Swiss select new national anthem

Bern, Sep 14 (IANS) The Swiss public have voted online to choose the song they would like to see replace their current national anthem, the media reported on Monday.

The winning song – whose English translation is ‘Hoisted up there in the wind, our red and white flag’ – was composed by Werner Widmer from Zollikerberg in Zurich, The Local news reported.

It triumphed over two other finalists in an online vote.

The result concludes the competition that was launched at the beginning of last year by the Swiss Society for Public Welfare, who wished to replace the current national anthem, known as the Swiss Psalm, which is often criticised for its overly religious lyrics.

The contest drew over 200 submissions, whittled down by a jury to a final seven, which were translated into all four national languages and recorded by a choir.

The public then voted online to choose the final three tunes, before the winner was selected by a further online vote.

Under the rules of the competition, lyricists were required to take inspiration from the preamble to Switzerland’s updated constitution – approved by the public in a 1999 referendum – which refers to freedom, democracy, solidarity, openness to the world and responsibility towards future generations.

As for the tune, many of the entries – including the winning composition – used the melody of the current anthem.

The old anthem was composed by Cistercian monk Alberik Zwyssig in 1841.

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