Himni i Flamurit (Hymn to the Flag)

“Himni i Flamurit” (Hymn to the Flag) is the national anthem of Albania, holding a place of deep significance and powerful symbolism in the hearts of Albanian people.

Adopted in 1912, just as Albania declared independence from the Ottoman Empire, the national anthem of Albania was originally titled “Betimi mbi Flamur” (“The Pledge on the Flag”). The music for the anthem was adapted from the Romanian patriotic song “Pe-al nostru steag e scris Unire” by Ciprian Porumbescu, while the lyrics were penned by Albanian poet Asdreni, drawing inspiration from the original Romanian lyrics.

Meaning and Symbolism:

The title itself, “Hymn to the Flag,” emphasizes the central role the flag plays in representing Albania’s national identity and unity. The lyrics express themes of patriotism, bravery, sacrifice, and unwavering resolve in the face of adversity, celebrating the country’s historical struggles for freedom and liberation.

References to blood (“blood spilled, blood of heroes”) evoke the sacrifices made throughout Albania’s history. The oath of loyalty pledged to the flag (“to you we swear, for you we fight”) highlights the commitment to defend the nation. The final lines proclaim Albania’s eternal existence (“Forever you’ll be remembered”), embodying unwavering faith in the nation’s future.

Cultural Significance:

“Himni i Flamurit” is deeply ingrained in Albanian culture and national life. It is sung with reverence and pride at official ceremonies, sporting events, and other patriotic occasions. Knowing and singing the anthem is considered a mark of national identity and respect, serving as a unifying force that reminds Albanians of their shared history and common destiny.

Additional Information:

The melody of “Himni i Flamurit” is similar to the national anthems of several other countries, reflecting the interconnectedness of cultures and historical influences. Over time, there have been minor adjustments to the lyrics, but the core message of devotion to Albania remains unchanged.

Himni i Flamurit (Hymn to the Flag) Lyrics

  • Composer: Ciprian Porumbescu
  • Lyricist: Aleksander Stavre Drenova
  • Lyrics: Asdreni, 1912
  • Music: Ciprian Porumbescu, ext. 1883
Albanian originalEnglish translation
Rreth flamurit të përbashkuar
Me një dëshir’ e një qëllim,
Të gjith’ atij duke u betuar
Të lidhim besën për shpëtim.
???? Prej lufte veç ai largohet
Që është lindur tradhëtor,
Kush është burrë nuk frigohet,
Po vdes, po vdes si një dëshmor! ????

Në dorë armët do t’i mbajmë,
Të mbrojmë atdheun në çdo kënd,
Të drejtat tona ne s’i ndajmë;
Këtu armiqtë s’kanë vend!
???? Se Zoti vetë e tha me gojë
Që kombe shuhen përmbi dhe,
Po Shqipëria do të rrojë;
Për të, për të luftojmë ne! ????

O Flamur, flamur, shenj’ e shenjtë
Tek ti betohemi këtu
Për Shqipërin’ atdheun e shtrenjtë,
Për nder’ edhe lavdimn e tu.
???? Trim burrë quhet dhe nderohet
Atdheut kush iu bë therror.
Përjetë ai do të kujtohet
Mbi dhe, nën dhe si një shenjtor! ????
Around our flag we stand united,
With one wish and one goal,
A sacred oath we bestow upon it
Proclaiming loyalty for our salvation.
???? From war abstains only he,
Who a traitor is born,
He who is a true man is not frightened,
But dies a martyr to the cause. ????

With weapons in our hands a-brandished,
We will defend our fatherland,
Our sacred rights we’ll not relinquish,
The foe has no place in our land.
???? For God himself proclaimed:
Some nations of the earth shall wane,
But Albania will live, will thrive Albania.
For her, for her we fight. ????

O Flag, flag, you sacred symbol
Upon you we now swear
For Albania, our dear fatherland
For honour and your glory.
???? Brave man is named and honoured
The one who sacrificed himself for the fatherland
Forever he will be remembered
On earth and under as a saint! ????

Listen to the national anthem of Albania

U.S. Navy Band instrumental version (one verse)
First voice recording of the anthem (1918)

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