Flags of Europe: Colors and Meanings

by Fay

The flags of Europe are symbols of several diverse nations. Europe is one of the smallest and yet most influential regions in the world, culturally, linguistically, and politically.

There are few similarities among the flags of Europe. However, a prominent symbol is a cross or crucifix, which is visible on many European flags. Also, like flags of Africa from other regions, many European flags have vertical and horizontal tricolor patterns.

We hope you learn something new about the nations of Europe and their flags.

Flags of Europe

Here I list all the flags of Europe with their colors and meanings. I divided the list of European countries into EU and Non-EU members to make it easy for my readers to read through the article.

Europe Flags: EU-Members

There are 27 European countries that are EU member-states. Let’s check the meanings behind their flags.

Flag of Austria

flags-of-europe-austria
Flag of Austria

Colors: It consists of three bands of color in the following order: red, white, and red.

Meaning of the flag of Austria: The meaning of the flag of Austria comes from a legend stating that the flag was invented by the Duke Leopold V of Austria as a consequence of his fighting during the Siege of Acre. After a fierce battle, his white surcoat was completely drenched in blood. When he removed his belt, the cloth beneath remained unstained, revealing the combination of red-white-red. So, he adopted the colors and scheme as his banner. The incident was documented as early as 1260.

Flag of Belgium

flags-of-Europe-belgium
Flag of Belgium

Colors: The flag of Belgium is a tricolor consisting of three equal vertical bands displaying the national colors of Belgium: black, yellow, and red.

Meaning of the flag of Belgium: The colors were taken from the coat of arms of the Duchy of Brabant (It was a State of the Holy Roman Empire established in 1183) which is now Belgium’s coat of arms. Black symbolizes the shield, yellow is for the lion, and red stands for the lion’s claws and tongue.

Flag of Bulgaria

flags-of-europe-Bulgaria
Flag of Bulgaria

Colors: The flag of Bulgaria is a tricolor equal-sized horizontal bands of (from top to bottom) white, green, and red.

Meaning of the flag of Bulgaria: The white band of the Bulgarian flag is said to stand for peace, love, and freedom, while green emphasizes the agricultural wealth of Bulgaria. Red is for the independence struggle and military courage.

Flag of Croatia

flags-of-Europe_Croatia
Flag of Croatia

Colors: Te flag of Croatia consists of three equal-sized horizontal stripes in colors red, white and blue. In the middle is the coat of arms of Croatia that includes the following colors: Blue, Red, Yellow, and Black.

Meaning of the flag of Croatia: The red-white-blue colors of the flag were inspired by the flag of Imperial Russia (Pan-Slavic Colors), which was an opponent of Austria-Hungary and hence a potential Croatian ally. The checkerboard is a symbol of the Croatian Kings and the crown of shields represents the five historical regions that formed the Republic of Croatia: Croatia, Dubrovnik, Dalmatia, Istria, and Slavonia.

Flag of Cyprus

Flag of Cyprus

Colors: A copper-orange color map and two green olive branches on a white-colored flag.

Meaning of the flag of Cyprus: The national flag features the shape of the entirety of the island, with two olive branches below (a symbol of peace between the island’s two communities) on white (another symbol of peace). The olive branches signify peace between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

Flag of Czech Republic

flags-of-europe_Flag-of-Czech-Republic
Flag of Czech Republic

Colors: The National Flag of the Czech Republic features two equal horizontal bands of white (top) and red with a blue isosceles triangle based on the hoist side.

Meaning of the flag of the Czech Republic: The red and white horizontal stripes are derived from the coat of arms of Bohemia and the blue chevron extended halfway was added later in 1920. The red color represents courage and hardiness during the war while the white color symbolizes peace and honesty and the blue-colored triangle symbolizes justice, truth, and loyalty.

Flag of Denmark

Europe-flags-Denmark
Flag of Denmark

Colors: The flag of Denmark is red with a white Scandinavian cross that extends to the edges of the flag.

Meaning of the flag of Denmark: The flag of Denmark also referred to as the “Dannebrog” (Danish flag) is one of the oldest national flags in the world. According to a Danish legend, in the 13th century, during the Battle of Lydanisse the Danish flag fell from the sky and it was caught by the Danish King Valdemar II. In the 14th century, the Danish flag was used to represent the king only until 1854 but later its use was allowed for all people.

Flag of Estonia

flags-of-europe-estonia-flag
Flag of Estonia

Colors: The national flag of Estonia is a tricolor featuring three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), black, and white.

Meaning of the flag of Estonia: The blue color of the flag represents faith and loyalty. It could also represent the sea and lakes of the country. The black color symbolizes the fertile black soil of the country and the suffering endured by the Estonian people. The white color represents Estonia’s long struggle for freedom and independence. It also symbolizes the snow.

Flag of Finland

europe-flags-finland-flag
Flag of Finland

Colors: A white flag with a blue Nordic cross, placed horizontally

Meaning of the flag of Finland: The blue represents the lakes all over Finland. The white represents the snow that covers the nation in the winter months. This flag was inspired by the flags of Denmark and Sweden.

Flag of France

europe-flags-france-flag
Flag of France

Colors: A classic vertical tricolor of blue, white and red.

Meaning of the flag of France: The colors initially represented the nobility (blue), clergy (white), and bourgeois (red). After the French Revolution, they came to symbolize liberty, equality, brotherhood, democracy, secularism, and modernization.

Flag of Germany

europe-flags-flag-of-germany
Flag of Germany

Colors: A horizontal tricolor of black, red and yellow.

Meaning of the flag of Germany: The colors of the German flag date back to the democracy of the mid-1800s and symbolize unity and freedom.

Flag of Greece

europe flags Greece
Flag of Greece

Colors: Blue and white horizontal stripes with a white cross on the top left corner.

Meaning of the flag of Greece: The blue and green stripes represent the blue seas and white waves. The cross represents Christian Orthodoxy.

Flag of Hungary

europe-flags-flag-of-Hungary
Flag of Hungary

Colors: A horizontal tricolor of red white and green.

Meaning of the flag of Hungary: The white color symbolizes the rivers of Hungary, the green represents the mountains, and the red symbolizes the blood lost in many wars.

Flag of Ireland

Colors: A vertical tricolor of green, white and orange.

Meaning of the flag of Ireland: The green symbolizes Roman Catholics and the orange represents Protestants. The white in the center signifies peace and hope for union between Protestants and Catholics in Ireland.

Flag of Italy

Flag of Italy

Colors: The flag of Italy is a tricolor featuring three equally sized vertical pales of green, white and red.

Meaning of the flag of Italy: The flag of Italy carries different meanings. The first meaning is that green represents freedom, white is for faith and purity, and red is for love. However, some believe that green is for hope, white for faith, and red for charity. while others think that Green for the countryside, white for the snowy Alps, and red for the blood of the Italian people shed during wars.

Flag of Latvia

Flag of Latvia

Colors: The flag of Latvia is a carmine field bisected by a narrow white stripe.

Meaning of the flag of Latvia: The red color is symbolizes the readiness of the Latvians to give the blood from their hearts for freedom and their willingness to defend their liberty.

Flag of Lithuania

Flag of Lithuania

Colors: The flag of Lithuania consists of a horizontal tricolor of yellow, green, and red.

Meaning of the flag of Lithuania: The yellow-green-red stripes of the flag of Lithuania represents the national traditions of the Lithuanian people. Yellow stands for the ripening wheat and freedom of the people in Lithuania, Green is a symbol of hope and the forests. Red stands for love of country, and the courage of the people.

Flag of Luxembourg

Flag of Luxembourg

Colors: The flag of Luxembourg consists of three horizontal stripes, red, white and light blue.

Meaning of the flag of Luxembourg: The red, white, and light blue colours were derived from the coat of arms of the House of Luxembourg. Red signifies revolution, and power. White in the middle signifies peace, and innocence of the people. The blue color at the bottom signifies the perseverance and determination.

Flag of Malta

Flag of Malta

Colors: The flag of Malta is a bicolour, with white in the hoist and red in the fly with a representation of the George Cross, edged with red, in the canton of the white stripe.

Meaning of the flag of Malta: Tradition states that the colours of the flag were given to Malta by Roger I of Sicily in 1090. The red is thought to symbolise sacrifices made by the Maltese people for defending their faith, while the white tone stands for peace,and optimism, and the George Cross represents bravery.

Flag of Netherlands

Flag of Netherlands

Colors: The flag of the Netherlands is a horizontal tricolour of red, white, and blue.

Meaning of the flag of Netherlands: The red color of the flag of Netherlands symbolizes bravery, strength, and hardiness; while white represents, peace and honesty; and the blue color represents loyalty, perseverance, and justice.

