Armenian parliamentary speaker: National anthem, emblem should be replaced sooner or later

Jan 30 2024

YEREVAN. Jan 30 (Interfax) – Armenian parliamentary Chairman Alen Simonyan believes the country needs a new national anthem and amended coat of arms.

"It's obvious to me that the Republic of Armenia's national anthem should be changed sooner or later. It should be Armenian, it should have some relation to our state and Armenian music, and it should comply with anthem rules. I don't insist that it should be replaced by the music of the great Aram Khachaturyan [a prominent Armenian and Soviet composer and author of the Armenian Soviet Republic's anthem], which, in my view, is excellent and as Armenian as it can only be, but obviously, the anthem of foreign origin needs to be replaced," Simonyan wrote on Telegram.

The current Armenian anthem is based on a verse by Mikayel Nalbandian titled 'The Song of an Italian Girl', written in 1859.

Simonyan also called for discussing amendments to Armenia's coat of arms.

"At least Armenia can't be underwater, which was a punishment for humankind. A lion can't look like a facebook smiley, and a sword defending Armenia can't be chained," Simonyan said.

Armenia's coat of arms depicts the Deluge near the foot of Mount Ararat.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan proposed changing the country's national anthem in June 2023.

"People regularly address me on that, I also feel that way […] I have no definitive conclusion. The official lyrics of our current anthem end in death. The ideology is right, I have no problems with the text, but the anthem concludes with a line about death, a picture of death," he said.

As for Armenia's coat of arms, it has nothing to do with contemporary Armenia, he said.

"What is depicted there? Noah's Ark on Mount Ararat, and the coats of arms of four Armenian dynasties. Looking at the coat of arms, I wonder: What relation does it have to us? After all, we adopted it in 1991. How is it related to the state founded in 1991? What is it about? Looking at its center, you can see Noah's Ark on Mount Ararat and the current territory of the Republic of Armenia, which is underwater," Pashinyan said.

The Armenian coat of arms also has a picture of a lion, "which hasn't been part of Armenia's natural habitat for ages," Pashinyan said.

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS