Flag, anthem and logo: the Council of Europe's symbols
Unlike the flag and the anthem, which have become joint European symbols, the logo is the Council of Europe's own distinctive sign. The organisation adopted this logo on the occasion of its 50th anniversary in May 1999. Its permanent use was approved under a Committee of Ministers resolution in 2000. Its use is subject to authorisation (see the copyright information below).

Download the logo

Conditions of use of the European symbols  
The Council of Europe and the European Commission make sure that the European symbols are used in an appropriately dignified manner and may take any necessary measures to combat their improper use.

''Logo'' copyright
''Flag'' copyright
''Anthem" copyright
The European flag and the European anthem were chosen and adopted by the Council of Europe before also becoming symbols of the European Union. They are now the emblems par excellence of a shared European identity.

From its foundation in 1949 the Council of Europe was aware of the need to give Europe a symbol with which its inhabitants could identify. On 25 October 1955 the Parliamentary Assembly unanimously approved the emblem of a circle of gold stars on a blue background. On 9 December 1955 the organisation's Committee of Ministers adopted the star-studded flag, which was launched officially on 13 December of the same year in Paris.

A symbol for the whole of Europe
Against the background of blue sky, the stars form a circle, symbolising union. The number of stars is fixed, twelve being the symbol of perfection and completeness and bringing to mind the apostles, the sons of Jacob, the labours of Hercules, the months in the year, etc...

In 1983 the European Parliament in turn adopted the flag devised by the Council of Europe and recommended that it become the European Communities' emblem. The European Council gave its approval in June 1985. With the Council of Europe's consent, the Communities' institutions began to use the flag at the beginning of 1986.

The European flag has since become synonymous with a shared political project which unites all Europeans, transcending their diversity.

Graphic guide

In 1971 the Parliamentary Assembly decided to propose adopting the prelude to the Ode to Joy from Beethoven's 9th Symphony as the European anthem. The Committee of Ministers gave its approval a few months later. It was Herbert von Karajan who prepared the musical arrangement of the anthem, adapted it for orchestra and conducted the performance used to make the official recording. The anthem was launched via a major information campaign on Europe Day in 1972. It was also adopted by the European Communities in 1986, thus becoming another shared symbol for all Europeans.
Extracts from the European anthem

A Council of Europe CD, including the first hip hop version of the European anthem world-wide, was put on sale to the public in April 2004. Entitled "Variations", it includes other adaptations of the "Ode to Joy", in particular symphony orchestra, organ, piano (classical and jazz), rock guitar, jazz violin, techno and trance versions.
Piano version
Hip hop version