Flag of Poland

Flag of Poland

Colors of the flag of Poland: The flag of Poland consists of two horizontal stripes of equal width, the upper one white, and the lower one red.

Meaning of the flag of Poland: The two colors of the flag of Poland are defined in the Polish constitution as the national colors. The white color represents the hope for peace by all the people of Poland. The red color symbolizes the many struggles for freedom over the centuries.

Flag of Portugal

Flag of Portugal

Colors of the flag of Portugal: The flag of Portugal is a rectangular bicolor with a field divided into green on the hoist, and red on the fly. The Portuguese national coat of arms is centered over the boundary of the color.

Meaning of the flag of Portugal: In the Portuguese flag, the green symbolizes hope for the future and the red symbolizes the blood of the nation.

Flag of Romania 

Flag of Romania

Colors of the flag of Romania: The national flag of Romania is a tricolor with vertical stripes, beginning from the flagpole: blue, yellow, and red.

Meaning of the flag of Romania: For the Romanian flag, the blue represents liberty, yellow symbolizes justice and red is the represents fraternity of the nation.

Flag of Slovakia

Flag of Slovakia

Colors of the flag of Slovakia: The flag of Slovakia consists of three equal horizontal bands. The top band is white, the middle is blue and the bottom one is red. On the left side is the coat of arms of Slovakia.

Meaning of the flag of Slovakia: The flag of Slovakia uses the Pan-Slavic colors (red, white, and blue).

Flag of Slovenia

Flag of Slovenia

Colors of the flag of Slovenia: The Slovenian flag features three equal horizontal bands of white, blue, and red. The Coat of arms of Slovenia is located on the upper hoist-side of the flag.

Meaning of the flag of Slovenia: Slovenia’s flag colors are Pan-Slavic colors. The coat of arms shows Slovenia’s mountains and ocean coast.

Flag of Spain

Flag of Spain

Colors of the flag of Spain: The Spanish flag consists of three horizontal stripes: red, yellow, and red with Spain’s Coat of Arms placed in the center towards the flag’s hoist.

Meaning of the flag of Spain: Red represents the blood spilled by the bulls whereas yellow represents the sand in the bullfighting arena.

Flag of Sweden

Flag Sweden

Colors of the flag of Sweden: The flag of Sweden consists of a gold cross on a field of light blue.

Meaning of the flag of Sweden: The blue color of the Swedish flag symbolizes the truth, vigilance, perseverance, loyalty, and justice; while the yellow color represents generosity.

Non-EU-Member Countries

Now let’s check the flags of the European countries that are not members of the EU and they are 23 countries.

Flag of Albania

europe flags albania flag

Colors of the flag of Albania: The flag of Albania is a red flag with a silhouetted black double-headed eagle in the center.

Meaning of the flag of Albania: The red stands for bravery, strength, valor, and bloodshed, while the double-headed eagle represents the sovereign state of Albania.

Flag of Andorra

Flag of Andorra

Colors of the flag of Andorra: The flag of Andorra features a vertical tricolor of blue, yellow, and red with the coat of arms of Andorra in the center.

Meaning of the flag of Andorra: The Flag of Andorra depicts furiousness required to protect the dignity of the country, blue is for the ocean of thoughtfulness, and yellow and red represents 700 years of dependency on the captured rulers.

Flag of Armenia

Colors of the flag of Armenia: The national flag of Armenia, the Armenian Tricolour, consists of three horizontal bands of equal width, red on the top, blue in the middle, and orange (also described as the “color of apricot”) on the bottom.

Meaning of the flag of Armenia: The meanings of the colors are interpreted in many different ways. The red stands for the Armenian Highlands, the Armenian people’s continued struggle for survival, maintenance of the Christian faith, and Armenia’s independence and freedom. Blue is for the Armenian peaceful skies. And orange represents the nation’s talent and hard-work

Flag of Azerbaijan

Colors of the flag of Azerbaijan: The national flag of the Republic of Azerbaijan is a horizontal tricolor featuring three equally sized fesses of bright blue, red, and green, with a white crescent and an eight-pointed star in the center.

Meaning of the flag of Azerbaijan: The bright blue symbolizes Turkic Multinationalism, the red is for the progress to establish a modern state and the development of democracy, and green shows the nation’s relation to the Muslim world. In the middle of the flag, and appearing on both front and back, are a white crescent and an eight-pointed star.

