the symbols of europe

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The Symbols of Europe: 

The Symbols of Europe History Meaning Chances Peter Diem, August 2004

The Functions of Political Symbols : 

The Functions of Political Symbols Information Just like trademarks, logos, or other symbols of “corporate identity“, political symbols tell „in a nutshell“ what kind of „product“ one is confronted with Identity Flags, anthems and national holidays have kept their function to create a feeling of “belonging“ Integration National symbols help to unite a nation, especially when it is composed of various races and religions. International International symbols intend to promote peace and cooperation between races, cultures, and nations. e pluribus unum

The Olympic Rings: 

The Olympic Rings The rings were created by Baron Pierre de Coubertin (founder of the modern Olympic Movement) in 1913 . In a white field, they symbolize peaceful contest among the five major regions of the world: the Americas, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Australia. Coubertin never said that the colours of the rings were linked with the five continents, but more often than not they are interpreted in this manner. The Olympic Flag made its debut at the 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp – hence it is also referred to as the „Antwerp Flag“.

After the Cataclysm of World War I – a Nobleman‘s Vision: 

After the Cataclysm of World War I – a Nobleman‘s Vision „Paneuropa“ Book published in 1923 by Richard N. Count Coudenhove-Kalergi (1894-1972). The Paneuropa Movement had its central office in Vienna‘s Hofburg until 1938.

Interpretations of the Paneuropa Symbol: 

Interpretations of the Paneuropa Symbol The sun symbol is possibly also connected to C-K‘s Japanese mother and to buddhism

The League of Nations: 

The League of Nations In a 1929/30 contest 1640 proposals were submitted, but no first prize was granted. The above designs came second. League of Nations Covenant Founded in 1920, at first no emblem could be agreed upon

The League of Nations at New York 1939: 

The League of Nations at New York 1939 The League of Nations was unable to agree on a common symbol. Only in 1939, the flag shown above was used for a short period in New York. It contains these typical elements: the colors blue and white (for peace), the five-pointed star (for freedom and brotherhood), and the pentagram (symbolizing happiness and pointing to the five continents).

The Flag of the United Nations: 

The Flag of the United Nations Unlike the League of Nations, the UN sought from the very beginning to agree on a common symbol. It was published by the General Assembly on 20th October, 1947

Description of the UN Flag: 

Description of the UN Flag Olive branches symbolize peace. The world map depicts the area of concern to the United Nations in achieving its main purpose, peace and security. The United Nations emblem was first approved on 7 December 1946. The design is "a map of the world representing an azimuthal equidistant projection centred on the North Pole, inscribed in a wreath consisting of crossed conventionalized branches of the olive tree, in gold on a field of smoke-blue with all water areas in white. The projection of the map extends to 60 degrees south latitude, and includes five concentric circles".

Europe after World War II: 

Europe after World War II Duncan Sandys

The Council of Europe 1950: 

The Council of Europe 1950 Council of Europe

The Council of Europe 1955: 

The Council of Europe 1955 Council of Europe

The Council of Europe 1955: 

„Against the blue sky of the Western world, the stars represent the peoples of Europe in a circle, the symbol of unity. Their number shall be invariably set at twelve, the symbol of completeness and perfection ... just like the twelve signs of the zodiac represent the whole universe, the twelve gold stars stand for all peoples of Europe – including those who cannot as yet take part in building up Europe in unity and peace.“ “Since its foundation in 1949, the Council of Europe has been aware of the need to give Europe a symbol with which its inhabitants can identify. On 25 October 1955 the Parliamentary Assembly made the unanimous decision to adopt a circle of gold stars on a blue background as an emblem. On 8 December 1955 the Committee of Ministers adopted this as the European flag.” The Council of Europe 1955 Council of Europe

11th April, 1983:: 

11th April, 1983: The correct proportion is 2:3 as presented above The European Parliament accepts the flag as the official emblem of the European Union


Symbolic elements – „Old“ International Organisations Colours: White, light blue, gold Forms: Map, circle(s), five-pointed star(s) Number: 5  continents Prototype: Olive branch, Olympic circles Symbolic elements – European Union Colours: cobalt blue, gold Forms: circle, five-pointed stars Number: 12  perfection, completeness Prototype: blue and gold, stars and circles Symbolism Green = youth, ecology, general hope for a better world Light blue = sea, sky  remote hope for peace Dark blue = security, order  realistic hope for peace Gold stars = brotherhood; Sun = empire) Connection of stars with Apocalypse 12,1 is a myth.

