The European Flag is an official symbol of two separate organisations—the Council of Europe (CoE) and the European Union (EU). It consists of a circle of twelve five-pointed yellow (or) stars on a blue (azure) field.
The flag was designed in 1955, and officially launched later that year by the Council of Europe as a symbol for the whole of Europe. The Council of Europe urged it to be adopted by other European organisations, and in 1985 the European Communities (EC) adopted it.
The EU inherited the flag's use when it was formed in 1993, being the successor organisation to the EC. It has been in wide official use by the EU since the 1990s, but it has never been given official status in any of the EU's treaties. Its adoption as an official symbol of the EU was planned as part of the proposed European Constitution, which failed to be ratified in 2005. Alternatively, it is sometimes called the Flag of the European Union when representing the EU.
Since its adoption by the European Union, it has become broadly associated with the supranational organisation, due to its high profile and heavy usage of the emblem. It has also been used by pro-EU protestors in the colour revolutions of the 2000s, e.g., in Belarus (2004) or Moldova.[not in citation given].
According to graphical specifications published online by the Council of Europe in 2004, the flag is rectangular with 2:3 proportions: its fly (width) is one and a half times the length of its hoist (height). Twelve yellow stars are centred in a circle (the radius of which is a third of the length of the hoist) upon a blue background. All the stars are upright (one point straight up), have five points and are spaced equally according to the hour positions on the face of a clock. The diameter of each star is equal to one-ninth of the height of the hoist.
The colours are regulated in the 1996 guide by the EU, and equivalently in the 2004 guide by the Council of Europe. The base colour of the flag is defined as Pantone "Reflex Blue", while the golden stars are portrayed in Pantone "Yellow":