The 4 symbols of the EU

The circle of stars in the European flag symbolizes the unity between its member countries. (Attila Kisbenedek / AFP)

The values ​​of the EU are represented in the anthem, the slogan, the flag and the Day of Europe.

The EU is a political entity that has been forming itself for over 60 years.

During this time, the European leaders have wanted to promote the alliance between its member countries through a series of emblems that symbolize the spirit of unity and collaboration of the EU.

Europe Day

After WW2, European leaders were looking for ways to avoid a new conflict and build a future together.

France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg decided to create the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) to ensure that these resources were not used for war purposes.

The presentation of this project in favor of peace and cooperation took place on May 9, 1950, when the French Minister of Foreign Affairs Robert Schuman gave a speech that is already part of the history of Europe.

Europe’s Anthem

In 1785, German writer Friedrich von Schiller composed the “Ode to Joy”, a poem that celebrates the freedom of men to find their destiny and be happy.

Eight years later, in 1793, German composer Ludwig van Beethoven discovered Schiller’s poem and liked it so much that he wanted to play it. At that time, Beethoven was only 23 years old and little did he know that his ‘Ninth Symphony’ would end up representing an entire continent.

Europe’s anthem does not replace the national anthems of the EU countries, but celebrates the values ​​of unity and respect that they share.

The EU Motto

The majority of symbols representing the EU have been chosen by the European Council: the anthem, the flag or the Day of Europe. However, the motto of all Europeans emerged through an open competition held in the year 2000.

Over 80,000 students participated from the 15 EU member countries: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, the United Kingdom and Sweden.

Among the more than 2,000 proposals that were received, the words most used to describe the EU were: peace, unity, future, hope, solidarity, freedom, diversity and respect.

La bandera de la Unión

The European flag is formed by a circle of 12 golden stars on a blue background. Each star has five points and are placed like the hours on the face of a clock.

The flag was designed in 1955 by the Luxembourg painter Arsène Heitz. The stars of the flag do not represent the member countries, but form a circle that represents the unity among the people of Europe.

Translated by Chaplin’s Languages | Find out more in Junior Report

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