Field and river

20th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies (ICES20)
Mekelle University, Ethiopia

"Regional and Global Ethiopia - Interconnections and Identities"
1-5 October, 2018

ICES20 logo

Use the "back" button of your browser to return to the list of abstracts.


MESFIN Messele, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia

This article aims to explore lyrics of the flag anthems of Ethiopia during Emperor Hailä Səllassie and Därg period. The first flag anthem of Ethiopia was written in 1942 and was in use until 1974. In 1975, following the Ethiopian revolution the flag anthem was suspended by law. Following the announcement for a new anthem, many writers submitted new lyrics. However, none of the lyrics suggested by professionals were able to meet the standards set by the committee. Consequently, a new invitation was announced and some lyrics were chosen. But, before they serve their purpose a regime change occurred on 1990. The main objective of this research is to examine which of the flag anthems were used by the public and which were not. The analyses are based on the structure and content of the lyrics. Questions on the structure of the lyrics and their relevance to the then governments are addressed. How far can the anthems reflect the political ideology of the consecutive governments and motives behind the lyrics are explored. To investigating the messages portrayed by the anthems pertaining to political ideology and philosophy, historical materials were consulted. The researcher believes that this work encourages study on flag anthems and contributes to broaden knowledge on Ethiopian history.