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]

FlagDateUseDescription
Flag of Benelux.svg1957/1958 –Flag of the BeneluxCombines features from the flags of the member countries: Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg
Flag of the Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine.svgUnknownFlag of the Central Commission for Navigation on the RhineLight 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.svg1990s –Flag of the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA)
Flag of the CIS.svg1991 –Flag of the Commonwealth of Independent StatesThe 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.svg1955 –Flag of the Council of EuropeA 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.svg1958[3] – 2002Flag of the European Coal and Steel CommunityTwo 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.svgFlag of La Francophonie
Flag of NATO.svg1953[4] –Flag of the North Atlantic Treaty OrganisationA navy blue field charged with a white compass rose emblem from which radiate four white lines.
Nordiccouncil.jpg1984 –Flag of the Nordic CouncilWhite stylised swan, with eight feathers, on a blue disk upon a white background.
Romani flag1971 –Flag of the Romani peopleBlue and green background (heavens and earth, respectively), with red chakra in the centre, representing Romani nomadic tradition.
Sami flag1986 –Flag of the Sami people
Flag of the Western European Union.svg1993 – 2011Flag of the Western European UnionSimilar 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]

FlagDateUseDescription
Flag of Albania.svg1912 –Flag of AlbaniaThe 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.svg1866 –Flag of AndorraThe 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.svg1918 –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.svg1918 – 1938
1945 –
Flag of AustriaOriginally 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.svg1918 –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.svg1995 –Flag of BelarusBelarus' 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.svg1831 –Flag of BelgiumThe 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.svg1998 –Flag of Bosnia and HerzegovinaThe 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.svg1878 –  1946
1991 –
Flag of BulgariaThe flag of Bulgaria was adopted in 1989 and consists of three horizontal bands of white, green and red.
Flag of Croatia.svg1990 –Flag of CroatiaThe 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.svg1960 –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.svg1920 – 1939
1945 –
Flag of the Czech RepublicThe 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.svg1219 –Flag of DenmarkIt 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.svg1918 – 1940
1990 –
Flag of EstoniaIt 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.svg1918 –Flag of FinlandIt 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.svg1794 – 1814
1830 –
Flag of FranceIt 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.svg2004 –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.svg1919 – 1933
1949 –
Flag of GermanyIt 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.svg1978 –Flag of GreeceThe 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.svg1957 –Flag of HungaryThe 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.svg1915 –Flag of IcelandThe 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.svg1922 –Flag of IrelandAlthough 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.svg1948 –Flag of ItalyDerived 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.svg1992 –Flag of Kazakhstan
Flag of Liechtenstein.svg1937 –Flag of LiechtensteinThe flag of Liechtenstein consists of two horizontal bands of blue and red with a gold crown in the canton.
Flag of Latvia.svg1918 –  1940
1990 –
Flag of LatviaThe 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.svg1918 – 1940
1989 –
Flag of LithuaniaThe 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.svg1845 –Flag of LuxembourgThe 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.svg1995 –Flag of MacedoniaThe 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.svg1964 –Flag of MaltaThe 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.svg1990 –Flag of MoldovaMoldova'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.svg1881 –Flag of MonacoThe 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.svg2004 –Flag of MontenegroThe 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.svg1937 –Flag of the NetherlandsThe 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.svg1821 – 1844
1898 –
Flag of NorwayThe 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.svg1919 –Flag of PolandThe 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.svg1911 –Flag of PortugalThe 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.svg1848, 1867 – 1948
1989 –
Flag of RomaniaThe 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.svg1883 – 1918
1993 –
Flag of RussiaThe 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.svg1862 –Flag of San MarinoThe 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.svg2004 –Flag of SerbiaThe 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.svg1992 –Flag of SlovakiaThe 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.svg1991 –Flag of SloveniaThe 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.svg1981 –Flag of SpainThe 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.svg1569 –Flag of SwedenThe 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.svg1889 –Flag of SwitzerlandThe 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.svg1844 –Flag of TurkeyThe 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.svg1918 – 1920
1992 –
Flag of UkraineUkraine'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.svg1801 –Flag of the United KingdomThe 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.svg1929 –Flag of the Vatican CityThe 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]

FlagDateUseDescription
Flag of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.svg1130 –Sovereign Military Order of MaltaThe 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]

