back to article MEPs vote to recognise flag, anthem, motto

MEPs voted last night to recognise the EU flag, anthem and motto, which will come as something of a surprise to the rest of the world which has been recognising the EU flag for some years now. The flag, bearing 12 stars on a blue background, will henceforth be hung in parliament meeting rooms and at official events, while …


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  1. dervheid

    Jim Allister's comments...

    leave me wondering WHY he's a fucking MEP?

    Wouldn't have anything to do with "riding the gravy train" now, would it?


  2. Steven Knox


    A gov't grown out of a trade federation, a flag with stars representing the founding members on a blue background, a motto that claims both unity and individual sovereignty.

    Yep, seems like you Euros are finally getting civilization...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    You get a MIDI of Ode To Joy with Windows?

  4. Duncan Hothersall

    Beethoven's rendition of Ode To Joy

    I can't wait to use the loos in Strasbourg then. I had no idea such a recording existed. Quite amazing.

  5. Mike Moyle


    "...the EU motto "United in diversity"...:


    "...Infinite Dversity in Infinite Combination..."


    ...sad, really...

  6. Anonymous Coward



    By Anonymous Coward Posted Thursday 9th October 2008 15:11 GMT

    You get a MIDI of Ode To Joy with Windows?"

    Maybe they're still using WinME at El Reg?

  7. Dave The Cardboard Box

    easy to pick on a single political party..

    ..and the DUP wouldn't be high on my popularity list but the real issue is that if the UK hadn't been so insular we wouldn't have a currency which actually is a bauble. Check Euro exchange rates now compared to 18 months ago. That's what you get for irrational xenophobia.

  8. James Blessing


    So why are there 12 stars when there are 21/27/47/49/51 (depending where you take the information from) countries in europe?

  9. robert Tracey

    Youtube version

    type ode to joy into youtube and the first result I got was

    Which sums it all up. What a bunch of muppets!

  10. Jimmy Floyd
    Paris Hilton

    @Steven Knox

    Just to be pedantic, the 12 stars don't reflect the 12 founding members (mainly because, at the time, they couldn't agree on exactly how many members there were!).

    There are different reasons for 12 but they can be pretty much summed up by "it just seemed like a nice number to have."


    Paris, because she's French. Isn't she...?

  11. Mike Richards Silver badge

    @ Steven Knox

    'a flag with stars representing the founding members '

    Ummm no it doesn't. There were six founding members of the EEC - Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

    Instead, the flag is derived from the flag of the Council of Europe and has twelve stars because the number twelve has no political significance, is commonly found in European heritage and myth, and twelve stars were considered especially attractive when laid out in a circle.

  12. James

    @James Blessing

    12 is the highest number you can count to with two hands of five digits and two wrists and a very small brain....

  13. Roy Stilling


    The "EU flag", officially "the Flag of Europe" was first adopted by the Council of Europe* in the early 50s. Back then the Saarland, a coal-rich region of Germany on the French border, was an autonomous state occupied by France and which had its own representation on the Council. When it came to designing the flag, it was proposed to have one star per member but France wanted to count Saarland as separate, and so have 15 stars , and West Germany argued it was really part of Germany and so there should only be 14 stars (Germany subsequently got the Saarland back a few years later).

    So they then decided to have just 12 stars as "the number of perfection" (12 hours, 12 apostles, 12 signs of the zodiac etc). In other words the sort of fudge that has characterised European relations ever since!

    * The Council of Europe still exists and is quite separate from the EU. In fact the European Convention on Human Rights which the Daily Hate-reading classes love to froth about so much was adopted by the Council of Europe in 1948 (and largely written by British jurists) and so pre-dates the EU altogether.

  14. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Re: Stars

    There were originally six stars, and new ones were added as members joined up, but after 12 it was felt that, well, we can't be arsed to order new stationery every time someone joins. I dare say the more recent members were a bit miffed, but public relations is not the EU's strong point..

  15. Russell Long
    Thumb Down

    Is anyone surprised?

    The point to be made about this action should be, surely, that the EU constitution (on which France, amongst others, voted no), explicitly stated that the EU would have its own flag, anthem and motto. It explicitly recognised the EU as a legal entity. This statement was removed when the 'Lisbon Treaty' was rolled out. Now it's been put back in.

    I can't say I'm surprised. The mendacity of these utter cunts never surprised me. True to form, the EU grinds mercilessly onwards. "The more you tighten your grip, the more countries will slip through your fingers."