Flag of Belarus

Flag of Belarus

Colors of the flag of Belarus: The flag of Belarus is a vertically bisected red-and-green flag with a white-and-red ornament pattern placed at the hoist end

Meaning of the flag of Belarus: While there is no official interpretation for the colors of the flag, an explanation given by President Alexander Lukashenko is that red represents freedom and the sacrifice of the nation’s forefathers, while green represents life. The pattern represents the traditional local plants and flowers commonly used in Belarus.

Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Colors of the flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina: The flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina contains a wide medium blue vertical band on the fly side with a yellow right triangle abutting the band and the top of the flag.

Meaning of the flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina: The flag features colors often associated with neutrality and peace – white, blue, and yellow. The triangle represents the approximate shape of the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The stars, representing Europe, are meant to be infinite in number and thus they continue from top to bottom.

Flag of Georgia

Colors of the flag of Georgia: The flag of Georgia represents a white cloth with five red crosses, one central (St. George) and four equilateral (Bolnisski) crosses in the four quadrants.

Meaning of the flag of Georgia: White color in heraldry indicates innocence, purity, wisdom, and red color signifies courage, bravery, justice, and love.

Flag of Iceland

Colors of the flag of Iceland: The national flag of Iceland is blue as the sky with a snow-white cross and a fiery-red cross inside the white cross.

Meaning of the flag of Iceland: The colors of the flag of Iceland stand for 3 of the elements that make up the island. Red is the fire produced by the island’s volcanoes, white recalls the ice and snow that covers Iceland, and blue is for the mountains of the island.

Flag of Kosovo

Colors of the flag of Kosovo: The flag of Kosovo shows six white stars in an arc above a golden map of Kosovo, all on a blue field.

Meaning of the flag of Kosovo: The golden map on the flag represents Kosovo and stars symbolize Kosovo’s six major ethnic groups: Albanians, Serbs, Bosniaks, Turks, Romani, and Gorani.

Flag of Liechtenstein

Colors of the flag of Liechtenstein: The flag of Liechtenstein consists of two horizontal blue and red bands charged with a gold crown in the canton.

Meaning of the flag of Liechtenstein: The colors and symbols of the flag carry cultural, political, and regional meanings. The blue represents the sky, while red alludes to the “evening fires” that are lit inside houses throughout the country. The crown epitomizes the “unity of the people and their prince.

Flag of Moldova

europe-flags-moldova-flag

Colors of the flag of Moldova: The state flag of the Republic of Moldova is a vertical tricolour of blue, yellow, and red, charged with the coat of arms of Moldova (an eagle holding a shield charged with an aurochs) on the center bar.

Meaning of the flag of Moldova: The blue, red, and yellow tricolor of Moldova is identical to the flag of Romania, reflecting the two countries’ national and cultural affinity.

Flag of Monaco

Colors of the flag of Monaco: The flag of Monaco (French: drapeau de Monaco) is the national flag of the Principality of Monaco. It has two equal horizontal bands, of red (top) and white (bottom).

Meaning of the flag of Monaco: Red and white are the traditional colors of the House of Grimaldi, which established the Principality in 1339. These colors are claimed to represent positive human values. Red is believed to represent the flesh of the human body, while white represents purity in spiritual life.

Flag of Montenegro

Colors of the flag of Montenegro: The flag of Montenegro is a red banner with broader golden edges all around the red field with the coat of arms of Montenegro in its center.

Meaning of the flag of Montenegro: The flag represents the culture of the people of Montenegro. The two-headed eagle with a crown shows the close relationship between the church and the state. The red color might symbolize the blood that was shed in the quest for independence. The gold surrounding the red color on all edges also shows the royal heritage that the country once had.

Flag of North Macedonia

Colors of the flag of Macedonia: The flag of North Macedonia is the national flag of the Republic of North Macedonia and depicts a stylized yellow sun on a red field, with eight broadening rays extending from the center to the edge of the field.

Meaning of the flag of Macedonia: The first flag of the Macedona, known as the Vergina Flag, featured the Vergina Sun, which is considered a Greek symbol the reason why Greece forced Macedonia to remove it from its flag, resulting in the current design. The new eight-rayed sun represents the “new sun of Liberty” as it’s referred to in the national anthem of North Macedonia.

Flag of Norway

Flag of Russia

Flag of San Marino

Flag of Serbia

Flag of Switzerland

Flag of Turkey

Flag of Ukraine

Flag of United Kingdom (left EU on January 31, 2020)

Flag of Vatican City

Leave a Comment

* By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.

You may also like

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Accept Read More