On February 7, 1992 the Maastricht Treaty was signed in Maastricht, Netherlands creating the European Union. The 12 original signatories were Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
Finland and Sweden joined in 1995 and Austria in 1999.
In 2004, the EU saw its biggest enlargement when Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia joined.
Bulgaria and Romania joined in 2007, followed by Croatia in 2013.
Conspicuously absent is Norway, which has twice rejected membership in public referendums.
On January 30, 2020 the United Kingdom became the first country to leave the European Union.
The European Union flag was designed by Arsène Heitz and the 12 stars stand for the 12 original signatories. Hmmmm. . .will it have to be redesigned? According to Flag Geek, the stars are not necessarily the original nation states, but symbolize general harmony and goodwill, so no the flag remains.
Disclaimer: The information on this website is accurate to the best of my knowledge at the time of writing. I make no guarantee as to its accuracy. Its purpose is to inform, educate, amuse, and raise awareness about causes and opportunities around the globe. I also encourage civil debate in the comments.