Flags of Europe

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A map of Europe with national flags, excluding dependent territories and partially recognized states

This is a list of international, national and subnational flags used in Europe.

Supranational and international flags[edit]

Flag Date Use Description
Flag of Benelux.svg 1957/1958 – Flag of the Benelux Combines features from the flags of the member countries: Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg
Flag of the Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine.svg Unknown Flag of the Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine Light blue flag with four dark blue stripes horizontally across the lower half of the flag covered by a yellow anchor. Top half has six yellow stars in a circle.
Flag of CEFTA.svg 1990s – Flag of the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA)
Flag of the CIS.svg 1991 – Flag of the Commonwealth of Independent States The flag of the Commonwealth of Independent States is blue with the emblem of the organisation in the centre.
[n] 1976 – Flag of the Commonwealth of Nations
[n] Flag of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries
Flag of Europe.svg 1955 – Flag of the Council of Europe A circle of 12 upward-oriented 5-pointed golden stars centred on a blue field.
1986[1] – Flag of the European Union[2]
Flag of the European Coal and Steel Community 12 Star Version.svg 1958[3] – 2002 Flag of the European Coal and Steel Community Two horizontal bars, blue on top and black below, with white stars in two rows along the middle. Number of stars depended on states, but fixed at 12 from 1986.
Flag of La Francophonie.svg Flag of La Francophonie
Flag of NATO.svg 1953[4] – Flag of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation A navy blue field charged with a white compass rose emblem from which radiate four white lines.
Nordiccouncil.jpg 1984 – Flag of the Nordic Council White stylised swan, with eight feathers, on a blue disk upon a white background.
Romani flag 1971 – Flag of the Romani people Blue and green background (heavens and earth, respectively), with red chakra in the centre, representing Romani nomadic tradition.
Sami flag 1986 – Flag of the Sami people
Flag of the Western European Union.svg 1993 – 2011 Flag of the Western European Union Similar to the European: A semicircle of 10 5-pointed gold stars on a blue field with white initials WEU and UEO in the centre.

Flags of European countries[edit]

Flag Date Use Description
Flag of Albania.svg 1912 – Flag of Albania The flag of Albania, adopted in April 1912, is a red flag with a black two-headed eagle in the centre. It is derived from the seal of Gjergj Kastriot Skanderbeg, a 15th-century Albanian who led the revolt against the Ottoman Empire that resulted in brief independence for Albania from 1443 to 1478.
Flag of Andorra.svg 1866 – Flag of Andorra The flag of Andorra, adopted in 1866, is a tricolour of blue, yellow, and red with the coat of arms of Andorra in the centre. It is based on the flags of France and Spain. The coat of arms of Andorra is based on the Catalan flag (4-red-coloured ribbons with yellow background).
Flag of Armenia.svg 1918 – Flag of Armenia[a] After gaining independence, the First Republic of Armenia adopted the modern Armenian tricolor. The independent Armenian government selected the colours used during the last period of Rubenid Dynasty, red, blue and yellow. The Red emblematizes the Armenian Highland, the Armenian people's continued struggle for survival, maintenance of the Christian faith, Armenia's independence and freedom. The Blue emblematizes the will of the people of Armenia to live beneath peaceful skies. The Orange emblematizes the creative talent and hard-working nature of the people of Armenia.
Flag of Austria.svg 1918 – 1938
1945 –
Flag of Austria Originally adopted in 1918, was officially adopted (again) in 1945, after being banned during World War II.

Stripes of red and white have been a collective emblem of Austria for over 800 years, and their first usage on the flag occurred in 1191. According to long established legend, the red and white flag was designed to resemble the bloodstained white coat worn by the Duke of Austria during a fierce battle.

Flag of Azerbaijan.svg 1918 – Flag of Azerbaijan[a] Originally adopted in 1918 as a flag of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan, was officially adopted again in 1991, after Azerbaijan gained its independence.

The flag of Azerbaijan is the national ensign of Azerbaijan. It consists of three equal horizontal bands colored blue, red, and green, with a white crescent and an eight-pointed star are centered in the red band. The blue band refers to Turkic heritage, the red is for progress and Europeanisation and the green refers to Islam.

Flag of Belarus.svg 1995 – Flag of Belarus Belarus' flag was officially adopted on May 16, 1995. The dominant red and green were colours used on its flag when it was a republic of the former Soviet Union. The woven fabric ornament on the left uses traditional Belarusian red and white colours.
Flag of Belgium.svg 1831 – Flag of Belgium The flag was officially adopted on January 23, 1831.

Black, gold and red are symbolic of the country's coat of arms. The three striped vertical layout was inspired by the French Tricolour. Black and gold were chosen, being the colours of the Duchy of Brabant where the Belgian Revolution started. Red was added as a symbol of the blood spilled during the uprising.

Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg 1998 – Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina The flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina consists of a wide medium blue vertical band on the fly side with a yellow isosceles triangle abutting the band and the top of the flag. The remainder of the flag is medium blue with seven five-pointed white stars and two half stars top and bottom along the hypotenuse of the triangle. The three points of the triangle stand for the three nations of Bosnia: Bosniaks, Croats, and Serbs. It is said to represent the map of Bosnia.
Flag of Bulgaria.svg 1878 –  1946
1991 –
Flag of Bulgaria The flag of Bulgaria was adopted in 1989 and consists of three horizontal bands of white, green and red.
Flag of Croatia.svg 1990 – Flag of Croatia The flag of Croatia, adopted in December 1990, consists of three equal horizontal stripes of red, white and blue, which has been the Croatian flag since 1848. In the middle is the Coat of arms of Croatia.
Flag of Cyprus.svg 1960 – Flag of Cyprus[b] The flag was officially adopted on August 16, 1960.

The island is depicted in a copper shade representative of its name; the name Cyprus has roots in the Sumerian word for copper (zubar) from the large deposits of copper found on the island. The crossed green olive branches symbolise the hope for peace between the Turks and the Greeks. It was designed by İsmet Güney, a Turkish Cypriot painter.

Flag of the Czech Republic.svg 1920 – 1939
1945 –
Flag of the Czech Republic The first flag of Czechoslovakia was white over red, and those colours are the heraldic colours of Bohemia. The blue triangle was added to the flag in an effort to distinguish it from the Polish flag, and blue is said to represent the State of Moravia.
Flag of Denmark.svg 1219 – Flag of Denmark It is the world's oldest state flag still in use. Legend has it that it appeared as a sign from heaven to King Valdemar II in 1219.

Known as the Dannebrog ("Danish Cloth"), this blood-red flag with an off-centred white cross (a "Scandinavian Cross") became a model for other regional flags.

Flag of Estonia.svg 1918 – 1940
1990 –
Flag of Estonia It was officially re-adopted on May 8, 1990.

Blue represents loyalty, and the country's beautiful blue skies, seas and lakes; black is symbolic of past oppression and the fertile soil; and white represents virtue, winter snows, and Estonia's long struggle for freedom and independence.

Flag of Finland.svg 1918 – Flag of Finland It was officially adopted on May 29, 1918.

The off-centred blue cross is based on the Scandinavian Cross, widely used on Scandinavian national flags. The blue colour is symbolic of blue skies, and the thousands of lakes in Finland. The white represents the winter snows.

Flag of France.svg 1794 – 1814
1830 –
Flag of France It was officially adopted on February 15, 1794.

The tricolore consists of three vertical bands of equal width, displaying the country's national colours: blue, white, and red. The blue band is positioned nearest the flag-staff, the white in the middle, and the red on the outside. Red, white and blue have come to represent liberty, equality and fraternity - the ideals of the French Revolution. Blue and red are also the time-honoured colours of Paris, while white is the colour of the Royal House of Bourbon.

Flag of Georgia.svg 2004 – Flag of Georgia[a] This recently adopted flag is a simple white rectangle, with a central red cross connecting all four sides of the flag; in each of the four corners is a small red cross. The flag is based on a historic five-cross design that dates back to the 14th century.
Flag of Germany.svg 1919 – 1933
1949 –
Flag of Germany It was officially re-adopted on May 23, 1949 and subsequently used by West Germany while the country was divided into East and West before reunification in 1990.

The tricolour flag was designed in 1832, and the black, red, and gold colours were taken from the uniforms of German soldiers during the Napoleonic Wars (Out of the blackness (black) of servitude through bloody (red) battles to the golden (gold) light of freedom.[5]) or taken from the coat of arms of Holy Roman Empire.

Flag of Greece.svg 1978 – Flag of Greece The flag of Greece was officially adopted in 1822.

Features a white cross, and a combination of nine blue and white horizontal stripes. The shade of blue has varied over the years, and darker blue (shown) is now commonly used. The cross is symbolic of the vision of Constantine i.e. a white cross in a blue sky. The alternating white and blue stripes represent the nine syllables of the phrase "Ελευθερία ή Θάνατος" ("Freedom or Death"), a popular motto of the struggle for independence of the Greek people.

Flag of Hungary.svg 1957 – Flag of Hungary The flag of Hungary was officially adopted in 1848.

The overall design is modelled after the French Tricolour. Red is said to symbolise strength, green hope, and white faithfulness.

Flag of Iceland.svg 1915 – Flag of Iceland The flag of Iceland was adopted in June 1915 to represent Iceland. In June 1944 it was instated as the flag of the independent republic of Iceland. Like other Scandinavian flags, it is based on the Scandinavian Cross. It is a reverse colour image of the Flag of Norway. The blue represents the sea, the white represents the snow and glaciers and the red symbolises volcanic lava.
Flag of Ireland.svg 1922 – Flag of Ireland Although dating from the 19th century, the tricolour flag of Ireland was not popularised until its use by rebels during the 1916 Easter Rising. It was officially adopted by the revolutionary First Dáil (assembly) of the Irish Republic on January 21, 1919 and used thereafter by the Irish Free State. The current 1937 Constitution of Ireland defines it as the national flag.

Modeled after the French tricolour, the colours of the Irish tricolour symbolises two communities. Green represents the Irish nationalist tradition. Orange represents the Irish unionist community. White symbolises peace between both.

