What you might need to know

This lesson is entirely about the EU and its flag.

It starts with getting the children to understand the local level, where they live, then the national level, the country Ireland with its flag. We then jump to the European level and we talk about Ireland being part of a big club with lots of other countries like Spain, Portugal or France.

The European Union was created in 1951 after WWII to try and maintain peace in Europe. At the start you only had 6 countries which wanted to be part of the club. They included the two countries which had been at the heart of the two WW in less than 30 years, namely France and Germany. The other four countries which were part of the adventure at the very start were Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

Ireland joined the club only later in 1973, together with the UK and Denmark. Ireland joining the EU meant that it opened up to other countries and it was the start of small Ireland becoming a very open economy!

For the children, we only get them to discuss their locality, their country and we point out the club at the European level. We identify the club with the flag, blue with a circle of 12 stars. 12 like the 12 hours on the clock or 12 months in the year. It is traditionally a number associated with balance and harmony.

It has nothing to do with the number of countries in the club since there are 27 of them.