FlagDateUseDescription
Flag of Abkhazia.svg1992 –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.svg2008 –Flag of KosovoAdopted by Kosovo on 17 February 2008 as it unilaterally proclaimed independence from Serbia.
Flag of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.svg1984 –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.svg1992 –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.svg2014 –Flag of NovorossiyaThe 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.svg1990 –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).svg2000 –Flag of TransnistriaThe 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]

FlagDateUsePart ofDescription
Flag of Alderney.svg1993 –Flag of AlderneyBritish CrownThe flag of Alderney is a St. George's Cross defaced with the Coat of arms of Alderney.
Flag of Åland.svg1954 –Flag of ÅlandFinlandThe 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.svg1960 –Flag of Akrotiri and Dhekelia[b]United KingdomThe flag of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, a British Overseas Territory comprising two Sovereign Base Areas is the Union flag.
Flag of the Faroe Islands.svg1940 –Flag of Faroe IslandsDenmarkThe 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.svg1502 –Flag of GibraltarBritish overseas territoryThe 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.svg1985 –Flag of GuernseyBritish CrownThe 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.svg1953 –Flag of HermBritish CrownThe flag of Herm is a St George's Cross with the coat of arms of Herm in canton.
Flag of the Isle of Mann.svgc13 –Flag of the Isle of ManBritish CrownThe 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.svg1980 –Flag of JerseyBritish CrownThe 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.svg1938 –Flag of SarkBritish CrownThe 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]

FlagDateUseDescription
Flag of Carinthia.svg1946 –Flag of CarinthiaA horizontal tricolor of yellow, red and white.
Flag of Salzburg.svg1921 –Flag of SalzburgA bicolor of red over white.
Flag of Tirol.svg1945 –Flag of TyrolThe flag of Tyrol is a white over red bicolor.

Belgium[edit]

Main article: List of Belgian flags
FlagDateUseDescription
Flag of Flanders.svg1973 –Flag of FlandersFlanders is a Dutch-speaking ethnic region in the northern half of Belgium.
Flag of Wallonia.svg1991 –Flag of WalloniaWallonia is a mostly French-speaking ethnic region comprising the southern half of Belgium.

France[edit]

FlagDateUseDescription
Flag of Alsace.svg1990s –Flag of Alsace
Flag of Brittany.svg1923 –Flag of BrittanyThe 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.svg1755 –Flag of CorsicaThe 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.svgFlag of Lorraine

Germany[edit]

FlagDateUseDescription
Flag of Baden-Württemberg (state, greater arms).svg1954 –Flag of Baden-WürttembergA black over gold bi-color with the state arms in the centre.
Flag of Bavaria (lozengy).svg1953 –Flag of BavariaAn 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.svg1991 –Flag of BrandenburgA horizontal bi-color of red over white, with the arms of the state (land), in the center.
Flag of Hamburg.svg1751 –Flag of HamburgA white castle with three towers and a closed gate.
Flag of Hesse (state).svg1948 –Flag of HesseThe 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.svg1951 –Flag of Lower SaxonyThe 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).svg1990 –Flag of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
Flag of North Rhine-Westphalia (state).svg1953 –Flag of North Rhine-WestphaliaA horizontal tricolour of green, white, and red defaced with the state coat of arms.
Flag of Rhineland-Palatinate.svg1945 –Flag of Rhineland-PalatinateThe 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.svg1957 –Flag of SaarlandThe 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).svg1991 –Flag of SaxonyA bicolour of white over green defaced with the state coat of arms in the centre.
Flag of Saxony-Anhalt (state).svg1991 –Flag of Saxony-AnhaltThe 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).svg1948 –Flag of Schleswig-HolsteinThe 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
FlagDateUseDescription
Flag of the Greek Orthodox Church.svg1900s –Flag of Mount AthosThe 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
FlagDateUseDescription
Flag of Connacht.svgFlag of ConnachtThe 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.svgFlag of LeinsterThe 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.svgFlag of MunsterThe 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.svgFlag of UlsterUlster 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
FlagDateUseDescription
Flag of Abruzzo.svg1999 –Flag of Abruzzo
Flag of Valle d'Aosta.svg1947 –Flag of the Aosta ValleyThe 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.svg2001 –Flag of Apulia
Flag of Basilicata.svg1973 –Flag of Basilicata
Flag of Calabria.svg1992 –Flag of Calabria
Flag of Campania.svg1971 –Flag of CampaniaThe 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.svg1992 –Flag of Emilia Romagna
2001 –Flag of Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Flag of Lazio.svg1992 –Flag of Lazio
Flag of Lombardy.svg1992 –Flag of Lombardy
Flag of Liguria.svg1997 –Flag of Liguria
Flag of Marche.svg1995 –Flag of Marche
Flag of Molise.svg1995 –Flag of Molise
Flag of Piedmont.svg1995 –Flag of Piedmont
Flag of Sardinia.svg1999 –Flag of Sardinia
Flag of Sicily (revised).svg1990 –Flag of SicilyThe 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.svg1983 –Flag of Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol
Flag of Tuscany.svg1995 –Flag of Tuscany
Flag of Umbria.svg2003 –Flag of Umbria
Flag of Veneto.svg1999 –Flag of Veneto

