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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Bangladesh Victory Day, 16 December

Bangladesh celebrates “December 16”  as “Victory Day (Bijôe Dibôsh) is a national holiday. On this day in 1971, the Pakistani Army surrendered to the Indo-Bangladeshi High Command in Dhaka, ending the 9 month-long Bangladesh Liberation War and 1971 Bangladesh atrocities. Lt. General A.A.K. Niazi, Commanding Officer of the Pakistan Armed Forces of the then East Pakistan, surrendered his forces to Lt. Gen J. Singh Arora, Commander of the Allied Forces.
AIR newscaster, Surojit Sen, with mike at right.  Vice Admiral Krishnan, Air Marshal Dewan, Lt. Gen Sagat Singh, Maj Gen J.F.R. Jacob (with Flt Lt Krishnamurthy peering over his shoulder). Others: Vice-Admiral Mohd Shariff, Commander of the Pak Eastern Naval Command and Air Vice-Marshal Patrick D. Callaghan of the Pak Air Force's Eastern Air Force Command, signed the agreement. For Bangladesh, Air Comdr A. K. Khandker acted as witness to the surrender. Lt. Gen. Sagat Singh, Commander of the Indian IV Corps, Air Marshal H.C.Dewan, Commander of Indian Eastern Air Command, Maj.Gen. Rafael Jacob, Chief of Staff of the Indian Eastern Command, acted as witnesses on behalf of India. Lt. Gen. Aurora accepted the surrender without a word
The Instrument of Surrender was signed at Ramna Race Course in Dhaka on December 16, 1971, by Lt General J. S. Arora, General Officer Commanding in Chief of Eastern Command of the Indian Army and Lt. General A.A.K. Niazi, Commander of Pakistani Forces, as the formal act of surrender of all Pakistani Forces. Also present during the ceremony were Lt. General J.F.R. Jacob, Chief of Staff of the Eastern Command and architect of the plan for the capture of Bangladesh.
Issue Date: 29-07-1971
Designer: Biman Mallik
Printer: Format International Printing Press, U.K.

The  flag of Bangladesh  used during the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971. 
 The map was later deleted in 1972 from the flag. The red disc represents the sun rising over the golden Bengal (Soner Bangla), and also the blood of those who died for the independence of Bangladesh. The green field stands for the lushness of the land of Bangladesh.
  Indian stamp issued on 10 April 1973, in commemoration of the inauguration of the first Parliament on 26-3-1971, gave itself a constitution on 16 December 1972. The stamp shows its National Flag with the Shapla - the National Flower of Bangladesh.
 Note the typical perforation shift only at the left bottom corner
India also commemorates victory over Pakistan on the same day in 1971 as Vijay Divas on 16 December.

Amar Shonar Bangla (My Golden Bengal) - the National Anthem of Bangladesh was written and composed by Rabindranath Tagore in 1905.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

FLAGS in National Anthems and Patriotic Songs, Part- VIII

For last few couple of posts I endeavour to present the "Anthems and Patriotic Songs featured in postage stamps" with brief notes mostly from my collection built up over the years with my little wherewithal s. Readers will appreciate that to present an exhaustive list of philatelic items featuring 'Flags in National Anthems and Patriotic Songs' is next to impossible and perhaps, can never be completed. I, therefore, welcome my readers to contribute in this Post for omissions, as well as, to bring forward any new findings for the sake of academic interest of all concerned.

Humat Al Hima"(L’Hymne National Tunisien) is the national anthem of Tunisia since November 1987.The text was written by Mostafa Saadeq Al-Rafe’ie. The music was composed by Mohammed Abdelwahab.
The song proclaims: “The banner of war in the north we have raised, by oath we to ransom our land all our bound”. The verse three continues  “The flag, as it waves in the sky, now salute, with honour and glory and great victory”.

“The March of Independence” (Istikal Marsi) was adopted as National Anthem in 1921 and its words were written by Mehmet Akif Ersoy (1873-1936) and its music was originally composed by Ali Rifat Çağatay's, but the same  was replaced in 1930 by a symphonic arrangement written by Zeki Üngör (1880-1958), conductor of the Presidential Symphonic Orchestra, with a new harmonization supplied by the Turkish-Armenian composer Edgar Manas.
               Fear not and be not dismayed                                                    This crimson flag will never fade                                                     It is the last hearth that’s burning                                                For my nation and we know for sure                                                     That it will never fail.                                                                       It is my nation’s star that ever forth  will shine.                               It is my nation’s star and it is mine.

