List of national anthems
Most nation-states have anthems, defined as "a song, as of praise, devotion, or patriotism"; most anthems are either marches or hymns in style. A hymn can become a national anthem by a provision in the state's constitution, by a law enacted by its legislature, or simply by tradition. A royal anthem is a patriotic song similar to a national anthem, but it specifically praises or prays for a monarch or royal dynasty. Such anthems are usually performed at public appearances by the monarch or during other events of royal importance. Some states use the royal anthem as the national anthem, such as the anthem of Jordan.
There are multiple claimants to the position of oldest national anthem. Among the national anthems, the first to be composed was the Dutch national anthem the "Wilhelmus", which was written between 1568 and 1572. The Japanese anthem, "Kimigayo", employs the oldest lyrics of any national anthem, taking its words from the "Kokin Wakashū", which was first published in 905, yet these words were not set to music until 1880. The first anthem to be officially adopted as such was the Spanish anthem "Marcha Real", in 1770; its origins remain unclear, being suggested to have sixteenth century Venetian origins, or even to have been composed by king Frederick the Great himself; it is also one of the few national anthems that has never had official lyrics. Anthems became increasingly popular among European states in the 18th century. For example, the British national anthem "God Save the Queen" was first performed under the title "God Save the King" in 1745. The French anthem "La Marseillaise" was written half a century later in 1792, and adopted in 1795.
National anthems are usually written in the most common language of the state, whether de facto or official. States with multiple national languages may offer several versions of their anthem. For instance, Switzerland's national anthem has different lyrics for each of the country's four official languages: French, German, Italian, and Romansh. One of New Zealand's two national anthems is commonly sung with the first verse in Māori ("Aotearoa") and the second in English ("God Defend New Zealand"). The tune is the same but the lyrics have different meanings. South Africa's national anthem is unique in that it is two different songs put together with five of the country's eleven official languages being used, in which each language comprises a stanza.
Anthems of UN member states and observer states
Only United Nations member states and observer states are included in this table. Anthems of sovereign states which are not UN members or observers are listed in a separate table below. An English translation of the title is provided in parentheses where appropriate.
Anthems of other states and territories
This table includes anthems of de facto sovereign states which are not members or observers of the United Nations. Many of them have received little or no recognition from the international community; some are widely considered to be part of one of the countries listed above.
|Territory||Territorial anthem||Date adopted||Lyrics writer||Officially known as||Music writer||Audio|
|1992||Genady Alamiya||"State Anthem of the Republic of Abkhazia"||Valera Çkaduwa|
|Artsakh||"Azat u ankakh Artsakh"
("Free and independent Artsakh")
|1992||Vardan Hakobyan||"Unofficial State Anthem of the Republic of Artsakh"||Armen Nasibyan||"Azat u anakh Artsakh"|
|Kosovo||"Europe"||2008||No lyrics||"State Anthem of the Republic of Kosovo"||Mendi Mengjiqi||"Europe"|
|Northern Cyprus||"İstiklâl Marşı"
|1921||Mehmet Akif Ersoy||"The Turkish Cypriot State Anthem"||Zeki Üngör||"İstiklâl Marşı"|
|Somaliland||"Samo ku waar"||1991||Hassan Sheikh Mumin||"Somaliland"||Hassan Sheikh Mumin|
|South Ossetia||"Respublikæ Hussar Irystony Paddzahadon Gimn"
("National Anthem of South Ossetia")
|1995||Totraz Kokaev||"Respwlikæ Hwßar İrisânı Pađzahadân Ģimń"||Felix Alborov|
|Republic of China (Taiwan)||"San Min Chu-i"
("Three Principles of the People")[note 17]
|1937 (de facto)
1943 (de jure)
|Sun Yat-sen||"National Anthem of the Republic of China"[note 18]||Ch'eng Mao-yün||"San Min Chu I"|
|Transnistria||"My slavim tebia, Pridnestrovie"
("We glorify you, Pridnestrovie")
|1992||Boris Parmenov, Vitaly Pishenko, Nicholas Bozhko||"Mı slavim tebia Prîdnestrâviē"||Boris Alexandrov||"My slavim tebia"|
|Western Sahara||"Yā Banīy As-Saharā"
("O Sons of the Sahara")
|1979||unknown||"Western Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republican Anthem"||unknown||—|
- Anthem of Europe
- Anthems of the autonomous communities of Spain
- List of anthems of non-sovereign countries, regions and territories
- List of historical national anthems
- List of U.S. state songs
- Olympic Hymn
- Royal anthem
- Earth anthem
- "God Save the Queen" is the royal anthem of Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Canada, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, the Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu, and one of New Zealand's two national anthems.
