Flag anthem

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A flag anthem or national flag anthem is a patriotic song or ode dedicated to a flag, usually one of a country. It is usually either sung or played during or immediately before the raising or lowering of a country's flag during a ceremony. Most countries use their respective national anthems or some other patriotic song[1] for this purpose. However, a few countries, particularly those in Latin America, use a discrete flag anthem for such purposes. Not all countries have flag anthems. Some used them in the past but no longer do, such as Iran, China, and South Africa. Flag anthems can be officially codified in law, or unofficially recognized as such through mere custom and convention. In some countries, the flag anthem may be just another song, and in others, it may be an official symbol of the state almost akin to a second national anthem, as in Taiwan.

List of flag anthems[edit]

Country Song Year Writer Composer Notes
 Bolivia "El Himno a la Bandera" 1947[2] Ricardo Mujía Manuel Benavente
 Brazil "Hino à Bandeira Nacional"
1906 Olavo Bilac Francisco Braga
 Costa Rica "El Himno a la Bandera"[3]
 Dominican Republic "El Himno a la Bandera"[4][5] Ramon Emilio Jimenez
 Ecuador "El Himno a la Bandera" 1936[6] Ángel Rivadeneira Pérez Ángel Rivadeneira Pérez
 Estonia "Eesti lipp" 1922 (music), 1897 (lyrics) Martin Lipp Enn Võrk
 Finland "Lippulaulu" 1927[7] V.A. Koskenniemi Yrjö Kilpinen
 Indonesia "Berkibarlah Benderaku" 1950[8] Ibu Soed
 Italy "Onori e Inno Nazionale"[9][10] 1847 No lyrics Michele Novaro Essentially an abridged version of the Italian national anthem played with ruffles and flourishes beforehand and omitting the introductory section. The song concludes where the bridge of the national anthem would otherwise begin. Alternatively known as "Alzabandiera".
 Malaysia "Jalur Gemilang" 1997 Siso Kopratasa Pak Ngah
 Netherlands "Het Vlaggelied" 1863 (lyrics),[11] 1853 (music)[12] Jan Pieter Heije Wilhelmus Smits
 Paraguay "Himno a la Bandera" 1944[13] Mauricio Cardozo Ocampo Mauricio Cardozo Ocampo
 Taiwan "Zhōnghuá Míngúo Gúoqígē"
1936 (music), 1937 (lyrics) Tai Chi-tao Huang Tzu The author of the lyrics is disputed, though it is usually attributed to Tai Chi-tao. An alternate title is "Qīngtiānbáirì mǎn dì hóng", which means "The clear blue sky, white sun, and a wholly red ground". This song is played at international sporting events in place of the Taiwanese national anthem. Formerly used as the flag anthem of China from 1937 to 1949.
 United States "You're a Grand Old Flag" (unofficial, de facto)
1906 George M. Cohan Unofficial, de facto. The U.S. officially does not have a flag anthem, however the U.S. Marine Corps occasionally plays this song instrumentally prior to raising the U.S. flag during ceremonies,[14] while transporting the flag to the flagpole in what the U.S. military refers to as the "march of the colors".[1][15] Either the U.S. national anthem or "To the Colors" is played during the actual raising of the flag itself.[16][17][18] For indoor ceremonies by the U.S. Army, "National Emblem" is used.[19]
 Uruguay "Mi Bandera" 1939[20] Nicolás Bonomi José Usera

Former flag anthems[edit]