Flag of Italy.svg 1948 – Flag of Italy Derived from an original design by Napoleon, it consists of three vertical bands of equal width, displaying the national colours of Italy: green, white, and red. Green was said to be Napoleon's favourite colour.
Flag of Kazakhstan.svg 1992 – Flag of Kazakhstan
Flag of Liechtenstein.svg 1937 – Flag of Liechtenstein The flag of Liechtenstein consists of two horizontal bands of blue and red with a gold crown in the canton.
Flag of Latvia.svg 1918 –  1940
1990 –
Flag of Latvia The flag of Latvia was officially re-adopted on February 27, 1990.

The design is adopted from a 13th-century chronicle where "red divided by white" is said to be a Latvian flag. To differ from Austrian flag, the proportion 2:1:2 and "Latvian red" color has been adopted.

Flag of Lithuania.svg 1918 – 1940
1989 –
Flag of Lithuania The flag of Lithuania was officially re-adopted on March 20, 1989, before Lithuania gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1990.

Yellow is symbolic of the country's wheat fields, green symbolic of the forests, and red symbolises patriotism. Collectively the colours represent hope for the future, freedom from oppression, and the courage of the Lithuanian people.

Flag of Luxembourg.svg 1845 – Flag of Luxembourg The flag of Luxembourg was officially adopted in 1972, although used since 1848 following Luxembourg's independence from the Netherlands in the late 19th century.

The flag uses a combination of red, white, and blue that date to the 13th century, and the Grand Duke's coat of arms.

Flag of Macedonia.svg 1995 – Flag of Macedonia The flag of the Republic of Macedonia depicts a rising yellow sun with eight rays extending to the edges of the red field. It represents "the new sun of liberty", evoked in the Macedonian national anthem Denes nad Makedonija (Today Over Macedonia).
Flag of Malta.svg 1964 – Flag of Malta The flag of Malta was officially adopted on September 21, 1964.

The flag uses the traditional red and white colours which pre-date those of the Knights of Malta and which Government emulate the arms of the former Universitas of Mdina. The George Cross (upper left), outlined in red, was added to the flag in the 1940s, as King George VI of the United Kingdom presented it to islanders for outstanding gallantry during World War II.

Flag of Moldova.svg 1990 – Flag of Moldova Moldova's flag was officially adopted on May 12, 1990. Once part of Romania, Moldova's flag reflects that association, as the two countries use almost identical shades of red, yellow and blue in their national flags. The centred Moldova shield's main feature is a golden eagle holding an Orthodox Christian Cross in its beak. The olive branch is said to symbolise peace.
Flag of Monaco.svg 1881 – Flag of Monaco The flag of Monaco has two horizontal bands of red and white - these have been the heraldic colours of the House of Grimaldi since at least 1339.
Flag of Montenegro.svg 2004 – Flag of Montenegro The flag of Montenegro, adopted in July 2004, is a red banner bearing the coat of arms adopted in 1993. The coat of arms derives from those of King Nikola.
Flag of the Netherlands.svg 1937 – Flag of the Netherlands The flag of the Netherlands was officially adopted on February 19, 1937.

At one time this tricolour flag was orange, white, and blue, as those were the livery colours of William of Orange, a Dutch prince. In the 17th century, red replaced the orange as a flag colour, because the orange dye used on the flag was unstable, and turned red after exposure to the sun.

Flag of Norway.svg 1821 – 1844
1898 –
Flag of Norway The flag of Norway is red with a blue Scandinavian cross outlined in white; the vertical part of the cross is shifted to the hoist side in the style of the Dannebrog, the flag of Denmark. It was adopted in 1821, but a union mark was added in the canton from 1844 to 1898.
Flag of Poland.svg 1919 – Flag of Poland The flag of Poland was officially adopted on August 1, 1919.

The colours red and white have long been associated with Poland and its coat of arms,[6] at least since 3 May 1791.

Flag of Portugal.svg 1911 – Flag of Portugal The flag of Portugal was officially adopted on June 30, 1911.

The design is that of a rectangular bi-colour (2:3 ratio) with a field vertically divided into two stripes of different width—a green stripe on the hoist, and a larger red stripe on the fly. The minor version of the national coat of arms (armillary sphere and Portuguese shield) is entered over the boundary between the colours at equal distance from the upper and lower edges. The field colours, especially the green, originally represented a radical republican-inspired change that broke the bond with the former religious monarchical flag. In the ensuing decades, these colours were popularly propagandised as representing the hope of the nation (green) and the blood (red) of those who died defending it, as a means to endow them with a more patriotic and dignified, therefore less political, sentiment.

Flag of Romania.svg 1848, 1867 – 1948
1989 –
Flag of Romania The flag of Romania was officially re-adopted in 1989. The first red-yellow-blue flag dates from 1834 but the colours themselves are thought to have had special significance from earlier times. The current layout dates since 1848

A vertical tricolour of bands of blue, yellow, and red of equal width and overall proportions of 2:3 (height-width). It could be inspired by the French flag.

