The symbols which have been adopted by the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg are of the utmost importance and value, for they represent and symbolise the identity of a people, their sovereignty, and above all their desire to ' live together'.
The following symbols are noteworthy as regards the Luxembourg State:
- the State coat of arms;
- the Luxembourg flag;
- the national anthem.
The coat of arms, the Luxembourg flag and the national anthem are all protected by Law.
Coat of arms
The coat of arms of Luxembourg, modified many times, was devised in the years between 1235 and 1239 by Henri V, count of Luxembourg.
The now official version contains the following essential elements: barruly of argent and azure in ten parts and a lion rampant gules, crowned, armed and langued in gold with a forked tail crossed in saltire
There are three grades of the Grand Duchy's coat of arms: the small, the medium and the great coat of arms.
The first known flag was carried by Count William of Luxembourg in 1123. It was barred, i.e. horizontally striped, probably yellow and red.
The current Luxembourg flag is made u of three horizontal bands of red white and sky blue
In order to tell the Luxembourg and Dutch flags apart, a pragmatic solution was adopted: the Dutch blue is ultramarine and the Grand Duchy's blue is sky blue (Pantone colour code 299C).
The National Anthem consists of the first and last verses of the song Ons Heemecht ("Our Homeland") dating from 1859, with words by the poet Michel Lentz set to music by Jean-Antoine Zinnen.
The national anthem, which was given its first public performance at a grand ceremony in Ettelbruck in 1864, issues a vibrant appeal for peace and freedom.
It expresses the country’s great joy at having achieved independence in 1839 in an atmosphere of peace and prosperity.
Our Homeland (translation)
Where the Alzette slowly flows,
The Sura plays wild pranks,
Where fragrant vineyards amply grow
On the Mosella's banks;
There lies the land for which we would
Dare everything down here,
Our own, our native land which ranks
Deeply in our hearts!
O Thou above whose powerful hand
Makes States or lays them low,
Protect this Luxembourger land
From foreign yoke and woe.
Your spirit of liberty bestow
On us now as of yore.
Let Freedom's sun in glory glow
For now and evermore.
(Translation: Nicholas E. Weydert / 1929)
Ons Heemecht (original)
Wou d'Uelzecht durech d'Wisen zéit,
Duerch d'Fielsen d'Sauer brëcht.
Wou d'Rief laanscht d'Musel dofteg bléit,
Den Himmel Wäin ons mëcht.
Dat as onst Land, fir dat mir géif,
Heinidden alles won.
Ons Heemechtsland, dat mir sou déif
An onsen Hierzer dron.
O Du do uewen, deem séng Hand
Duurch d'Welt d'Natioune leet.
Behitt Du d'Lëtzebuerger Land
Vru friemem Joch a Leed!
Du hues ons all als Kanner schon
de fräie Geescht jo gin.
Looss viru blénken d'Fräiheetssonn
déi mir sou laang gesin.