To celebrate the European Union flag, the citizens of the eurozone chose a design by a Greek artist.
The European Commission announced May 28 that a design by George Stamatopoulos, designer at the Bank of Greece, was chosen in an online poll for a circulating commemorative €2 coin due for release later in 2015.
The winning obverse design shows 12 human-like figures, arms outstretched, spiraling upward from and surrounding the EU flag, on which a circle of 12 stars represents the original members. According to an AFP (Agence France-Presse in Brussels) report published by Kathimerini, Stamatopoulos said the design "represents twelve stars that morph into human figures embracing the birth of a new Europe."
A place for the name of the issuing country and the dates 1985-2015 also appear in the design, which is surrounded by the 12-star ring common to all €2 coins, which have a ringed-bimetallic composition.
All 19 euro-issuing member states will issue the coin. This is the fourth time that eurozone nations will participate in a joint circulating commemorative €2 coin program, following similar programs in 2007, 2009, and 2012.
Some 100,000 European residents voted for their favorite design among five pre-selected nominees. Mints in the eurozone submitted design proposals based on the European flag, and a professional jury selected which of the designs would be put up for the public vote.
The coin marks the 30th anniversary of the EU flag.
The following 19 EU member states have the euro as their currency and form the euro area: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.
The winning designer receives a trip to Milan on June 27 and 28, to mark the time and place when the European Council adopted the flag as the official EU emblem 30 years ago.
Voters were also awarded prizes.