Malta[edit]

FlagDateUseDescription
Flag of Gozo.svg1964 –Flag of GozoSymbolises the islands nickname 'The Island of the Three Hills', and also the fact that it is surrounded by sea.

Netherlands[edit]

FlagDateUseDescription
Flevolandflag.svg1986 –Flag of FlevolandThe 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.svg1897 –Flag of FrieslandThe 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.svg1959 –Flag of North Brabant
Flag of Zeeland.svg1949 –Flag of ZeelandIn 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]

FlagDateUseDescription
Flag of the Azores.svg1979 –Flag of AzoresThe 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.svg1978 –Flag of MadeiraThe 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]

FlagDateUseDescription
Flag of Chuvashia.svg1992 –Flag of ChuvashiaThe 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.svg2014 –Flag of CrimeaControlled 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.svg1993 –Flag of KalmykiaOn 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.svg1993 –Flag of KareliaThe 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.svg1997 –Flag of the Komi RepublicThe 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.svg2011 –Flag of Mari El
Flag of Mordovia.svg1995 –Flag of Mordovia
Flag of Tatarstan.svg1991 –Flag of Tatarstan
Flag of Udmurtia.svg1983 –Flag of UdmurtiaThe cross/star symbol represents the solar sign, a protective symbol that according to folklore protects man from misfortunes.

Spain[edit]

FlagDateUseDescription
Bandera de Andalucia.svg1918 –Flag of AndalusiaThe flag of Andalusia consists of a horizontal tricolour (green-white-green) with the Andalusian arms in the centre.
Flag of Aragon.svg1982 –Flag of Aragon
Flag of Asturias.svg1982 –Flag of AsturiasThe flag of Asturias is light blue with the Victory Cross slightly left of the centre.
Flag of the Balearic Islands.svg1983 –Flag of the Balearic Islands
Flag of the Basque Country.svg1978 –Flag of the Basque Country
Flag of Cantabria.svg1984 –Flag of Cantabria
Flag of the Canary Islands.svg1982 –Flag of the Canary IslandsThe 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.svg1982 –Flag of Castile-La Mancha
Flag of Castilla y León.svg1983 –Flag of Castile and LeónCoats of arms of the Kingdom of León (purple lion on silver) and the Kingdom of Castile (golden castle on red).
Flag of Catalonia.svgDecember 18, 1979 –Flag of CataloniaThe 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).svg1983 –Flag of Extremadura
Flag of Galicia.svg19th century (official from 1984) –Flag of GaliciaThe 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).svg1982 –Flag of La Rioja
Flag of the Community of Madrid.svg1983 –Flag of MadridThe 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.svg1982 –Flag of the Region of Murcia
Flag of Navarre.svg1982 –Flag of Navarre
Flag of the Valencian Community (2x3).svg1982–Flag of the Valencian Community

Sweden[edit]

FlagDateUseDescription
Flag of Skåne.svg1902 (?) –Flag of Scania

Switzerland[edit]

FlagDateUseDescription
Flag of Canton of Geneva.svg15th century –Flag of GenevaThe 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.svgFlag of St. GallenA white upright fasces with the axe blade facing the hoist on green field.
Flag of Canton of Uri.svg13th century –Flag of UriA bull's head seen face on, with a red tongue and a red nose ring, on a yellow field.
Flag of Canton of Zürich.svg1220 (?) –Flag of Zürich

Ukraine[edit]

FlagDateUseDescription
Flag of Crimea.svg1999 –Flag of CrimeaControlled by Russia but recognized as part of Ukraine by most of the international community.

United Kingdom[edit]

Main article: List of British flags
FlagDateUseDescription
Flag of England.svg16C –Flag of EnglandEngland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. The St George's Cross is the official national flag.
Flag of Scotland.svg14C –Flag of ScotlandScotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. The 'Saltire' is the official national flag.
Flag of Wales 2.svg9C –Flag of WalesWales 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