Use of EU flag by non-EU countries

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As has been pointed out on another thread, the Georgian president has been giving speeches with two flags visible in the background: the Georgian flag and the EU flag. Georgia is not even a candidate country for the EU.

In the centre of the Albanian capital Tirana, a large EU flag stands beside the Albanian flag and a statue of the national hero. In the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, EU flags are flying pretty much everywhere. In fact EU flags are far easier to spot flying in countries that are not members of the EU than in member states.

What is the legal status regarding the use of the EU flag - should this use by non-members be allowed? How do other posters feel about their identities (as citizens of a member state of the EU) being associated with non-members through the use of this flag? What does this say about the national identities of these non-member states - can something as simple as a flag of a supra-national body really be significant in their attempt to break away from Russian-dominated/Serbian-dominated/Communist past?
 


R Paul

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BaudrillardNeverExisted said:
As has been pointed out on another thread, the Georgian president has been giving speeches with two flags visible in the background: the Georgian flag and the EU flag. Georgia is not even a candidate country for the EU.

In the centre of the Albanian capital Tirana, a large EU flag stands beside the Albanian flag and a statue of the national hero. In the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, EU flags are flying pretty much everywhere. In fact EU flags are far easier to spot flying in countries that are not members of the EU than in member states.

What is the legal status regarding the use of the EU flag - should this use by non-members be allowed? How do other posters feel about their identities (as citizens of a member state of the EU) being associated with non-members through the use of this flag? What does this say about the national identities of these non-member states - can something as simple as a flag of a supra-national body really be significant in their attempt to break away from Russian-dominated/Serbian-dominated/Communist past?
The European flag was originally adopted by the Council of Europe in 1955. It was subsequently adopted by the EU in 1983. As almost all members of the Council of Europe were also members of the EU at the time, this didn't cause major controversy. However, then the Iron Curtain fell and suddenly the Council of Europe had a lot more members than anyone expected, so hence the confusion.

As members of the Council of Europe, the countries you mention are free to use the flag if they so choose. Since most of them (I think) actually want to join the EU, presumably the issue will resolve itself in time.
 

NotDevsSon

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BaudrillardNeverExisted said:
As has been pointed out on another thread, the Georgian president has been giving speeches with two flags visible in the background: the Georgian flag and the EU flag. Georgia is not even a candidate country for the EU.

In the centre of the Albanian capital Tirana, a large EU flag stands beside the Albanian flag and a statue of the national hero. In the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, EU flags are flying pretty much everywhere. In fact EU flags are far easier to spot flying in countries that are not members of the EU than in member states.

What is the legal status regarding the use of the EU flag - should this use by non-members be allowed? How do other posters feel about their identities (as citizens of a member state of the EU) being associated with non-members through the use of this flag? What does this say about the national identities of these non-member states - can something as simple as a flag of a supra-national body really be significant in their attempt to break away from Russian-dominated/Serbian-dominated/Communist past?
It is also the flag of the Council of Europe. Prodi as President of the Commission proposed a new flag for the EU but it was hideous and never adopted.

That said, it would be very very usual for a state have a Council of Europe flag alongside a national flag, and he certainly is not entitled to fly the EU flag. He is a media stunt - fly the Council of Europe, have millions of people think it is the EU flag he has up and then think Georgia is in the EU. (And yes, people are that dumb. A majority of Americans could not find France on a map in a survey five years ago. But then Gorbachev famously thought Queen Elizabeth II was also Queen of Ireland! When he asked Haughey to give his regards to "Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of Ireland" Haughey was reportedly very very angry!!!) So the odds are that millions have fallen for the stunt and think Georgia is in the EU!
 

fergalr

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A great many small European states see the EU as a beacon of hope, prosperity and stability... three things not present for a long time in their neighbourhoods. Rather than expressing scorn or incredulity, I'm proud of the tremendous project our nation has contributed to.
 

R Paul

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Podolski said:
They can wipe their bums with it for all I care. It's not our flag anyway.
It is. We are members of both the Council of Europe and the European Union.
 
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R Paul said:
The European flag was originally adopted by the Council of Europe in 1955. It was subsequently adopted by the EU in 1983. As almost all members of the Council of Europe were also members of the EU at the time, this didn't cause major controversy. However, then the Iron Curtain fell and suddenly the Council of Europe had a lot more members than anyone expected, so hence the confusion.