Flag of Russia.svg 1883 – 1918
1993 –
Flag of Russia The Russian Federation flag was officially adopted on August 22, 1991. The flag was hoisted shortly after the former Soviet Union collapsed. The white, red and blue are Pan-Slavic colours.
Flag of San Marino.svg 1862 – Flag of San Marino The flag of San Marino comprises equal horizontal bands of white and light blue with the national coat of arms superimposed in the centre.
Flag of Serbia.svg 2004 – Flag of Serbia The flag of Serbia consists of three horizontal bands of red, blue and white, with the coat-of-arms located left of centre. By accident or design the colours are that of the Russian flag reversed. Flag with three horizontal bands of red, blue and white has been used as the national flag of Serbia and Serbs since 1835. Red, blue, and white are considered Pan-Slavic colours, but red and blue also occur on flags attributed to a 13th-century king of Serbia. The entered coat of arms of Serbia is double-headed white eagle and a red shield with a white cross surrounded by 4 firesteels ("ocila"), a symbol that draws roots from Byzantine coat of arms (where cross is surrounded by four Greek letters Beta) and from much deeper past of the Balkan peninsula, as it can be seen on 7000 years old Vinca culture [7] pottery and many other later traditional Balkan cultural remains.[8]
Flag of Slovakia.svg 1992 – Flag of Slovakia The flag of Slovakia was officially adopted on September 1, 1992.

Red, white, and blue are traditional Pan-Slavic colours. The entered Slovakian arms features a dominant white cross atop a blue symbolic reference to the country's mountains.

Flag of Slovenia.svg 1991 – Flag of Slovenia The flag of Slovenia was officially adopted on June 24, 1991.

Red, white, and blue are taken from the Carniolan coat of arms. The flag without the coat of arms was in use from 1848 to 1945. The Slovenian coat of arms features three gold stars, symbolizing the Counts of Celje. The mountains shown in white are representative of the Alps, and Mount Triglav, Slovenia's national symbol, in particular; the wavy blue lines across the bottom indicate Slovenia's access to the sea.

Flag of Spain.svg 1981 – Flag of Spain The flag of Spain was officially adopted on July 19, 1927, though use of similar designs dates to the late 18th century.

The red and golden-yellow colours were first used in the late 18th century by the King of Spain as he tried to easily differentiate his ships from those of other countries. They're also the original colours found within the arms of both the Castile, Aragon and Navarre regions of the country, the regions first united by King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile.

Flag of Sweden.svg 1569 – Flag of Sweden The flag of Sweden was officially adopted on June 22, 1906.

The off-centred yellow cross (The Scandinavian Cross) is taken from the Danish flag. The yellow and blue colours are taken from the national coat of arms.

Flag of Switzerland.svg 1889 – Flag of Switzerland The flag of Switzerland consists of a red square with a bold, equilateral white cross in the centre. It is one of only two square flags, the other being that of the Vatican City. It is based on the flag of the Canton of Schwyz, which dates back to 1474 at least.
Flag of Turkey.svg 1844 – Flag of Turkey The flag of Turkey is a red flag with a white crescent moon and a star in its centre. The flag is called Ay Yıldız (literally, moon star.) or Albayrak (Red flag) which were adopted in 1844 with the Tanzimat reforms; though the shape, placement and shade of the colour vary. The geometric proportions of the flag were legally standardised with the Turkish Flag Law in 1936.
Flag of Ukraine.svg 1918 – 1920
1992 –
Flag of Ukraine Ukraine's flag was adopted on September 4, 1991, shortly after the collapse of the former Soviet Union. This is the country's original flag used by the short-lived Ukrainian People's Republic, but it was banned for many decades under Soviet occupation. The shade of blue is said to be symbolic of the sky, while the yellow represents Ukraine's golden wheat fields.
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg 1801 – Flag of the United Kingdom The current flag of the United Kingdom dates from the Act of Union 1800, which merged the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

The 'Union Jack' merges the red cross of Saint George (patron saint of England), edged in white, superimposed on the diagonal red cross of Saint Patrick (patron saint of Ireland), which are superimposed on the saltire of Saint Andrew (patron saint of Scotland). The flag of Wales, the other country of the United Kingdom, is not graphically represented.

Flag of the Vatican City.svg 1929 – Flag of the Vatican City The flag of Vatican City, adopted in June 1929, consists of two vertical bands of yellow and white with the crossed keys of Saint Peter and the Papal Tiara centred in the white band. It is one of only two square country flags in the world, the other being that of Switzerland.

Flags of other European sovereign entities[edit]

Flag Date Use Description
Flag of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.svg 1130 – Sovereign Military Order of Malta The flag of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta is a red rectangular flag quartered by a white cross.

Disputed, partially recognised and unrecognised states[edit]

Flag Date Use Description
Flag of Abkhazia.svg 1992 – Flag of Abkhazia[a] The flag of Abkhazia consists of seven green and white stripes with a red upper left canton bearing a white open right hand and seven white stars.
Flag of Kosovo.svg 2008 – Flag of Kosovo Adopted by Kosovo on 17 February 2008 as it unilaterally proclaimed independence from Serbia.
Flag of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.svg 1984 – Flag of Northern Cyprus[b] Adopted by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (recognized only by Turkey and the Autonomous Republic of Nakhichevan) on 7 March 1984 following the Turkish invasion and the occupation of the northern part of the island in 1974.
Flag of Nagorno-Karabakh.svg 1992 – Flag of Nagorno-Karabakh[a] The flag of the Nagorno-Karabakh is based on the Flag of Armenia, and has a white pattern added.
Flag of Novorussia.svg 2014 – Flag of Novorossiya The flag of the Federal State of Novorossiya is based on the tricolor flag called "heraldry" of the Russian Empire (mainly used by Russian nationalist movements in the Russian Federation)
Flag of South Ossetia.svg 1990 – Flag of South Ossetia[a] The flag of the South Ossetia is a tricolour, the top stripe white, the middle stripe red and the bottom stripe yellow.
Flag of Transnistria (state).svg 2000 – Flag of Transnistria The flag of Transnistria consists of three stripes (red-green-red) and the Soviet hammer and sickle, this flag was also used for the Moldavian SSR.

Flags of European dependencies[edit]

Flag Date Use Part of Description
Flag of Alderney.svg 1993 – Flag of Alderney British Crown The flag of Alderney is a St. George's Cross defaced with the Coat of arms of Alderney.
Flag of Åland.svg 1954 – Flag of Åland Finland The flag was officially adopted 3 April 1954. As of 1992, it serves as the civil and state flag and ensign.

This traditional Scandinavian Cross flag features blue, yellow, and red, all said to be borrowed from the national colours of Sweden and Finland.

Flag of the United Kingdom.svg 1960 – Flag of Akrotiri and Dhekelia[b] United Kingdom The flag of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, a British Overseas Territory comprising two Sovereign Base Areas is the Union flag.
Flag of the Faroe Islands.svg 1940 – Flag of Faroe Islands Denmark The flag of the Faroe Islands, called Merkið, was first used in 1919, was mandated by the British as the civil and state ensign in 1940, and became the official civil and state flag and ensign on 23 March 1948.

The flag uses Norwegian colours, commemorating the Faroes once being part of Norway.

Flag of Gibraltar.svg 1502 – Flag of Gibraltar British overseas territory The Gibraltar flag dates from 1502, as it is based on the original arms granted it by Spain. The red and white field is taken from the arms, and it is dominated by a red three-towered fortress, complete with a gold key.
Flag of Guernsey.svg 1985 – Flag of Guernsey British Crown The flag of Guernsey, adopted in 1985, consists of the red cross of St. George with an additional gold cross within it. The change was prompted by confusion over Guernsey and England using the same flag. The gold cross represents Duke William of Normandy, who had such a cross on his flag in the Battle of Hastings, given to him by Pope Alexander II.
Flag of Herm.svg 1953 – Flag of Herm British Crown The flag of Herm is a St George's Cross with the coat of arms of Herm in canton.
Flag of the Isle of Mann.svg c13 – Flag of the Isle of Man British Crown The flag of the Isle of Man features a red field with a centred triskelion of three bent legs joined at a central point.
Flag of Jersey.svg 1980 – Flag of Jersey British Crown The flag of Jersey, adopted in June 1979, is white with a diagonal red cross, surmounted by a yellow Plantagenet crown, the badge of Jersey (a red shield holding the three leopards of Normandy in yellow). Prior to this, the flag was a plain red saltire on a white field.
Flag of Sark.svg 1938 – Flag of Sark British Crown The flag of Sark features a St. George's Cross with the arms of the Duchy of Normandy in canton.

Flags of European sub-divisions[edit]

Austria[edit]

Flag Date Use Description
Flag of Carinthia.svg 1946 – Flag of Carinthia A horizontal tricolor of yellow, red and white.
Flag of Salzburg.svg 1921 – Flag of Salzburg A bicolor of red over white.
Flag of Tirol.svg 1945 – Flag of Tyrol The flag of Tyrol is a white over red bicolor.

Belgium[edit]

Main article: List of Belgian flags
Flag Date Use Description
Flag of Flanders.svg 1973 – Flag of Flanders Flanders is a Dutch-speaking ethnic region in the northern half of Belgium.
Flag of Wallonia.svg 1991 – Flag of Wallonia Wallonia is a mostly French-speaking ethnic region comprising the southern half of Belgium.

France[edit]

Flag Date Use Description
Flag of Alsace.svg 1990s – Flag of Alsace
Flag of Brittany.svg 1923 – Flag of Brittany The flag, called Gwen ha du (White and black) was created in 1923 by Morvan Marchal (1900–1963, a member of various political and cultural organizations). He used as his inspiration the old Breton flag (a centred black cross on a white background), called Kroaz du (Black cross), and the flags of the United States and Greece as these two countries were seen at that time as the respective symbols of liberty and democracy. The nine horizontal stripes represent the traditional dioceses of Brittany into which the duchy was divided historically. The five black stripes represent the French or Gallo speaking dioceses of Dol, Nantes, Rennes, Saint-Malo and Saint-Brieuc—while the four white stripes represent the Breton speaking dioceses of Trégor, Léon, Cornouaille and Vannes. The ermine canton recalls the ducal arms of Brittany.
Flag of Corsica.svg 1755 – Flag of Corsica The Flag of Corsica was adopted by General of the Nation Pasquale di Paoli in 1755 and was based on a traditional flag used previously. It portrays a Moor's Head in black wearing a white bandana above his eyes on a white background. Previously, the bandana covered his eyes.
Flag of Lorraine.svg Flag of Lorraine