Frown not, fair crescent, for I                                                     Am ready e’en to die for thee                                                   Smile now upon my heroic nation, leave this anger.                   Lest the bloodshed for thee unblessed be.                              Freedom’s the right of this my nation,                                  Yes, freedom for us who worship God and seek what’s right.

 Turkmen, the national Anthem of Independent Neutral Turkmenistan. The lyrics were written by Saparmurat Niyazov,  the first president of Turkmenistan. 
The anthem has the following wordings:
I am ready to give life for native hearth
The spirit of ancestors descendants are famous for
My land is sacred. My flag flies in the world
A symbol of the great neutral country flies.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
The National Anthem of the UAE is Ishy Bilady (Long Live my Nation), was officially adopted in 1971. The anthem was composed by Saad Abdel Wahab, who also composed the national anthems of  Libya. The lyrics to the anthem, adopted in 1996, were written by Arif Al Sheikh Abdullah Al Hassan.
  The safety has lasted and the flag has lived oh our Emirates       The symbol of Arabism                                                      We all sacrifice for you, we supply you with our blood              We sacrifice for you with our souls oh homeland

United States of America (USA)
The verses one through four of "The Star Spangled Banner" refer to the national flag of the US fondly called "The Old Glory" refer to the US flag with 15 stars & 15 stripes (1795-1818) that withstood enemy bombardment at Fort McHenry, Maryland, September 13/14, 1814, and inspired Francis Scott Key to write the "Star Spangled Banner."
"The Star-Spangled Banner" was recognized for official use by the US Navy in 1889 and the President in 1916, and was made the national anthem  in 1931.

  O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
O! say can you see by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O! say does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner, O! long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
50th anniversary of the adoption of US National Anthem

 The "Star-spangled Banner", was composed on board HMS MINDEN in 1814 by Francis Scott Key in Baltimore harbour when he was a prisoner of the British on board HMS Minden, an Indian teakwood man-of-war was happened to be the first ship to be launched in 1810 from Duncan Dock of Naval Dockyard, Bombay. This was also the first ship commissioned in the Royal Navy from India.HMS Minden was a 74-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 19 June 1810. She was named after the German town Minden and the Battle of Minden of 1759, a decisive victory of British and Prussian forces over France in the Seven Years' War.

Tiến Quân Ca (Forward, Soldiers) is the National anthem of Vietnam. It was written and composed by Van Cao in 1944, and was adopted in 1945. 
  The first verse states:
“Our flag, red with the blood of victory, bears the spirit of the country…” The second verse goes on: “The gold star of our flag in the wind, leading our people, our mother land, out of misery and suffering”.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

FLAGS in National Anthems and Patriotic Songs, Part- VII

Fida'I  (Revolutionist‎) is the “Anthem of the Palestinian revolution". It was adopted in 1996. Written by Said Al Muzayin (Aka Fata Al Thawra), and its music was composed by Egyptian maestro Ali Ismael. The song commences with the words:  Biladi Biladi (My country, my country) and the last stanza goes with:

“By the oath under the shade of the flag
By my land and nation, and the fire of pain
I will live as a Revolutionist*, I will remain a Revolutionist,
I will end as a Revolutionist - until my country returns”.


The Philippine National Anthem lyrics has three versions- "Lupang Hinirang" in Tagalog language (1948) penned by F
elipe Padilla de Leon
The anthem music was composed by Julian Felipe in 1898. The stamps above features Julian Felipe, the anthem composer, with Jose Palma.

 The anthem in Spanish version "Filipinas" was written by Jose Palma in 1899,  

  "Philippine Hymn" the anthem in English version (1938) was written by Camilo Osias.
Presently, only the anthem in Tagalog version is used throughout Philippines.
The first and second verses and the chorus of the Lupang Hinirang allude to the light of the sun and stars in the flag; the fourth verse states “Thy banner, dear to all our hearts, its sun and stars alight, O never shall its shinning field be dimmed by Tyrant’s might”.

A Portuguesa  is the national anthem of Portugal. Composed by Alfredo Keil  and written by Henrique Lopes de Mendonca during the resurgent nationalist movement ignited by the 1890British ultimatum to Portugal concerning its African colonies. It was adopted as the national anthem of the newborn Portiguse Republic in 1911, replacing O Hino da Carta  the anthem of the deposed  monarchy.

