When Albania first gained independence as a monarchy in 1912 from Italy, "Hymni i Flamurit" was adopted, and has been kept as the anthem through its period as a Communist/Marxist state and now as a democratic nation. The original title of the hymn was "Betimi mi flamur," or "Pledge to the Flag." The hymn was first published as a poem in Liri e Shqipërisë (Freedom of Albania), an Albanian newspaper in Sofia, Bulgaria, in its issue of 21 April 1912. Later that year it appeared in a volume of collected poems by Drenova, under the title ëndra e lot (Dreams and Tears), which was published in Bucharest. The official anthem is two verses shorter than the original poem. The music was composed by the same person (a Romanian) who wrote the Romanian anthem in use from 1966-1989.
Hymni Kombëtar ( Hymni i Flamurit)
Rreth flamurit të përbashkuar,
Me një dëshirë dhe një qëllim,
Të gjithë Atij duke iu betuar,
Të lidhim besën për shpëtim.
Prej lufte veç ay largohet,
Që është lindur tradhëtor,
Kush është burrë nuk friksohet,
Po vdes, po vdes si një dëshmor.
Në dorë armët do t'i mbajmë,
Të mbrojmë Atdheun në çdo vend,
Të drejtat tona ne s'i ndajmë,
Këtu armiqtë s'kanë vend.
Se Zoti vet e tha me gojë,
Që kombe shuhen përmbi dhè,
Po Shqipëria do të rrojë,
Për te, për te luftojmë ne.
Anthem Lyrics English
The National Anthem
United around the flag,
With one desire and one goal,
Let us pledge our word of honor
To fight for our salvation
Only he who is a born traitor
Averts from the struggle.
He who is brave is not daunted,
But falls - a martyr to the cause.
With arms in hand we shall remain,
To guard our fatherland round about.
Our rights we will not bequeath,
Enemies have no place here.
For the Lord Himself has said,
That nations vanish from the earth,
But Albania shall live on,
Because for her, it is for her that we fight.
Flag Date of Adoption
22 May 1993
Has a red with a black two-headed eagle in the center called Gules, a double-headed eagle sable. This coat of arms was taken from the shield of George Castriota known as Iskander Bey, or Skanderbeg, a Turkish general who led the fight of the Albanians against the Turks in the 1440's He used the Byzantine two-headed eagle on his seals