As members of the Council of Europe, the countries you mention are free to use the flag if they so choose. Since most of them (I think) actually want to join the EU, presumably the issue will resolve itself in time.
Interesting. Maybe we needed the EU constitution's new flag after all. There's certainly confusion there. Most people have never even heard of the Council of Europe, let alone its flag. I see Russia is a member, but can't recall seeing the flag when its leaders give statements.
 

Keith-M

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fergalr said:
A great many small European states see the EU as a beacon of hope, prosperity and stability... three things not present for a long time in their neighbourhoods. Rather than expressing scorn or incredulity, I'm proud of the tremendous project our nation has contributed to.
Indeed and I don't have an issue with countries that have applied to join the EU using the flag. I do however object to a maniac like Saakashvili using the flag.
 

fergalr

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Keith-M said:
fergalr said:
A great many small European states see the EU as a beacon of hope, prosperity and stability... three things not present for a long time in their neighbourhoods. Rather than expressing scorn or incredulity, I'm proud of the tremendous project our nation has contributed to.
Indeed and I don't have an issue with countries that have applied to join the EU using the flag. I do however object to a maniac like Saakashvili using the flag.
It is also the flag of the CoE, of which Georgia is a member.
 

eurosceptic

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As long as we take it down off our government buildings and ministers stop using it on an equal basis to the tricolour i will be happy.
 

fergalr

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eurosceptic said:
As long as we take it down off our government buildings and ministers stop using it on an equal basis to the tricolour i will be happy.
Prepare for a lifetime of discontent.
 

eurosceptic

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Will do. Sadly it will be staying for foreseeable future.
 

CookieMonster

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fergalr said:
A great many small European states see the EU as a beacon of hope, prosperity and stability... three things not present for a long time in their neighbourhoods. Rather than expressing scorn or incredulity, I'm proud of the tremendous project our nation has contributed to.
Here, here.
 

ibis

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NotDevsSon said:
BaudrillardNeverExisted said:
As has been pointed out on another thread, the Georgian president has been giving speeches with two flags visible in the background: the Georgian flag and the EU flag. Georgia is not even a candidate country for the EU.

In the centre of the Albanian capital Tirana, a large EU flag stands beside the Albanian flag and a statue of the national hero. In the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, EU flags are flying pretty much everywhere. In fact EU flags are far easier to spot flying in countries that are not members of the EU than in member states.

What is the legal status regarding the use of the EU flag - should this use by non-members be allowed? How do other posters feel about their identities (as citizens of a member state of the EU) being associated with non-members through the use of this flag? What does this say about the national identities of these non-member states - can something as simple as a flag of a supra-national body really be significant in their attempt to break away from Russian-dominated/Serbian-dominated/Communist past?
It is also the flag of the Council of Europe. Prodi as President of the Commission proposed a new flag for the EU but it was hideous and never adopted.
It was absolutely vile - like a coloured barcode:

 

Catalpa

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OK I admit I overreacted when I saw the EU Flag behind the Georgian leaders' back but as has been said above its a stunt - Georgia is not in the EU and is unlikely now to ever be in it.

We now have the truly bizarre situation where two seperate political groupings of States are using exactly the same flag! :roll:

IMO the flag should be for either one or the other.

My preference would be for it to return to being the flag of the COE andf let the bloody EU come up with its own concoction! :evil:
 

fergalr

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Catalpa said:
My preference would be for it to return to being the flag of the COE andf let the bloody EU come up with its own concoction! :evil:
I think the complete opposite.

In any case, the EU and CoE both representing "Europe" in some senses, they share the continent's flag.
 
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Catalpa said:
We now have the truly bizarre situation where two seperate political groupings of States are using exactly the same flag! :roll:
Channel 4 News were suitably ambiguous when they called it the "European" flag, suggesting that Russia would be angered by Georgia's use of it despite Russia being part of one of the political groupings it represents and therefore able to legitimately use it itself... :?
 

fergalr

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Well it is kind of regarded as the continent's flag. Kind of. By people who work for the Council of Europe, one suspects! :lol:
 

forest

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it was designed by a cork man if i believe right
I saw it flying in Kiev at one point but dont know over which building
It is odd the gerogia use it in such away
Ch4 news mentioned tonight they may be perpsosly doing so to annoy russia
 

arnaudherve

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The EU flag is now waved in those countries as a symbol of hostility towards Russia and alliance with the USA.

Which is a disaster for our interests.

We have nothing to do in the European wing of NATO, provoking Russia all the time.
 


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