The full official name of the Polish state is Rzeczpospolita Polska, which loosely translates as Republic of Poland.
National symbols of Poland are the White Eagle, the red and white color and the national anthem, “Dąbrowski’s Mazurka”.
The flag of Poland consists of two horizontal stripes of equal width; the upper one is white and the lower one is red. It was officially recognized in 1919, one year after Poland regained its independence. White and red are Polish national colors. They are of heraldic origin and derive from the colors of the coat of arms.
There are four regular flag flying days in Poland: May 1st (May Day), May 2nd (Polish Flag Day), May 3rd (Constitution Day) and November 11th (Independence Day).
Coat of arms
The national coat of arms is the White Eagle in a red shield. The eagle has a golden beak and talons, and is wearing a golden crown. The choice of the emblem is traditionally explained by the legend of the founder of Polish state, who saw a white eagle in a nest against the red sunset sky (read the Legend). Historically, the adaptation of this symbol goes back to the formation of Polish state; the eagle was adopted by first Polish rulers and kings as their emblem. The eagle’s image has undergone various modifications throughout centuries, yet it has remained Poland’s emblem. It was recognized as the official state symbol in 1918 when Poland regained its independence. During communist period the eagle was deprived of its crown, which was restored in 1990.
“Mazurek Dąbrowskiego” (Dąbrowski’s Mazurka) is the national anthem of Poland. It is also known by its first verse as “Poland is not yet lost” (“Jeszcze Polska nie zginęła”). Its original title was “Song of the Polish Legions in Italy”. The lyrics were written by Jozef Wybicki in 1797 in Italy, two years after the Third Partition of Poland erased the Polish state from the map. The music is a folk tune of mazurka; composer is unknown. The song accompanied Polish soldiers when they were fighting under General Jan Henryk Dąbrowski for Polish independence in Napoleon’s army. Soon it became one of the most popular patriotic songs.
The song begins with words: “Poland has not died yet as long as we live”. It expresses the idea that the lack of political independence does not mean that Polish nation disappeared. Poland exists, regardless of political circumstances, as long as Polish people are alive and fight in its name.
“Mazurek Dąbrowskiego” was officially adopted as the national anthem of the Republic of Poland in 1926.