The number of stars on the flag of Europe is fixed at 12 and is not related to the number of member states of the EU since it is originally the flag of the Council of Europe and does not have a relationship with the EU. In 1953, the Council of Europe had 15 members; it was proposed that the future flag should have one star for each member, and would not change based on future members. West Germany objected to this as one of the members was the disputed area of Saarland, and to have its own star would imply sovereignty for the region.
On this basis, France also objected to fourteen stars, as this would imply the absorption of Saarland into Germany. Myth has it that the Italian representative then objected that thirteen was an unlucky number (it is not unlucky in Italy), as well as the fact that early flags of the United States featured that number of stars. Twelve was eventually adopted as a number with no political connotations and as a symbol of perfection and completeness because of the ubiquity of the number for groups in European cultures and traditions such as: