The Anthem-

Beethoven's Ninth Symphony (Ode to Joy)

In 1972, the Council of Europe (the same body that designed the European flag) adopted Beethoven's Ode to Joy theme as its own anthem. The well-known conductor Herbert Von Karajan was asked to write three instrumental arrangements - for solo piano, for wind instruments and for symphony orchestra. Without words, in the universal language of music, this anthem expresses the ideals of freedom, peace and solidarity for which Europe stands.

In 1985, it was adopted by EU heads of State and government as the official anthem of the European Union. It is not intended to replace the national anthems of the Member States but rather to celebrate the values they all share and their unity in diversity.

The Flag-

EU Flag

The flag was adopted by the Council of Europe. Twelve is a symbolic number representing perfection and the circle is a symbol of unity. The flag is meant to represent the ideal of unity within the people of Europe.


"United in Diversity"-

is the motto of the EU. The EU had intended for it to mean that Europe will use its different cultures, traditions and languages to work for peace and prosperity among the continent.


Europe Day-

or May 9, 1950 is the official day of activities and festivities to bring all of Europe together. This day was chosen because it was on this day that the French foreign minister Robert Schuman proposed the idea of the European Union.

Schuman Statue

** Robert Schuman, hailed as an intellectual architect, laid the primary foundations for which would later be known as the European Union. Monument reads "Robert Schuman, Pioneer of the European Union" in front of EU headquarters in Brussels. Picture on right was taken from AP Photo/Virginia Mayo**


home ::

Copyright 2006 Carmen Osorio-Rodrigues