The European Anthem: 

The European Anthem Play or download anthem The European Anthem (Ode to Joy) - adapted from the final movement of Beethoven's 9th Symphony - was adopted by the Council of Europe in 1972 and has been used by the European Union since 1986. Herbert von Karajan, one of the greatest conductors of this century, acceded to a request by the Council of Europe to write three instrumental arrangements for solo piano, wind and symphonic orchestras. It was recorded at Teatro da Trindade - Lisboa – 1994: 

A Predecessor of the European Anthem: 

A Predecessor of the European Anthem One might remember the „fanfare“ used by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to introduce and conclude European sports transmissions, the New Year‘s Concert, the Eurosong Contest etc. This very well known tune was taken from the „Te Deum“ of the French composer of baroque music, Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643-1704). It was introduced by the EBU in 1950.  

Die Europahymne auf Deutsch: 

Die Europahymne auf Deutsch Unser Herz schlägt für Europa Und wir stehen dafür ein, Dass dem Erdteil es gelinge, In der Vielfalt eins zu sein. Ewig währen in Europa Friede und Gerechtigkeit, Und die Freiheit seiner Völker Sei verbrieft auf alle Zeit. Blühe, Vaterland Europa, Bringt das große Werk voran! Sternengold im blauen Banner, Dieses Zeichen führt uns an. Peter Diem, Wien 10. Oktober 2004

The European Anthem in English: 

The European Anthem in English Unity has come to Europe, Unity is here to stay. Unity is our future – Long live Europe, come what may! North and south will work together Just as friends and neighbours should. East and West will grow together – Brotherhood and sisterhood! Europe, may your peoples flourish, Let the common banner rise! Stars of gold and blue of sky /:Are the colours that we prize. Peter Diem (Vienna)

The European Anthem in Latin : 


Europe Day: 

On 5th May 1949, the Council of Europe was founded. For many years, this day was commemorated by member parliaments as „Day of Europe“. During their Milan Summit in June 1985, EU leaders decided to choose the 9th of May as "Europe Day“. On 9th May 1950, the Schuman Plan was presented in Paris. This occasion is considered to be the starting point of the process of European unification. Europe Day

European Licence Plates: 

European Licence Plates Cf: some licence plates from Europe

The Euro - a Tangible Symbol of Unity: 

The Euro - a Tangible Symbol of Unity In contrast to abstract symbols, the Euro is a tangible proof of European unity – economically and psychologically, especially when travelling through Europe – and even beyond the borders of the EU. Unlike the totally „supranational“ banknotes, the Euro coins are „European“ only on one side whereas the reverse has been reserved to bear national design. This has been interpreted as a bad compromise – but respecting national sovereignty of the mint can also be seen as an expression of a federalist concept of the European Union: „in pluribus unum“ vs. „e pluribus unum“ The Euro Website

The Euro Banknotes: 

The Euro Banknotes Designed by the Austrian artist Robert Kalina the Euro banknotes show two sets of symbols with similar connotations: Window/Door – as the symbols of openness, freshness and the invitation to join The Bridge – as the symbol of connecting opposites, overcoming difficulties, and uniting people Referring to the cultural traditions of Europe, seven periods of art and architecture are being quoted: Classical, Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Industrial, Contemporary The Euro Website

The Euro Sign and Coins: 

The Euro Sign and Coins The common side of the coins was designed by Luc Luycx of the Royal Belgian Mint. It depicts a map of the European Union against a background of parallel lines linking the 12 stars of the European Union flag. The national side of the Euro used in Greece shows Európe being abducted to Crete by Zeus, who approached her as a bull. The Euro Website


Conclusions Use of the symbols of Europe is part of the efforts to enhance the (emotional) acceptance of the idea of European unity. What adult education can do : - inform the public about the meaning of the EU symbols - fly your national flag always together with the European flag - open official meetings with national and European anthems - print flag or „European“ logo on conference papers - put „European“ links on your Web site - commemorate the 9th of May with some „European“ initiative - „europeanize“ your national holiday ( „neigbourhood day“) - invite (your) Members of the European Parliament (MEP) - organize a contest to find lyrics to the European Anthem - fight against all national stereotypes and prejudices

Long live Europe!: 

Long live Europe!

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