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European Union: Use of the flag in art

Last modified: 2023-07-03 by
Keywords: art | mansillon (gilles) | drapeau prototype pour la grande europe | stars: 25 (yellow) | vanden eynde (maarten) | stars: 15 (yellow) |
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Drapeau prototype pour la Grande Europe, by Gilles Mansillon

[Art flag]

Schematic representation of Drapeau prototype pour la Grande Europe - Image by Ivan Sache, 31 July 2005

The painting entitled Drapeau prototype pour la Grande Europe (Protoype flag for Greater Europe) was made by the French artist Gilles Mansillon in 2004.
The painting shows a blue flag with 25 yellow stars. The core of the star design is a square made of 3 x 3 stars, extended horizontally with four stars on each side and vertically with two columns of two stars on each side.
Nothing on the artist's website says that it is a proposal and it must be considered as an artwork inspired by the flag of the European Union.

Ivan Sache, 31 July 2005

Maarten Vanden Eynde's flag for the 2006 Europe Day

[Art flag]

Maarten Vanden Eynde's flag - Image by Ivan Sache, 23 December 2006

On 9 May 2006 (Europe Day), an alternative European flag was hoisted in several places all over Europe. The flag was designed by the Dutch plastician Maarten Vanden Eynde, as part of the project Enough Room for Space (ERforS), founded in 2005 by Maarten Vanden Eynde and Marjolijn Dijkman. Item #4 of the project (ERforS4, Europe 2006) was presented as follows:

Europe is facing its most difficult challenge: how to create a united Europe? After the referenda on the new European Constitutional Law and the following disappointment about the French and Dutch NO, Europe is further away from unification than ever. But as a result inertia about Europa was replaced by genuine interest. What does it mean to be European? What do we represent? How much personal identity do we want to hand over to become a unity? The project is about the European Union as a whole and wants to raise questions about Europe in the past, the present and the future. Is Europe a new country with new borders or a concept for freedom and equality?
A new European flag [European flag, spun-poly (155 gr/sq. m.) polyester cloth), UV-proof and washable (100 x 150 cm)] is made. The stars are the capitals of the different countries, creating an abstract sky full of stars. On the 9th of May, Europe Day, the new European flag will be presented through the whole European Union.
I think Europe should present itself as a variety of countries not as a unity (In varietate concordia). It is not a homogeneous circle of stars and it will never be one, so I put every star back on its original position, as the capital of the different countries. Like this an "abstract" sky full of stars appears. The borders are opening.

The flag can be purchased from the designer and was actually hoisted in several places, mostly museums and art galleries, as shown on photographies and movies available on the project website. In Tallin (Estonia), an additional star was painted on the flag to represent Estonia.

Ivan Sache, 23 December 2006

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