When the Council of Europe in 1955 selected a European flag bearing twelve yellow stars on a blue background, it was also rejecting more than 150 other submitted designs. Ideas came from all over the world and were based on the assumption that European unity was the model for the future; most, however, were drafted by men from West Germany and France. All of the colourful proposals are published here for the first time, with a text by Marie Rotkopf that with biting irony addresses the EU’s neoliberal political cynicism and Germany’s expansion of power over the years. These (un)imaginative flags reflect the zeitgeist at a decisive period in the development of European unity.

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