MEPs flying the flag for Europe

Members of the European Parliament have been flying the flag for the EU banner, anthem and motto. At a plenary session in Brussels, they changed their own internal rules so the flag must now be flown at all parliamentary meetings.

They also expressed regret that the three symbols have been dropped from the text of the Treaty of Lisbon. The symbols had been included in the failed European Constitution, thrown out by the French and the Dutch in 2005.

MEPs said the anthem, flag and motto were victims of efforts to renegotiate the Constitution, being sacrificed on the altar of compromise to win over euro-sceptics. The Parliament also named the 9th May, Europe Day, to mark a founding speech in 1950 by Robert Schuman – members urged EU leaders to make it a public holiday.

The changes also mean the parliament’s motto, United through Diversity, will appear on all official parliamentary documents and the anthem will be played at top level sessions, such as the reception of a Head of State.