 Portugal celebrated the 100th anniversary of the first performance of its national anthem in 1990.

The anthem proclaims;
“Unfurl the unconquering flag in the bright light of your sky! Cry out to all Europe and the whole world that Portugal has not perished”.


Trei culori (Three colours) was the national anthem of Romania from 1977 until 1989. Since the anti-communist Revolution of 1989 it has been replaced by Deşteaptă-te, Române! (1989-present). Trei culori  was written by Ciprian Porumbescu, as the name suggests the anthem had a  direct reference to the Romanian tricoloured national flag. 

The song had the following wordings (variously translated);

Three colours I know in the world
And I hold them like a holy jewel
They are colours with an ancient fame
Reminders of a brave nation.
As long as in the sky and in the world
There will be these three colours
We'll have a glorious name
And a glorious future.
Red is the bravery's fire
Sacrifices that won't ever be lost
Yellow, the plain's gold
And blue is our sky.
Envelope with the score of Porumbescu's "Trei Culori" (in use-1977-1990) issued in 1977.
Even Te Slăvim Românie (We glorify thee, Romania) which was the national anthem during the period between 1953 and 1977 mentioned the Flag. 
São Tomé and Príncipe
“Independência Total” is the national anthem of São Tomé and Príncipe. The anthem, adopted in 1975, was written by Alda Neves da Graça do Espírito Santo and composed by Manuel dos Santos Barreto de Sousa e Almeida.

In the crusade of the African peoples,
Raising the national flag.
Voice of the people, present, present and united.

Saudi Arabia
The “Al- Salaam al-Mamlaki al- Saud”the Royal Salute of Saudi Arabia  was adopted in 1950 and then again in 1984 with a change in lyrics. The original lyrics (1950) were written by Mohammed Talat while the new lyrics (1984) were written by Ibrahim Khafaji.

“Hasten to glory and supremacy!
Glorify the Creator of the heavens
And raise the green, fluttering flag,
Carrying the emblem of Light!
Repeat - God is greatest!
O my country,
My country, may you always live,
The glory of all Muslims!
Long live the King,
For the flag and the country!”

(To be continued)

Monday, November 15, 2010

FLAGS in National Anthems and Patriotic Songs, Part - VI

It is not an easy task to make a comprehensive 'List of Anthems'

 having Flag reference in them, at the same time finding relevant 

Philatelic items for the same. The matter is further complicated as  

some Anthems do not have Titles; many simply are called "The 

Anthems of such and such Country", some Anthems do not have 

words, but are simply musical compositions. Study on Anthems 

presents many of the problems found in Flag research. Some 

Embassies/High Commissions do not give reply, information 

available in web sites are not necessarily authentic. Keeping all 

these constraints in mind I endeavour to present here my 

selection of next lot of Anthems having "FLAG" reference.

(To day we shall take up the Anthems of the countries in the alphabetical order of 'M' and 'O')

Denes nad Makedonija  is the national anthem of the Republic of Macedonia. It was composed by Todor Skalovski and the lyrics were written by Vlado Maleski in 1941

“Today over Macedonia, is being born

 the new sun of liberty. …
   …….  Now once again the flag flies”

Le Mali (popularly known as Pour l'Afrique et pour toi, is the national anthem of Mali. Written in French by Seydou Badian Kouyaté and the music composed by Banzoumana Sissoko. Adopted as the national anthem in 1962
Banzoumana Sissoko, The composer
Seydou Badian Kouyaté, the writer
The relevant verse translated as;
"For Africa and for you, Mali,
Our banner shall be liberty".

Hymne Monégasque is Monaco's national anthem. Théophile Bellando de Castro wrote the  original lyrics of the 1st edition of Hymne Monégasque in 1841, later it underwent many changes and finally in 1931 Louis Notari wrote the present lyrics in Monegasque language and composed the music.

