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Heritage: History

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Lyrics and Verse:

Polish: First Verse and Chorus
Jeszcze Polska ne zginel~a
Po~ki my z~yjemy.
Co nam obca przemoc wziel~a
Szabla~ odbierzemy.
Marsz, Marsz Da~browski
Z ziemi wl~oskiej do Polski.
Za Twoim przewodem
Zl~a~czym sie~ z narodem.

English: First Verse and Chorus
Poland has not yet perished
While we still live.
What the foe took by force
We will take back with the sword.
March, march Da~browski
From Italian land to Poland.
Under your leadership
We will unite with the nation.

History of Anthem

General Jan Henryk Da~browski (1755-1818) was a very important figure from the period of the Partitions. He was in the Saxon army and then in the Polish army during the Insurrection of 1794. Polish patriots hoped that by lending assistance to the French in their hour of need during the 1789 Revolution, the French might in return help Poland regain her independence.

One of the Poles who travelled to Paris was Da~browski. In 1797 Napoleon gave permission for the formation of a Polish "Legion" under Da~browski's command in northern Italy. Later the same year a second Legion was raised (a total of about 7000 Poles were in these) and in 1797 a Third although under command of another general. They marched to a song composed for them by Jo~zef Wybicki (that became the National Anthem). They played a decisive role in Napoleon's battles in Italy in 1798, 1799 and 1800. After that however things didn't go so well and in the 1801 peace treaty between Austria and France no mention was made of the Polish independence question.

The Legions were changed to more direct French command, they began to be treated as mercenaries rather than allies, many Poles resigned, others were sent to the West Indies to put down a slave rebellion and died due to terrible conditions and neglect. But the Legions under Da~browski had a significant, good effect on the morale at home in divided Poland and helped provide a pool of officers and men trained in modern warfare techniques. This training was maintained in various ways among Poles living under the partitions and contributed to the fact that in 1918, when Poland was given independence, there were well-trained soldiers available able to create the new Polish army.

(Our special thanks to Danusia Morsley for her contribution by providing the translated lyrics and historical background on Poland's national anthem.)

History of Flag:

Poland's current flag colors of white over red bans was officially recognized in 1919 after their revolution for independence. It's origins date back to the banners of medevil times when it was initially a white eagle on a red background. In the 17th century, banners with the red and white color began to be used as the background with various emblems. Examples of these are available at the resource links below.

Other Resources:

  • National Anthems of Poem - Excellent history presentaton by USC.

  • National Anthems of Poland: Historical anthems of Poland and history.
  • Polskie Hymny Narodowe: From the Home Page of Zbigniew J. Pasek.
  • Polski Flagi I Choragwie: Extensive display and background on the various flags and banners of Poland.
  • Flags of the World: Poland's flag and related histories.
  • Wikipedia: Poland's flag and its history.

  • Logo ATPC