Country Song Used Writer Composer Notes
 China "Zhōnghuá Míngúo Gúoqígē"
1937–1949 Tai Chi-tao Huang Tzu The author of the lyrics is disputed, though it is usually attributed to Tai Chi-tao. An alternate title is "Qīngtiānbáirì mǎn dì hóng", which means "The clear blue sky, white sun, and a wholly red ground". Now used as the flag anthem of Taiwan.
 Iran "Sorude Parcam"
Until 1979 Mohamad Haschim Afsar [fa] Davood Najmi Moghaddam Title literally means "Flag song" in English; tune also used in the Iranian royal and anthem and national anthem of the time.
 South Africa[21][22] "Vlaglied"[23][24][25][26][21] 1961–1994[21] Cornelis Jacobus Langenhoven[21] F.J. Joubert [af][21] Also known alternatively as "Ons eie vlag".[27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Morning Colors Ceremony Camp Pendleton 2-1-12". YouTube. February 1, 2012.
  2. ^ Monografía del Colegio Nacional "Juan Misael Saracho": con un preambulo sobre nuestra historia educacional y consideraciones acerca del estado actual de la educación en Bolivia. University of Texas. 1947. p. 162. Retrieved October 1, 2017.
  3. ^ http://www.infoweb.co.cr/costa_rica/audio/bandera-cr.mp3. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ "Ya+empezó+su+trabajo+la+escuela+y+es+preciso+elevarte+a+lo+azul"&dq="Ya+empezó+su+trabajo+la+escuela+y+es+preciso+elevarte+a+lo+azul"&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjFrdbf7bTXAhVGxYMKHRmGA6IQ6AEIMTAB https://books.google.com/books?id=wf8VAQAAMAAJ&q="Ya+empezó+su+trabajo+la+escuela+y+es+preciso+elevarte+a+lo+azul"&dq="Ya+empezó+su+trabajo+la+escuela+y+es+preciso+elevarte+a+lo+azul"&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjFrdbf7bTXAhVGxYMKHRmGA6IQ6AEIMTAB. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ "Ya+empezó+su+trabajo+la+escuela+y+es+preciso+elevarte+a+lo+azul"&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjFrdbf7bTXAhVGxYMKHRmGA6IQ6AEIKTAA#v=onepage&q=%22Ya%20empez%C3%B3%20su%20trabajo%20la%20escuela%20y%20es%20preciso%20elevarte%20a%20lo%20azul%22&f=false https://books.google.com/books?id=EO4yhaVkQloC&pg=PA103&dq="Ya+empezó+su+trabajo+la+escuela+y+es+preciso+elevarte+a+lo+azul"&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjFrdbf7bTXAhVGxYMKHRmGA6IQ6AEIKTAA#v=onepage&q=%22Ya%20empez%C3%B3%20su%20trabajo%20la%20escuela%20y%20es%20preciso%20elevarte%20a%20lo%20azul%22&f=false. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ "biografia de angel rivadeneira perez.... URGENTE XFAVOR. - Brainly.lat". brainly.lat.
  7. ^ "Finlands litteratur". Helsingin Yliopiston Kirjasto. 1 October 2017 – via Google Books.
  8. ^ "Cultureel niews Indonesië". Stichting voor de Culturele Samenwerking te Amsterdam. 1 October 2017 – via Google Books.
  9. ^ La Banda Militare: Italian and International Military Music (January 30, 2013). "Inno Nazionale (Schieramento della Bandiera Nazionale)". Retrieved 1 November 2018 – via YouTube.
  10. ^ "National Anthem Downloads, Lyrics, & Information: NationalAnthems.us - (Italy) Onori e Inno Nazionale - Flag Raising Song". www.nationalanthems.us.
  11. ^ Heije, Jan Pieter (1 October 1865). "Al de volksdichten van J. P. Heije". van Kampen – via Google Books.
  12. ^ Heije, Jan Pieter (1 October 2017). "Volks-zangboek voor meerstemmig gezang". P. N. van Kampen – via Google Books.
  13. ^ ""Somos lo que fuimos; seremos lo que somos": patria y patriotismo. Símbolos de la patria". Imprenta Nacional. 1 October 1964 – via Google Books.
  14. ^ "Ceremonial Music". www.marineband.marines.mil.
  15. ^ Deb S (7 February 2012). "Colors.Grand Old Flag - MCRD - San Diego - Delta Company - January 27, 2012" – via YouTube.
  16. ^ Marsel Cuka (September 11, 2008). "Colours 62 Area Camp Pendleton 9-11-2008". Retrieved November 3, 2009 – via YouTube.
  17. ^ Russ, L. (October 5, 2015). "Morning Colors Ceremony" – via YouTube.
  18. ^ Darrell307 (14 March 2011). "ParrisIslandMorningColors03112011.wmv" – via YouTube.
  19. ^ "Ceremonial Music Guide". www.usarmyband.com.
  20. ^ Argentina), Círculo Militar (Buenos Aires (1 October 2017). "Revista". Calle de Viamonte. – via Google Books.
  21. ^ a b c d e "South Africa - flag songs". www.crwflags.com. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  22. ^ at 11:08, Anton Janson 2015-01-21 (14 May 2013). "Die sing van "Vlaglied" in sommige wit Afrikaanse skole in die 1980's". LitNet.
  23. ^ plokij001001. "Vlaglied.wmv" – via YouTube.
  24. ^ "Musiek - FAK".
  25. ^ "'Vlaglied' Copyright Act, 1974" (PDF). South Africa: Republic of South Africa. 1974. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  26. ^ http://www.wipo.int/edocs/lexdocs/laws/en/za/za041en.pdf
  27. ^ TheKhanate (13 June 2016). "Flag anthem of South Africa (1961-1994): "Vlaglied"". Retrieved 25 November 2018 – via YouTube.

External links[edit]