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Thread: Use of EU flag by non-EU countries

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    Default Use of EU flag by non-EU countries

    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?

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    Default Re: Use of EU flag by non-EU countries

    Quote Originally Posted by BaudrillardNeverExisted
    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.

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    Politics.ie Member Podolski's Avatar
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    Default Re: Use of EU flag by non-EU countries

    They can wipe their bums with it for all I care. It's not our flag anyway.

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    Default Re: Use of EU flag by non-EU countries

    Quote Originally Posted by BaudrillardNeverExisted
    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!
    (Guys, when I type in capitals it isn't shouting. I have technical problems which makes using italics difficult. Please don't take offence if you see capitals used!)

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    Default Re: Use of EU flag by non-EU countries

    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.
    "Unless you are an absolute pacifist, then you acknowledge that there are times when taking up arms is appropriate."
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    Default Re: Use of EU flag by non-EU countries

    Quote Originally Posted by Podolski
    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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    Default Re: Use of EU flag by non-EU countries

    Quote Originally Posted by R Paul

    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.

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    Default Re: Use of EU flag by non-EU countries

    Quote Originally Posted by fergalr
    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.
    Thank you for the six thousand likes.

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    Default Re: Use of EU flag by non-EU countries

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith-M
    Quote Originally Posted by fergalr
    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.
    "Unless you are an absolute pacifist, then you acknowledge that there are times when taking up arms is appropriate."
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    Default Re: Use of EU flag by non-EU countries

    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.

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