Austria Flag

Flag Date of Adoption

Legislated 27 April 1984, flag dates to 1230

Flag Symbolism

The flag has three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and red.

The flag appeared under Duke Friedrich II and a seal in use after November 30, 1230, and a seal dated December 18, 1254, shows the Austrian standard bearer with the same flag.

Legend has it that the colors were granted Duke Leopold V (1177-1194) by King Heinrich VI at the Battle of Ptolemais in 1191 when Leopold's tunic was so blood-drenched that the only white color remaining was on that part of his tunic shielded by his sword belt

These colors were declared the national flag of Austria by Emperor Joseph II on March 20, 1786. Most recently the colors were officially adopted on October 21 1919 in the Federal Constitution by the new Austrian Republic based on the flag of the Babenberg dynasty

Austria National Anthem

Listen to National Anthem
Anthem History After the first world war and the dissolution of Austria-Hungary, Austria's ties to Germany became stronger, and the melody of Austria's anthem was now being used in Germany as well, and Austria was eventually annexed by Germany in 1938.

On 9 April 1946, the Austrian Federal Government announced a competition for the text of a new national anthem. It was to be "a song of hymn-like character paying tribute in words and music to the new Austrian federal state and its people both at home and abroad." The old anthem, now being used by Germany, could not be used because of its association with the Nazi regime. An agreement was soon reached on the melody; popular belief is that it is a work from Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, but study has shown that it was not. They believe that evidence points instead to his contemporary Johann Holzer.

Minister of Education Felix Hurdes persuaded his mother, the writer --herself the granddaughter of a Croatian national poet--to submit an entry for the competition. However, she was busy working on a new novel, had little time to spare for her entry, and Education Minister Hurdes had to jog her memory several times. When her unaffected, affecting lines did finally reach the jury--made up of literary figures, musicians, and politicians--they awarded her text the highest points. The text was never published in the official Legal Gazette but appeared in the 22 March 1947 issue of the Die Presse newspaper. Two weeks earlier the anthem had been played on the radio. It established its popularity relatively fast, although the melody was considerably more complex than that of the former anthem. When Education Minister Hurdes reported to the cabinet on the outcome of the competition, the cabinet passed a motion--at the instigation of the Federal President--that in the course of the State Treaty negotiations Austria should insist that "Germany be prohibited from using the Haydn anthem because it is a long-standing Austrian cultural asset."
Anthem Lyrics Land der Berge, Land am Strome,

Land der Äcker, Land der Dome,

Land der Hämmer zukunftsreich!

Heimat bist du großer Söhne,

Volk begnadet für das Schöne,

Vielgerühmtes Österreich,

Vielgerühmtes Österreich!

Heiß umfehdet, wild umstritten,

Liegst dem Erdteil du inmitten

Einem starken Herzen gleich.

Hast seit frühen Ahnentagen

Hoher Sendung Last getragen,

Vielgeprüftes Österreich,

Vielgeprüftes Österreich.

Mutig in die neuen Zeiten,

Frei und gläubig sieh uns schreiten,


und hoffnungsreich

Einig laß in Bruderchören,

Vaterland, dir Treue schwören.

Vielgeliebtes Österreich,

Vielgeliebtes Österreich.
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