"Forever, in our land,
One flag has flown in the wind
Forever, the colours red and white
Have symbolised our liberty
Great and small [people] have always respected them".
  Salve a ti, Nicaragua (Hail to thee, Nicaragua) is the Nicaraguan national anthem. The lyrics were written by Salomón Ibarra Mayorga, and the musical arrangement is by Luis A. Delgadillo.The Nicaraguan anthem is one of the only anthems in Latin America that speaks of peace instead of war.
Luis Abraham Delgadillo.(Issued in the International Year of Music-1985)
 An English translation; 
“The thunder of cannon calls thy people no longer to war, 
 and thy banner, twin-coloured, flies proudly,
stained with blood of thy children no more….. 
Honour, undimmed, thy shining ensign remains”.
Another English translation;
"Hail to thee, Nicaragua! On thy land
roars the voice of the cannon no more,
nor does the blood of brothers now stain
thy glorious bi-coloured  banner".
                    Nashid as-Salaam as-Sultani (Sultan's National Anthem)  It was adopted in 1970 and amended on November 6, 1996. The transliteration of the anthem follows.
 “May his independence be preserved, his banners perpetual giving their shade over Islam and Muslims”

 (To be continued)

Monday, November 8, 2010

FLAGs in National Anthems and Patriotic Songs, Part- VI

Today, I shall discuss the reference of 'Flag' in the anthems of Ireland, Jordon, Kyrgyzstan and Lebanon, the famous popular song dedicated to the flag of Japan, "Hi No Maru" and a prophetic song which predicted the Jews colours long before even State of Israel came into being.
  "Amhrán na bhFiann" (The Soldiers' Song) is the national anthem of Ireland. The music was written in 1907 by Peadar Kearney, who also composed the music with Patric Heeney. but the song was formally adopted as National Anthem in 1926 displacing the earlier Fenian anthem 'God save Ireland'.

"Sinne Fianna Fáil..."
Soldiers are we...
In valley green, on towering craig,
Our fathers fought before us
And conquered ’neath the same old flag
That’s proudly floating o’er us

Hatikvah  (The Hope) is the national anthem of Israel. The anthem's theme revolves around the nearly 2000-year-old hope of the Jewish people to be a free and sovereign people in the Land of Israel, a national dream that would eventually be realized with the founding of the modern State of Israel in 1948

Interestingly, more than three decades before the First Zionist Congress, in 1864 the Bohemian-Austrian poet Ludwig August Ritter von Frankl , a Jewish himself published a poem titled Juda’s Farben (Judah’s Colors). 
Frankl was the first person in modern times who voiced the idea that ‘Blue and White’ as the national flag colours of the Jewish people. His visionary (prophetic) poem was translated into flowery Hebrew entitled Hahavatzelet (The rose of Sharon) and was first published in 1878.

 When sublime feelings his heart fill,
He is mantled in the colours of his country
He stands in prayer, wrapped
In a sparkling robe of white.
The hems of the white robe
Are crowned with broad stripes of blue;
Like the robe of the High Priest,
Adorned with bands of blue threads.
These are the colours of the beloved country,
Blue and white are the borders of Judah;
White is the radiance of the priesthood,
And blue, the splendors of the firmament.”

Hinomaru (The Rising Sun) is the name of Japanese national flag and also the popular Japanese patriotic 'Flag Song' penned by Taisuyuki Takano and the  Music was composed by Teiichi Okano.
  Red on white
Flag is dyed
Oh beautiful
Japanese flag .

and goes on;
Sky High
Japanese flag raised
Oh beautiful
Japanese flag

Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (Al Mamlaka Al Urduniyya Al Haschimiyya). The Royal anthem of JordanAl-Salam al-Mamlaki al-Urduni” was adopted in 1946. The lyrics were written by Abdul Monem Al-Refai. The music was composed by Abdul Qader al-Taneer.

"Long live the King!

His position is sublime,

His banners waving in glory supreme".

The National Anthem of the Kyrgyz was adopted on 18 December 1992. The music was composed by Nasyr Davlesov and Kalyi Moldobasanov, and the words were written by Djamil Sadykov and Eshmambet Kuluev
                                "Dreams of the people came true,
And the flag of liberty is over us.
The heritage of our fathers we will
           Pass to our sons for the benefit of people".

The Lebanese National Anthem “Al –Lahan al-Watani al-Lubani” was written by Rashid Nakhle and composed by Wadih Sabra. It was adopted on July 12, 1927. 
   The anthem begins “All of us! For the country, for our Flag and Glory !” And continues :

The Cedars are his pride, his immortality's symbol.
All of us! For our Country, for our Glory and Flag!
(Note;  Cedar tree is the chief emblem of Lebanese Flag)
 (to be continued)