On this day in history, the agreement was signed setting clear rules for a future single currency as well as for a foreign and security policy and closer cooperation in justice and home affairs. Under the treaty, known variously as The Treaty of Maastricht, The Amsterdam Treaty, or the Treaty on European Union, the name “European Community” was officially replaced by “European Union.”
You can read the full text of the treaty here.
You can see a list of countries in the EU and their year of entry here. You can also see a list of those “on the road to EU membership.”
The European flag was adopted in 1983 by the European Parliament and in 1985 by all EU leaders as the official emblem of the European Union (called the European Communities at the time).
The number of stars has nothing to do with the number of member countries. Rather it was chosen as a symbolic number representing perfection (the number of months in a year and the number of hours in a day, etc.). The circle is, among other things, a symbol of unity. Thus, the flag will not lose a star subsequent to Britain’s vote on June 23, 2016 to leave the European Union, a vote called “Brexit.” You can learn more about Brexit and what it will mean from this BBC site.