The Number of Stars on the EU Flag Means Absolutely Nothing

By Katharine Trendacosta on at

The European Union referendum vote is just days away. Now, if the UK does leave the EU, what happens to the stars on the EU flag? Is one taken away? Nope, because the number of stars means nothing really at all.

The idea that the stars represent the original members of the EU or some other significant number could make sense, especially to Americans, all of whom have had the “50 stars = 50 states” thing beaten into their heads since childhood. But, according to the official EU website, “The number of stars has nothing to do with the number of member countries.”

The stars are just the number that looks good in a circle, which is a “symbol of unity”. Also the 12 stars somehow also represent the three ideals of “unity, solidarity and harmony among the peoples of Europe.” Four stars for each one, I guess. [European Union via the QI Elves]