NATO is an intergovernmental political and military alliance, which has among its members the United States of America, Canada and most of the countries of Europe. In was founded under the auspices of the United States in 1949 in the aftermath of the Second World War to counteract the influence of the Soviet Union in Europe. Since then the organisation has had seven enlargements and now unites 29 states.

Meaning and history

At the outset, after the signing of the Treaty in 1951, NATO used the flag of Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe. The developers of the NATO emblem were tasked to find a variant that would be concise and simple, but at the same time bear the ideals and customs of the alliance. In October 1953 the current emblem version was accepted.


In the centre of the emblem there is a quadrilateral white star belted by a thin white circle line. The star can be regarded as a compass or a wind rose. From the top of four star rays radiate four white stripes. The corners of the star point to the four sides of the world and the image of the compass symbolizes the correct direction towards peace taken by the alliance. The rays of the star point to NATO member countries situated in various parts of the world on both sides of the Atlantic; the circle line around the star is a symbol of their unity and cooperation, while the blue background of the star is a link to the colour of the ocean.

Lately, the logo has been modified to be used on official documents. It became more compact and consists of the “compass” emblem and the name of the alliance in English (NATO) and French (OTAN) languages placed one under another on the background of a black rectangle. The writings are made in well readable and elegant graphics very close to Garamond Serial Light font. The abbreviation “NATO” stands for North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The emblem has the white NATO quadrilateral star with the traditional white circle line, but this time it divides square background into four fields in dark blue and light cerulean blue tones alternately.

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