History of the Lithuanian Flag
The Lithuanian flag consists of three horizontal bands, in the colors yellow, green, and red. The yellow color represents the sun, hope and the goodness of the country, the green color represents the forests and nature as well as hope, and the red color represents the blood that was shed in the many battles Lithuania fought for independence. The colors that are used on the Lithuania flag are also based on the country's traditional clothing.
The Lithuania flag was first adopted on April 25th, 1918, when they first declared independence from Russia but was forbidden from 1940 and re adopted again on March 20th, 1989. The flag holds great importance and significance to the country and on Independence Day, homeowners must fly the flag outside their house and they may be faced with a fine if they do not.
In the 14th Century, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was the largest country in Europe. The Grand Duchy was discovered by Lithuania and included the lands of Belarus, Latvia, Ukraine, parts of Estonia, Moldova, Poland, and Russia. It remained this way during the Polish-Lithuania commonwealth in 1569 and was seen as a very prosperous state until its decline in 1795 when Poland and Lithuania were no longer separate nations and Lithuania began to be ruled by Russia.
In 1832 and 1863, both Poland and Lithuania tried to rebel against the Russians, only to be defeated. In 1915, the Germans took over Lithuania and on February 16th, 1918, Lithuania gained independence. In 1940, the Russians once again invaded Lithuania and it became part of the Soviet Union until 1941, during World War II, when Germany invaded Russia and Lithuania came under the Ruling of Nazi Germany from 1941-1944.
When Nazi Germany occupied Lithuania, practically all Lithuanian Jews were killed (approximately 190,000) which made it the highest total mortality rate of the holocaust. In 1945, following World War II, Russia once again took control of Lithuania and ruled until Lithuania's independence in 1989. Lithuania was the first soviet country that gained independence.
Lithuania is one of the three Baltic States (the other two being Estonia and Latvia). It is located in Northern Europe and it shares borders with Latvia, Belarus, Poland, and Russia. Its capital city is called "Vilnius." Lithuania is considered a high-income economy with a lot of the economy relying on agriculture and service. Tourism also contributes and is increasing each year as it is home to approximately 1000 tourist attractions. One of the most popular attractions includes the "Hill of Crosses" which is located in North Lithuania in Siauliai.
It is thought that crosses first began to be placed on the hills in 1832, in Lithuania's attempt to rebel against Russia. The crosses were placed there when families could not locate the bodies of their loved ones. Over the years, the hill of crosses held great importance to the natives and people began to go there, not only to mourn their loved ones but to pray for their country and for peace. It was estimated in 2006, that there are approximately 100,000 crosses there as well as carvings of the Virgin Mary.
Lithuania National Anthem
National Hymn (Tautiska giesme)
Lithuania, our homeland,
Land of heroes!
Let your sons draw their strength
From our past experience
Let your children always follow
Only roads of virtue,
May your own, mankind's well-being
Be the goals they work for
May the sun above our land
Banish darkening clouds around
Light and truth all along
Guide our steps forever
May the love of Lithuania
Brightly burn in our hearts.
For the sake of this land
Let unity blossom