Last modified: 2023-06-10 by ivan sache
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Flag of the European Union - Image by Željko Heimer, 1 May 2004
Quoting a press release by the European Parliament, 9 October 2008:
The European Union flag, anthem and motto have been formally recognised by the European Parliament. A proposal to amend Parliament's Rules of Procedure so as to formalise its use of these symbols was approved by the Chamber by a large majority. The flag, a circle of twelve golden stars on a blue background, will be displayed in all EP meeting rooms and at EP official events, says the report approved by 503 votes in favour 96 against and 15 abstentions.
European Parliament decision of 9 October 2008 on insertion in Parliament's Rules of Procedure of a new Rule 202a on the use by Parliament of the symbols of the Union (2007/2240(REG))
The European Parliament,- having regard to its resolution of 11 July 2007 on the convening of the Intergovernmental Conference (1), in particular paragraph 23 thereof,1. Decides to amend its Rules of Procedure as shown below;
- having regard to the letter from its President of 12 September 2007,
- having regard to the importance of symbols for reconnecting the citizens with the European Union and for building a European identity which is complementary to the national identities of the Member States,
- having regard to the fact that the symbols have been in use for over 30 years by all European Institutions and were formally approved by the European Council in 1985 (2),
- having regard to Rules 201 and 202 of its Rules of Procedure,
- having regard to the report of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (A6-0347/2008),
2. Decides that the amendment will enter into force on the day following its adoption;
3. Instructs its President to forward this decision to the Council and the Commission, for information.
(1) OJ C 175 E, 10.7.2008, p. 347.
(2) Milan European Council of 28 and 29 June 1985.
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Title XIII - Miscellaneous Provisions - Rule 202 a (new)
The symbols of the Union
1. Parliament shall recognise and espouse the following symbols of the Union:
- the flag showing a circle of twelve golden stars on a blue background;
- the anthem based on the "Ode to Joy" from the Ninth Symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven;
- the motto 'United in diversity'.
2. Parliament shall celebrate Europe Day on 9 May.
3. The flag shall be flown at all Parliament premises and on the occasion of official events. The flag shall be used in each meeting room of the Parliament.
4. The anthem shall be performed at the opening of each constitutive sitting and at other solemn sittings, notably to welcome heads of State or government or to greet new Members following enlargements.
5. The motto shall be reproduced on Parliament's official documents.
6. The Bureau shall examine further use of the symbols within the Parliament. The Bureau shall lay down detailed provisions for the implementation of this Rule.
Ivan Sache, 3 November 2008
Flag of the European Parliament, 1973-1986 (?) - Image by M. Schmöger, 21 February 2006, after Göldner [gdn88]
According to Göldner [gdn88], a flag with the yellow letters "EP" and "PE" surrounded by a yellow wreath, all on a blue background, was used from 1973 by the European Parliament, although never officially adopted. I do not know until when this flag was used, but probably after the official introduction of the "European Flag" in 1986 it went out of use.
An old photo of this flag is shown in the little brochure Europa - eine Aufgabe für alle, edited by Europa-Union Bayern, 1980.
I have found only a few images of the flag or emblem on the Internet:
- two British first day covers commemorating the first direct elections to the European Parliament in 1979
- a black and white photo of the President of the Parliament Emilio Colombo (1977-1979) with the flag.
M. Schmöger, 21 February 2006