When I first read the eschatological works of Hal Lindsey and others, one of the favorite themes was numerological analysis of the Book of Revelation, in which the EU figured prominently.
And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
At the time, the then EEC had six members, so an expansion to seven or ten (which seemed likely) would fulfil the prophecy and signal the impending arrival of the end times. The Whore of Babylon also fitted in, but I can’t remember how. The EU did have ten members between 1981 and 1986, and I remember speculating that Reagan might be the Antichrist – surviving an assassination attempt was supposed to be a crucial sign (Revelation 13:1-2). But the world did not end after all.
Now, thanks to the Economist, I discover that Lindsey was right, except for a reversal of alignment. Arsene Heitz, the designer of the EU Flag advises that it was inspired by Revelation 12:1
A great sign was seen in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
normally taken to refer to the Virgin Mary. I’d be fascinated to see an apocalyptic Protestant response to this revelation.