Germany[edit]

Flag Date Use Description
Flag of Baden-Württemberg (state, greater arms).svg 1954 – Flag of Baden-Württemberg A black over gold bi-color with the state arms in the centre.
Flag of Bavaria (lozengy).svg 1953 – Flag of Bavaria An array of 21 or more lozenges of blue and white. It is one of two official flags of Bavaria, the other being a white over blue bicolor.
Flag of Brandenburg.svg 1991 – Flag of Brandenburg A horizontal bi-color of red over white, with the arms of the state (land), in the center.
Flag of Hamburg.svg 1751 – Flag of Hamburg A white castle with three towers and a closed gate.
Flag of Hesse (state).svg 1948 – Flag of Hesse The state flag of Hesse consists of a bicolor of a red top and a bottom white stripe with the coat of arms in the centre.
Flag of Lower Saxony.svg 1951 – Flag of Lower Saxony The flag of Lower Saxony consists of the flag of the Federal Republic of Germany in Schwarz-Rot-Gold, with the coat of arms of Lower Saxony, shifted slightly toward the hoist.
Flag of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (state).svg 1990 – Flag of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
Flag of North Rhine-Westphalia (state).svg 1953 – Flag of North Rhine-Westphalia A horizontal tricolour of green, white, and red defaced with the state coat of arms.
Flag of Rhineland-Palatinate.svg 1945 – Flag of Rhineland-Palatinate The flag of Rhineland-Palatinate is a tricolor of three horizontal bands of black, red and gold. These colors are Germany's national colors and are sometimes referred to as schwarz-rot-gold. In the canton, or the upper left corner, are the arms of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate.
Flag of Saarland.svg 1957 – Flag of Saarland The flag of Saarland is based on the flag of Germany and is a black, red, and gold (yellow) horizontal tricolor. In the center of the flag is the coat of arms of Saarland.
Flag of Saxony (state).svg 1991 – Flag of Saxony A bicolour of white over green defaced with the state coat of arms in the centre.
Flag of Saxony-Anhalt (state).svg 1991 – Flag of Saxony-Anhalt The state flag of Saxony-Anhalt is a yellow and black bi-color with the state's coat of arms in the centre.
Flag of Schleswig-Holstein (state).svg 1948 – Flag of Schleswig-Holstein The state flag of Schleswig-Holstein is a horizontal tricolour of blue, white, and red defaced with the state's coat of arms in the centre.

Greece[edit]

Main article: List of Greek flags
Flag Date Use Description
Flag of the Greek Orthodox Church.svg 1900s – Flag of Mount Athos The flag of Mount Athos, adopted in 1900s, is a yellow banner bearing the double-headed eagle of the Byzantine Empire.

Ireland[edit]

Main article: List of Irish flags
Flag Date Use Description
Flag of Connacht.svg Flag of Connacht The flag of Connacht is a heraldic banner of the arms of Connacht, a dimidiated (divided in half from top to bottom) eagle and armed hand.
Flag of Leinster.svg Flag of Leinster The flag of the Irish province of Leinster is a banner with the provincial coat of arms: a gold Irish harp with silver strings on a green field (blazon: vert a harp or stringed argent). These arms are similar to the arms of Ireland, which have the same device on a field of blue rather than green
Flag of Munster.svg Flag of Munster The flag of Munster consists of three gold crowns on a blue field. The crowns were the arms of Ireland before being superseded by the golden harp in the 16th century. The meaning of the crowns on the flag is not certain, but one possibility is that they may represent three of the medieval Hiberno-Norman lordships in Munster; the O’Briens (Thomond), the Butlers (Ormond) and the Fitzgeralds (Desmond).
Flag of Ulster.svg Flag of Ulster Ulster is one of the four traditional provinces of Ireland. Only three of the nine counties of Ulster are part of the Republic of Ireland, the other six making up Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom. However, the flag is still used to represent Ulster as a whole. The Red Hand of Ulster is a symbol that is either derived from the O'Neill dynasty, then the most prominent Irish clan in Ulster, or the Dextra Dei of early Christian iconography. The gold background featuring a red cross comes from the coat of arms of the Burkes, a Hiberno-Norman noble family.

Italy[edit]

Main article: List of Italian flags
Flag Date Use Description
Flag of Abruzzo.svg 1999 – Flag of Abruzzo
Flag of Valle d'Aosta.svg 1947 – Flag of the Aosta Valley The flag of the Aosta Valley consists of two vertical stripes (the left black the right red), sometimes with the arms of the Aosta Valley in the centre.
Flag of Apulia.svg 2001 – Flag of Apulia
Flag of Basilicata.svg 1973 – Flag of Basilicata
Flag of Calabria.svg 1992 – Flag of Calabria
Flag of Campania.svg 1971 – Flag of Campania The Campania Region has taken as its emblem the one you gave the Maritime Republic of Amalfi in its infancy. Said emblem consists of a red stripe on a white field

Regional Law n. 1 of July 21, 1971

Flag of Emilia-Romagna.svg 1992 – Flag of Emilia Romagna
2001 – Flag of Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Flag of Lazio.svg 1992 – Flag of Lazio
Flag of Lombardy.svg 1992 – Flag of Lombardy
Flag of Liguria.svg 1997 – Flag of Liguria
Flag of Marche.svg 1995 – Flag of Marche
Flag of Molise.svg 1995 – Flag of Molise
Flag of Piedmont.svg 1995 – Flag of Piedmont
Flag of Sardinia.svg 1999 – Flag of Sardinia
Flag of Sicily (revised).svg 1990 – Flag of Sicily The current flag was adopted July 28, 1990 under regional law N. 2, Art. 12. The law was later updated in 1998. It was not until January 1, 2000, under regional law N. 1, that the flag was adopted as the official symbol of Sicily, including legislation mandating public display of the flag at all Sicilian public buildings. The flag, officially used by the ancient Kingdom of Sicily, has existed in various forms since 1282.