- "My Belarusy" was originally adopted by the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic.
- "Lijepa naša domovino" was originally adopted by the Socialist Republic of Croatia.
- "Hymn to Liberty" is the national anthem of both Cyprus and Greece.
- By the power of the Constitution of Cyprus, the Turkish national anthem "İstiklâl Marşı" was used when a Turkish Cypriot representative was present. The practice lasted up to 1963.
- Originally adopted by Czechoslovakia as a part of its hymn in 1918 (together with Slovak "Nad Tatrou sa blýska"), and latter in 1993 by the Czech Republic (already without the Slovak part).
- "Der er et yndigt land" ("There is a lovely country") is the second national anthem of Denmark.
- This refers to "God Defend New Zealand", not "God Save the Queen".
- Until the early 20th century, "Sønner av Norge" was the most recognised national anthem of Norway. Also "Norges Skaal" and "Mitt lille land" have at times been described as national anthems. Norway's royal anthem is "Kongesangen".
- The song was first performed in 1864, but only gradually came to replace the older national anthem "Sønner av Norge" as de facto national anthem
- Also known by its incipit: "Jeszcze Polska nie zginęła, kiedy my żyjemy" ("Poland Is Not Yet Lost, So long as we still live").
- "Zdravljica" was originally adopted by the Socialist Republic of Slovenia. Only the seventh stanza of the song is used as the national anthem.
- The "National Anthem of South Africa" is a hybrid of "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika" ("God Bless Africa") and "Die Stem van Suid-Afrika"
("The Call of South Africa").
- Sweden's royal anthem is "Kungssången".
- Thailand's royal anthem is "Phleng Sansoen Phra Barami".
- Written in 1814. Prior to 1931 various songs, including The Star-Spangled Banner were used, including "Hail, Columbia", "My Country, 'Tis of Thee", and "America the Beautiful"
- "National Banner Song" is used as the alternate anthem for the Republic of China at international events such as the Olympic Games.
- The official state name of Taiwan is the "Republic of China".
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- "God Save the King". 15. The Gentleman's Magazine. October 1745: 552.
- "La Marseillaise". Fordham University. Retrieved 2008-04-17.
- "Facts and figures". Government of Switzerland. Archived from the original on 2008-06-11. Retrieved 2008-04-17.
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- "National Anthems of the World" (7th edn), pp. 14–17.
- "National Anthems of the World" (7th edn), pp. 18–21.
- "Bosnia Anthem Gets Lyrics After 10 Years", Bosnia Insight, February 23, 2009.
- Udenrigsministeriet (6 August 2001). "Instruks for Udenrigstjenesten". Retsinformation. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
- "Elementary schools face new mandate: Patriotism, 'Kimigayo'". The Japan Times Online. Kyodo News. 2008-03-29. Retrieved 2011-08-20.
- 国旗及び国歌に関する法律 (法律第百二十七号） (in Japanese). Government of Japan. 1999-08-13. Retrieved 2011-08-20.
- Datenbank-europa.de Archived 2012-07-02 at the Wayback Machine.
- Christine Zuchora-Walske (2008). Nepal in Pictures. Twenty-First Century Books. p. 69. ISBN 0-8225-8578-2. Retrieved 2011-07-23.
- "Nepali Cabinet Approves New National Anthem". People's Daily. 2007-04-20. Retrieved 2011-07-23.
- Martell, Peter (2011-01-11). "A Song for South Sudan: Writing a New National Anthem". BBC News. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
- "Kosovo Approves Anthem with No Lyrics". Balkan Insight. 2008-06-11. Archived from the original on 2008-06-12. Retrieved 2008-06-11.
Most of the parliamentary groups said they listened to all three shortlisted proposals but opted for the composition called ‘Europe’ by Mehdi Mengjiqi, which has no lyrics as it would respect the multi-ethnic nature of Kosovo.
- NationalAnthems.us makes it easy to find information about world anthems, and promotes the exchange of information about anthems.
- National anthems of the world, performed by the United States Navy Band