on Sunday 17 May, a hot-air (captive) balloon will be inflated on the lawn in front of the Palais de l’Europe; a tram on CTS line B will be clad in the colours of the European flag;
  • An official stamp will be dedicated by the French postal service to the anniversary;
  • An exhibition and a large hanging banner on the European flag will be set up in the entrance hall of the Palais de l’Europe;
  • On 5 May 2015, the anniversary of the Council of Europe, a captive balloon will be positioned on the lawn.
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