The flag is rectangular in form and is characterised by the presence of the Trinacria (triskelion) in the centre. It features a softened image of the winged-head of Medusa and three ears of wheat (replacing snakeheads) representing the island's fertility. The three bent legs represent the island's three capes or points, while in mythology it is said to represent good luck and prosperity. The background of the flag is divided by a diagonal from left to right, and is coloured gold (lower left) and red-orange (upper right). The colours represent the cities of Palermo and Corleone, respectively, the first two to found a confederation against the Angevin rule.

Flag of Trentino-South Tyrol.svg 1983 – Flag of Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol
Flag of Tuscany.svg 1995 – Flag of Tuscany
Flag of Umbria.svg 2003 – Flag of Umbria
Flag of Veneto.svg 1999 – Flag of Veneto

Malta[edit]

Flag Date Use Description
Flag of Gozo.svg 1964 – Flag of Gozo Symbolises the islands nickname 'The Island of the Three Hills', and also the fact that it is surrounded by sea.

Netherlands[edit]

Flag Date Use Description
Flevolandflag.svg 1986 – Flag of Flevoland The flag of Flevoland recalls how the new province was reclaimed from the IJsselmeer. The central yellow stripe, wavy then straight, symbolises the transformation of the sea into land. Its colour symbolises rapeseed, planted to stabilise the land. The blue represents water, the green the land.

The white fleur-de-lys (lily) is a pun. It commemorates Cornelis Lely, designer of the original polders, essential to the province.

Frisian flag.svg 1897 – Flag of Friesland The flag of Friesland consists of four blue and three white diagonal stripes; in the white stripes are a total of seven red pompeblêden, leaves of yellow water-lily.
North Brabant-Flag.svg 1959 – Flag of North Brabant
Flag of Zeeland.svg 1949 – Flag of Zeeland In the centre of the flag, the coat of arms of Zeeland is depicted. The wavy blue lines represent the waves and the constant struggle against the sea.

Portugal[edit]

Flag Date Use Description
Flag of the Azores.svg 1979 – Flag of Azores The flag of Azores has the colours of the flag of Portugal until 1910. It also has 9 stars representing the islands of the archipelago, the Portuguese shield and a Goshawk (in Portuguese Açor) that gives the name to the archipelago. It shows striking similarities with the flag of the now deceased Azores Liberation Front.
Flag of Madeira.svg 1978 – Flag of Madeira The design consists of a blue-gold-blue vertical triband with a red-bordered white Cross of Christ in the centre. The flag presents striking similarities with the flag of the now deceased Madeira Archipelago Liberation Front.

Russia[edit]

Flag Date Use Description
Flag of Chuvashia.svg 1992 – Flag of Chuvashia The flag of Chuvashia consists of a stylized tree of life, a symbol of rebirth, with the three suns, a traditional emblem popular in Chuvash art.
Flag of Crimea.svg 2014 – Flag of Crimea Controlled by Russia but recognized as part of Ukraine by most of the international community. Flag adopted by the Autonomous Republic of Crimea in 1992.
Flag of Kalmykia.svg 1993 – Flag of Kalmykia On the Flag of Kalmykia, the yellow stands for the sun, the people and the religious faith of the nation. The blue represents the sky, eternity, and steadiness. The lotus is a symbol of purity, spiritual rebirth and happiness. Its five upper petals represent the continents and the lower four stand for the quarters of the globe. Together, they symbolize the will of the Kalmyk Russians to live in friendship and to cooperate with all the nations of the world.
Flag of Karelia.svg 1993 – Flag of Karelia The national flag of the Republic of Karelia is a rectangle with equal horizontal stripes: the upper stripe is red, the middle one is blue and the lower is green.
Flag of Komi.svg 1997 – Flag of the Komi Republic The flag is a horizontal tricolour composed of three bars of, from top to bottom, medium blue, green, and white. Together, they represent Komi's natural wealth. The blue represents the splendour and spaciousness of the northern sky. The green represents nature, its bounty, and the taiga. The white represents the color of snow, the purity of nature in the north, simplicity, and austerity, as well as Komi being a country in the north. According to a different interpretation, the white represents the equality and unity of the people and cultures living in Komi.
Flag of Mari El.svg 2011 – Flag of Mari El
Flag of Mordovia.svg 1995 – Flag of Mordovia
Flag of Tatarstan.svg 1991 – Flag of Tatarstan
Flag of Udmurtia.svg 1983 – Flag of Udmurtia The cross/star symbol represents the solar sign, a protective symbol that according to folklore protects man from misfortunes.

