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Flags, Symbols, & Currencies of Lithuania

The flag of Lithuania was first adopted on April 25, 1918, but was abandoned in 1940 for the flag of Lithuania SSR. The flag was again readopted in 1988 and its proportion changed from 1:2 ratio to the current 3:4 ratio. The design, size, and use of the flag is defined in Lithuanian law that was passed in 1991 and amended in 2004. The flag is a tricolor of horizontal bands of yellow (top), green (middle), and red (bottom).

The yellow color on the flag of Lithuania symbolizes prosperity and the sun. The green color, forming the middle band of the tricolor, represents the greenery of the countryside and the forests of Lithuania. Green also symbolizes hope and freedom. Red, the bottom band, represents the courage of the Lithuanian people and the blood they shed to ensure the country's independence. Collectively the colors represent hope for the future, freedom from oppression, and the incredible courage of the Lithuanian people.

There are several rules regarding the use of Lithuania's national flag. The flag can be flown both horizontally and vertically. In the former case, the yellow band must be at the top, and in the latter case the red band must be towards the right. There are several other protocols regarding the use of the flag. Display of the flag is always encouraged, however, there are certain days, such as Flag Day (January 1) and Freedom Fighters Day (January 13), on which raising the flag is strongly encouraged or legally required.

History of the Flag of Lithuania

The current flag of Lithuania was first adopted on April 25, 1918, only two months after its independence. However, the independence of Lithuania only lasted from 1918 until 1940. The country was first occupied by Soviet Russia, and later by Nazi Germany. During the Soviet occupation, the flag of the Republic of Lithuania was discarded and replaced by a Soviet Lithuanian flag. The flag was initially a Soviet flag featuring the republic’s name, and later it appeared as a red flag with green and white bars at the bottom. The flag of the Republic of Lithuania was readopted following the re-establishment of the nation’s independence. On March 20, 1989, the previous flag introduced in 1918 was restored as the country's national flag.

Historical flags of Lithuania

Flag of Lithuania SSR

First flag of Lithiania SSR
First flag of Lithuania SSR

Flag of Lithuania SSR

Second flag of Lithuania SSR
Second flag of Lithuania SSR

Symbols of Lithuania

National Coat of Arms of Lithuania

Lithuania has one of the oldest coat of arms in Europe. Although the current arms was officially adopted in 1991, it was first used in 1366. and is composed of a red shield containing an armored knight on horseback. The emblem of the knight (also known as Vytis) was passed down from generations during the 14th century, and is symbolic of a god of war and thunder. The knight is lifting a sword above his head using his dexture. An azure shield with gold double cross hangs on his sinister shoulder. The horse straps, belt, and saddle are azure

National Anthem

  • Anthem Title: Tautiška giesmė ("The National Hymn")
  • Music composer and Lyricist: Vincas Kudirka
  • Date of Adoption

Tautiška giesmė ("The National Hymn") is Lithuania's national anthem. It is also known by several other names, including "Lietuva, Tėvyne mūsų" ("Lithuania, Our Homeland") from the first line of the first verse and "Lietuvos himnas" (The National Anthem of Lithuania). The lyrics were written and set to music by Vincas Kudirka in 1898, when Lithuania was still a Russian Empire. The lyrics (poem) were how Kudirka perceived the state of Lithuania to be. 

The anthem was first performed publicly in 1905 in Vilnius and adopted as the national anthem in 1919, one year after independence. It was relinguished in 1940 for the anthem of Lithuanian SSR and readopted in 1988 just before the Lithuanian independence was reestablished. The status of Tautiška giesmė as the official anthem was confirmed in 1999 following the passage of a national law stating the position of the anthem.

Tautiška giesmė

Lietuva, Tėvyne mūsų,

Tu didvyrių žeme,

Iš praeities Tavo sūnūs

Te stiprybę semia.

Tegul Tavo vaikai eina

Vien takais dorybės,

Tegul dirba Tavo naudai

Ir žmonių gėrybei.

Tegul saulė Lietuvoj

Tamsumas prašalina,

Ir šviesa, ir tiesa

Mūs žingsnius telydi.

Tegul meilė Lietuvos

Dega mūsų širdyse,

Vardan tos, Lietuvos

Vienybė težydi!

The National Hymn

Lithuania, our dear homeland,

Land of worthy heroes!

May your sons draw strength

From your past experiences.

May your children always

Choose the paths of virtue,

May they work towards your good,

And that of all people.

May the sun in Lithuania

Disperse darkness,

And light, and truth,

May guide our steps.

May love of Lithuania

Burn in our hearts,

In the name of Lithuania,

Unity may blossom!

The Currency of Lithuania is the Euro

Lithuania is a country in Europe and one of the three Baltic States. Presently, the currency used in Lithuania is the euro. The euro is coded as EUR and used with the sign €. However, until January 2015, its currency had been the Lithuanian litas (LTL). The Bank of Lithuania is responsible for the country's currency, in collaboration with the European Central Bank.

Banknotes and Coins

At the time of the adoption of the euro, the subunits of the litas were 1/100 centas. The first Lithuanian coins were designed by sculptor Juozas Zikaras, who lived between 1881 and 1944. He made ten denominations of coins. However, the coins which were used before the adoption of euro coins were 1, 2, 5, 10, and 50 centai and 1, 2, and 5 litai. The metals used to mint coins over the years have been aluminium, bronze, cupro-nickel, bimetallic, and nickel-brass. On the other hand, litas banknotes were first issued in 1922. They had the portrait of Lithuania’s coat of arms. Those banknotes were of poor quality which made them easy to counterfeit. The most commonly used banknotes before the euro currency were 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, and 10 litų.

euro Banknote

20 euro Banknote
20 euro Banknote

euro Coin

1 euro Coin
1 euro Coin

Historical Currencies of Lithuania

Lithuanian Litas

The euro, adopted in 2015, replaced the Lithuanian litas as the official currency. The government first introduced the litas in 1922. The litas replaced the German ostmark and ostruble, known as auksinas in Lithuania, which were used during World War I. However, in 1939 Nazi Germany forced Lithuanians to use its currency, and therefore the reichsmark replaced litas as the official currency. In 1941, there was a currency switch from litas to rubles when Lithuania was taken over by the Soviet Union. In 1993, the litas became the official currency once again. From 1994 to 2002, the Lithuanian litas was pegged to the US dollar at a fixed rate of 4 litas for every 1 US dollar. From 2002 to 2015, Lithuania pegged its currency to the euro at a fixed rate of 3.4528 litas for 1 euro. The Central Bank still uses this fixed exchange rate. Lithuania's recent switch from the litas to the euro was delayed by persistent high inflation and economic crisis.

Lithuanian litas Banknote

Lithuanian 10 litas Banknote
Lithuanian 10 litas Banknote

Lithuanian 1 litas Coin

Lithuanian 1 litas Coin
Lithuanian 1 litas Coin

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