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Thursday, November 4, 2010

FLAGS in National Anthems and Patriotic Songs, Part V

Most national anthems are not distinguished either for literary merit or musical quality. The overall aim is to place a patriotic poetic concept in a suitably dignified or stirring musical setting, so says Ronald L. Eisenberg (The American Philatelist, August 1995).
In order to proceed in alphabetical order, today I shall present "Flags mentioned in the anthems/ patriotic songs" of countries beginning with G and H.

"La Concorde" is the national anthem of Gabon. Written and composed by  Georges  Damas Aleka . Adopted in 1960.The last two lines and the chorus  of ‘La pera de la Concorde’ read;
Around this flag which leads us to honour,
Let us salute the Fatherland and ever sing!
The stamp above has the scores of La Concorde and the effigy of  Georges D. Aleka,  issued to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Gabon’s independence in 1985.

The State Anthem of the erstwhile Georgian SSR used from 1946 to 1991.The anthem inscribed the Soviet period banner: 
The Soviet banner, shining as the sun,
Is fluttering over you;
Blossom, our beautiful country,
Exult, the Georgian land”.
 The music was composed by Otar Taktakishvili, and the words were written by Grigol Abashidze and Alexander Abasheli. All three stanzas  in the original lyrics had references to Joseph Stalin, a native Georgian and leader of the Soviet Union . These words were completely removed after Stalin's death.

GERMANY (3rd Reich)
The Horst-Wessel-Lied (Horst Wessel Song), also known as Die Fahne hoch (The Flag Up High), was the marching song of the Nazi Party from 1930 till it was declared "out-lawed" by the Allies Forces in 1945. From 1933 to 1945 it was the national anthem of the 3rd Reich, usually sung along with the first stanza of Deutschlandlied. This combined version was known as the "Lieder der Nation" (Song of the Nation).
The flag high! The ranks tightly closed!
 SA* march with calm, firm steps.
Comrades shot by the Red front and reactionaries
March in spirit in our ranks.
Clear the streets for the brown battalions,
Clear the streets for the storm troopers!
Already millions look with hope to the Swastika
The day of freedom and bread is dawning!
Roll call has sounded for the last time
We are all already prepared for the fight!
Soon Hitler's flag will fly over all streets.
Our servitude will soon end!
The flag high! The ranks tightly closed!
SA marches with a calm, firm pace.
Comrades shot by the Red Front and reactionaries
March in spirit in our ranks.
 According to regulation of  Hitler’s regime required the right arm to be raised in a "Nazi Salute" when the first and fourth verses were sung. Note;  SA  stands for Sturm Abteilung (also known as Storm troopers or Brown shirts)
     The Himno Nacional de Guatemala was written by José Joaquín Palma and composed by Rafael Álvarez Ovalle. Adopted in 1896 as the winning entry in a competition held by the government. The lyrics were modified in 1934 by Prof. Jose Maria Bonilla Ruano.
            Libre al viento tu hermosa bandera
           Fairest flag, in the wind freely floating,
            You invoke us to conquer or die,
           For your sons most courageously noting your proud symbol,
            Will bondage defy.
            Another translation
Free into the wind, your beautiful flag
To victory or death it will call
Since your people, with fiery soul
Will be dead before enslaved.

"Esta é a Nossa Pátria Bem Amada" (This Is Our Beloved Country) is the natinoal anthem of Guinea-Bissau. Written and composed by Amilcar Cabral, adopted in 1974.
The banner of our struggle
Has fluttered in the sky.
 It was also the national anthem of Cape Verde until 1996, when a new anthem (Cântico da Liberdade) was chosen by Cape Verde.
Haiti is one of the few countries whose anthem glorifies a national hero and has flag reference, 
 “La Dessalinienne”  honoring Jean-Jacques Dessalines, founder of Haiti as an independent republic in 1803. It was written by Justin Lhérisson and composed by Nicolas Geffrard and adopted in 1904. 
In the fifth verse states;
              “ For flag on high, for native land,
              ‘tis fine to die.
               Our traditions demand be ready, heart and hand;
               ‘tis fine to die,
                 ‘tis fine to die for flag on high, for native land.”

The Himno Nacional de Honduras” was adopted 1915. The lyrics were written by Augusto Constancio Coello and the music composed by Carlos Hartling.
 The anthem commences Tu bandera, tu bandera es un lampo de ceilo (has been variously translated as “Your flag, your flag is a lamp in the sky”, or “Oh! Your flag waves, like a symbol in heaven”, or “Your banner, your banner is splendor from heaven”, or “Lo, the banner of this country has the splendor of heavens” and “As your standard, as your standard serves a strip of cloudless azure”) and continues;  “Which in twain is cut, which in twain is cut by a band that shows besprinkle; in whose sacred abuses there twinkle five pale stars with softest rays blue”. The stars represent the five Central American Republics (including Honduras)  that formed a Union in the early 1800s.
(To be continued)


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