  16. Avalanche

    @Steven Knox

    "a flag with stars representing the founding members on a blue background"

    No it doesn't, the flag is the symbol of the council of Europe, which is both older and has more members than the EU. The EU has 'borrowed' the flag from the council of Europe. Also the number has nothing to do with the number of founders of the EU

    You might want to read up on

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Jim left the DUP

    Jim Allister has left the DUP and set up his own party, Traditional Unionist Voice as Ian Paisley didn't hate Catholics.

  18. Mark

    re: easy to pick on a single political party..

    I suspect if we'd been tied to the euro, we'd have pulled the euro down with us.

  19. Bryan B
    Thumb Up

    12 is just a nice number

    The number of stars is - so they say - nothing to do with the number of members. It's because 12 is a nice round number and looks good on a flag (and a calendar).

    It's not even originally the EU flag - the EU has nicked it off the Council of Europe, which is not part of the EU or run by the EU, and which has 47 members, not 12.

  20. NT

    @ James Blessing

    << So why are there 12 stars when there are 21/27/47/49/51 (depending where you take the information from) countries in europe? >>

    Well, why're there fifty stars on the US flag when...


    Oh, damn.

  21. Christopher Rogers
    IT Angle

    Ahhh Europe....

    Who urges us to sell all our national jewels to the french and germans. I'm sure every nation has its own DUP, who also get elected by "europeans".

  22. Steven Knox

    @Stars Pedants

    You're right. My bad.

    I guess you're not civilized after all. Let me know when you've got the stars sorted.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Hmm, Europe has a flag, an anthem, a foreign minister, a common currency, a small defence force and soon there will be a president of Europe....and who says there won't be a united states of europe? A single super state isn't the goal? Who are you trying to kid Mr. Europe?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wait a minute...

    Jingle Bells heralds a fantasy that the EU is good for me? Odd. I thought it was a Christmas song.

  25. MacroRodent Silver badge

    "Using Ludwig van like that! He did no harm to anyone. "

    Hearing the Ode of Joy used as the EU anthem always reminds me of the A Clockwork Orange "treatment" scene:

    Alex: No. No! NO! Stop it! Stop it, please! I beg you! This is sin! This is sin! This is sin! It's a sin, it's a sin, it's a sin!

    Dr. Brodsky: Sin? What's all this about sin?

    Alex: That! Using Ludwig van like that! He did no harm to anyone. Beethoven just wrote music!

    Dr. Branom: Are you referring to the background score?

    Alex: Yes.

    Dr. Branom: You've heard Beethoven before?

    Alex: Yes!

    Dr. Brodsky: So, you're keen on music?

    Alex: YES!

    Dr. Brodsky: Can't be helped. Here's the punishment element perhaps.

  26. Niall
    Thumb Down

    @Russell Long

    This would be the same Lisbon Treaty which requires all 27 countries to ratify it for it to take affect. Unless one country doesn't, in which case it will only take 26 countries and so on. They take out the parts people don't like, get them to vote and then add the parts back in afterwards. What could possibly go wrong?

  27. Britt Johnston

    trusting times

    The current financial climate will be an interesting test for the Euro. Nations are united in calling for trust and confidence, but, as comments above show, it isn't clear who to trust. The fix-it programmes so far are national. Today's hole in the fabric: German accounts in bust Islandic banks are not covered by the German safe-saver guarantees.

    Could be that Germany finds it is dragging a lot of beggars on its coat-tails, with little control of the financial direction.

  28. Peter Garlick
    Thumb Up

    Seat raising

    " ..and whenever a toilet seat is raised"

    I nearly fell of my porcelain throne when I read that.

  29. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    Nothing better to do?

    Worldwide economic meltdown, countless other issues such as terrorism, trade, immigration, etc., and these muppets are spending our tax pounds/euros on flags, anthems and motos? Just goes to show the complete farce of the Ego-pean Union.

  30. Anonymous Coward

    Am I the only one...

    who saw "at formal sittings, and whenever a toilet seat is raised" and assumed they were talking about number twos and number ones...

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Matt Bryant

    No, they've *already* spent our money on these tawdry baubles. Now they're making those items official, so no one can claim they were spending money on unauthorised tat.

  32. elderlybloke
    Thumb Up

    Re - Am I the only one

    It seems you may be either talking shit or taking the piss.

  33. chris

    The EU, too little to late

    Business as usual then

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