Spain[edit]

Flag Date Use Description
Bandera de Andalucia.svg 1918 – Flag of Andalusia The flag of Andalusia consists of a horizontal tricolour (green-white-green) with the Andalusian arms in the centre.
Flag of Aragon.svg 1982 – Flag of Aragon
Flag of Asturias.svg 1982 – Flag of Asturias The flag of Asturias is light blue with the Victory Cross slightly left of the centre.
Flag of the Balearic Islands.svg 1983 – Flag of the Balearic Islands
Flag of the Basque Country.svg 1978 – Flag of the Basque Country
Flag of Cantabria.svg 1984 – Flag of Cantabria
Flag of the Canary Islands.svg 1982 – Flag of the Canary Islands The flag of the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands is a vertical tricolour of three equal bands of white, blue, and yellow. The state flag includes the Coat of arms of the Canary Islands in the central band; the civil flag omits this. The designs were made official by the Statute of Autonomy of the Canarian Autonomous Community (Organic Law 10/82) on 16 August 1982.
Bandera Castilla-La Mancha.svg 1982 – Flag of Castile-La Mancha
Flag of Castilla y León.svg 1983 – Flag of Castile and León Coats of arms of the Kingdom of León (purple lion on silver) and the Kingdom of Castile (golden castle on red).
Flag of Catalonia.svg December 18, 1979 – Flag of Catalonia The flag of Catalonia consists four red bars on top of a yellow background. One popular (and unproven) legend mentions this flag originating with the streaking of 4 blood-stained fingers across a plain shield. This was also the shield of the Crown of Aragon.
Flag of Extremadura (with coat of arms).svg 1983 – Flag of Extremadura
Flag of Galicia.svg 19th century (official from 1984) – Flag of Galicia The flag of Galicia appeared for the first time in the 19th century, probably based on the colours of the ancient medieval flags of the Kingdom of Galicia. Originally, the flag was a blue St Andrew's Cross over a white field – St Andrew is one of the most popular saints in Galicia. The coat of arms of Galicia was the former flag of the Kingdom of Galicia. Colors blue, white and gold were always related with Galicia. The chalice and the golden crosses on blue background have been its symbol since medieval times (13th century). For some time it was thought that it was based on the flag of the maritime province of Corunna, but today it is known that the design is earlier.
Flag of La Rioja (with coat of arms).svg 1982 – Flag of La Rioja
Flag of the Community of Madrid.svg 1983 – Flag of Madrid The seven stars represent the stars of the constellation Ursa Minor. They're five-pointed because they represent the five Spanish provinces which surround the Community of Madrid.
Flag of the Region of Murcia.svg 1982 – Flag of the Region of Murcia
Flag of Navarre.svg 1982 – Flag of Navarre
Flag of the Valencian Community (2x3).svg 1982– Flag of the Valencian Community

Sweden[edit]

Flag Date Use Description
Flag of Skåne.svg 1902 (?) – Flag of Scania

Switzerland[edit]

Flag Date Use Description
Flag of Canton of Geneva.svg 15th century – Flag of Geneva The flag of Geneva is the historical flag of the city of Geneva, showing the Imperial Eagle and a Key of St. Peter (symbolizing the status of Geneva as Reichsstadt and as episcopal seat, respectively), in use since the 15th century.
Flag of Canton of Sankt Gallen.svg Flag of St. Gallen A white upright fasces with the axe blade facing the hoist on green field.
Flag of Canton of Uri.svg 13th century – Flag of Uri A bull's head seen face on, with a red tongue and a red nose ring, on a yellow field.
Flag of Canton of Zürich.svg 1220 (?) – Flag of Zürich

Ukraine[edit]

Flag Date Use Description
Flag of Crimea.svg 1999 – Flag of Crimea Controlled by Russia but recognized as part of Ukraine by most of the international community.

United Kingdom[edit]

Main article: List of British flags
Flag Date Use Description
Flag of England.svg 16C – Flag of England England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. The St George's Cross is the official national flag.
Flag of Scotland.svg 14C – Flag of Scotland Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. The 'Saltire' is the official national flag.
Flag of Wales 2.svg 9C – Flag of Wales Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. The Red Dragon (Welsh: Y Ddraig Goch) is the official national flag. The Welsh dragon has ancient origins, but was first officially flown in the modern era in 1959.

Notes[edit]

See also[edit]

Lists of flags of European countries
Other pages about European flags

References[edit]

  1. ^ The European Parliament adopted the Council of Europe's flag in 1983.
  2. ^ Adopted by the European Communities in 1986, which became the European Union in 1992 continuing its usage.
  3. ^ Designed showed, with 12 stars, was used from 1986. Previously the number of stars depended on number of states and shade of blue was darker.
  4. ^ Flag of the NATO
  5. ^ (German) Scheidler, Karl Hermann (1865-08-05) Illustrierte Zeitung, Leipzig, 98
  6. ^ Flag of Poland
  7. ^ Vinča culture
  8. ^ Infos on romaniatricolor.deviantart.com

External links[edit]

Media related to Flags of Europe at Wikimedia Commons