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Western European Union

Last modified: 2005-04-23 by
Keywords: western european union | stars: 4 (yellow) | stars: 9 (yellow) | stars: 10 (yellow) | stars: 12 (yellow) | stars: 8 (yellow) | euromarfor | european maritime force | forza multinazionale di protezione | dove (white) |
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[WEU flag]by Željko Heimer


See also:


Members of the Western European Union

In 1948, the Treaty of Brussels established a military assistance pact between United Kingdom, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. In 1952, the USA proposed the idea of an European Defence Community integrated to NATO. The project was rejected by the French Parliament in 1954, and the Western European Union was created in 1954 by a new European pact signed in Brussels, allowing the rearming of Federal Republic of Germany and ist integration in WEU (and NATO).

Ivan Sache, 15 April 2005


Flag of Western European Union

According to Album des Pavillons [pay00], the flag of the Western European Union is blue with ten yellow five-pointed stars in a circle (broken at the top) containing the white letters WEU horizontally and UEO vertically (thus sharing the E).

There is probably no doubt that the colour shades should be those prescribed for the European Union flag.

Željko Heimer, 6 December 2003

The WEU/UEO flag was once flown operationally aboard a US Navy ship. For a brief period in 1995, the destroyer USS John Rodgers functioned as the flagship for the Italian general commanding WEU relief operations in Bosnia. During this time, when no U.S. flag officer was aboard, John Rodgers displayed the WEU flag. Based on the practice used for US Navy ships assigned to NATO standing naval forces, I believe the WEU flag would have been flown from a yardarm.

Joe McMillan, 20 November 2000


1949 - ? flag

According to Carr [car61]:

The flag has a dark blue field bearing five links forming an unbroken chain, in gold [The links form a kind of pentagon, but with the "point" bottommost]. The field has a multi-colored border: red (outside), gold, black, and white [The relative proportions of the border are approximatively: Red 3, each of the others 1. The total width of the border is approximatively half that of the depth of the flag.] [...] These colors were taken from the national flags of the member countries, namely, Great Britain, France, Belgium, Holland [sic] and Luxembourg.>

I don't know when this flag was replaced by the one mentioned below, but as the WEU was effectively moribund until the end of the Cold War, it would not surprise me if the members simply forgot there had ever been one. However, I doubt the old flag would have been revived if even if they had, as blue and gold, for good or for ill have become firmly established as the European colors.

Roy Stilling 6 May 1996


? - 1993 flag

[Former flag of WEU]by Željko Heimer

The former flag of Western European Union, had nine golden stars (for the 9 members listed above, excluding Greece) and the stars were not all of the same size, but diminished from the center.

Source: Album des Pavillons, recapitulative correction (1995) [pie95]

Željko Heimer, 15 December 2003


Assembly of the Western European Union

[Assembly of the WEU]by Željko Heimer

Source: Album des Pavillons ([pay00])

The flag of the Assembly is blue with a white dove rising from yellow lines of stylized assembly seats surrounded with 12 yellow fivepointed stars in perspective and below in an arch white inscription "UEO-WEU".

Željko Heimer, 6 December 2003


European Operational Rapid Force (Eurofor)

Eurofor (European Operational Rapid Force) was created in 1995 as a task force of the Western European Union, being operational June 1998. More information is available in several languages on the Eurofor website.

A military parade took place in Madrid last Friday on occasion of the Armed Forces' Day. Several European units (French, Italian and Portuguese) took part, marching under their national flags but headed by the Eurofor flag.

The flag was rectangular (probably 2:3), showing on a blue field (regular blue, not the dark blue on the European Union flag) the Eurofor emblem: a red fleur-de-lys on top of a crossed green olive branch and white sword with yellow hilt, surrounded on the top by four yellow stars and over the emblem 'EUROFOR' in white lettering.

[Coat of arms of Eurofor]

The coat of arms of Eurofor is explained as follows:

The blue color of the background is a reminiscent of the European flag. The four golden stars represent the four founding nations: France, Italy, Portugal and Spain. The sword symbolises military force, the olive branch is a reminder of Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Missions. The waves are an allusion to the maritime environment common to the four Nations. In the center, the fleur-de-lys, symbol of Florence, the city that hosts the Headquarters of the Force.

Please note that the symbol of Florence is not simply a fleur-de-lys, rather a florentino or fleur-de-lys flowered.

I do not recall at all the three wavy lines appearing on the flag. And the flag showed only the charges on the coat-of-arms, i.e., not the silhouette of the shield.

Santiago Dotor, 17 October 2001


European Maritime Force (Euromarfor)

Euromarforby Željko Heimer

Source: Album des Pavillons ([pay00])

Euromarfor, which depends of WEU, has a flag showing four yellow stars and yellow EUROMARFOR written on a blue field.

Armand du Payrat, 8 December 1997


Multinational Protection Force in Albania (April-August 1997)

[Multinational Protection Force in Albania, 1997]by Jan Oskar Engene

The flag of the Multinational Protection Force in Albania has a blue field with stars representing the participating countries in the Alba mission. The stars are yellow, which makes the flag resemble the flag of the Council of Europe and the European Union. The stars are arranged in an arch and under the arch are set the letters FMP in white. FMP is the acronym for the name of the operation in Italian: Forza Multinazionale di Protezione. Italy was the main country involved in the operation. The Flag Bulletin [tfb] ("Flag news and notes", No. 177, Sept-Oct 1997, p. 186-187) gives proportions as approximately 2:3.

The flag was officially hoisted, according to the Albanian Telegraphic Agency, on 16 April 1997. Reuters news agency reported on 8 August 1997 that the

Multinational Protection Force flag was lowered that day in an official ceremony at the MPF base in Rinas. This was in preparation for the withdrawal of the force to be completed by 11 August 1997. Interestingly, Reuters says that ten - not eight - countries participated in the MFP.

Jan Oskar Engene, 18 January 1998

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