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Latvia Political system

Latvia is a parliamentary democracy. At the head of the state is a president who is elected by parliament every four years. Re-election is only possible one more time. The parliament is a unicameral system, the Saeima, with 100 members, which is elected for four years.

Latvia Political system

According to, the official name of the country is:

Republic of Latvia, Latvijas Republika

National anthem

The national anthem of a country is usually a piece of music underlaid with a text, which is intended to express the state, life or national feeling of a country. It is mostly played on particularly festive occasions, such as state visits, special holidays or to honor politicians, business leaders, etc. National anthem of the respective winning country for performance. The introduction of the national anthems in most European countries goes back to the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The numerous former colonies that had become independent usually performed their national anthems,

The composer Kärlis Baumann was the first musician to use the term Latviju (= Latvia) in the second half of the 19th century. At that time, no one thought of creating a state that was independent of the Russian Empire. Today's national anthem was heard for the first time during the first song festival in Riga in 1873. As a Latvian anthem, the song was sung on November 18, 1918 when the Republic of Latvia was proclaimed and officially confirmed as the national anthem on June 17, 1920.

After the occupation by the Soviet Union in the summer of 1940 and during the period of Nazi rule and the new Soviet occupation, the national flag, the state coat of arms and the national anthem were banned. Only after independence did the anthem become Latvia's national anthem again on February 15, 1990.

In Latvian it is

Dievs, sveti Latviju!

Dievs, sveti Latviju,

Mus' dargo teviju,

Sveti jel Latviju,

Ak, sveti jel to!Kur latviju meitas zied,

Kur latviju deli dzied,

Laid mums tur laime died,

Mus' Latvija!

And in the English translation

Bless you God's hand

Bless the hand of God,

dear fatherland,

Latvia you homeland,

bleed and prosper!

Glue our sons to

you, our daughters bless

you, pledge our luck to you,

dear homeland!

National flag

Based on flag descriptions by, the first written evidence of the Latvian flag in the colors red-white-red comes from the 2nd half of the 13th century. At that time, tribes from the region of what is now Latvia went to war under a similar flag against Estonian tribes. This makes the Latvian national flag one of the oldest in the world. The design of the flag comes from the artist Ansis Cirulis from 1917. Together with the national coat of arms, the Latvian national flag was confirmed by the Kettish parliament on June 15, 1921. Before the occupation by the USSR, the flag was used from 1918 to 1940, after that between 1940 and 1990 only by exillettes in the West. After independence, the flag was reaffirmed by parliament on February 27, 1990.

Latvia flag and coat of arms

The ratio of the widths of the red and white stripes is 2: 1: 2. This means that the red stripes are twice as wide as the white stripe.

Latvia: Known People

Visual artist

  • Janis Rozentals (1866 - 1916)

    He developed the Latvian genre and portrait painting.

  • Vilhelms Purvitis(1872-1945)

    He strongly influenced Latvian landscape painting and gave it a permanent place in Europe.


  • Karlis Baumanis (1835-1905)

    composer and poet. He composed the Latvian national anthem in 1870.

  • Eduard Erdmann (1896-1958)

    piano player and composer.

  • Brainstorm

    rock and pop band from Riga.

  • Mariss Jansons (born 1943)

    internationally renowned conductor.

  • Gidon Markowitsch Kremer (born 1947)

    internationally known violinist.

  • Janis Ivanovs (1906-1983)


  • Peteris Vasks (born 1946)

    composer. He has been awarded the Latvian Grand Music Prize three times.

  • Elina Garanca (born 1976)


  • Andrejs Jurjans(1856-1922) and Jazeps Vitols (1863-1948)

    They are the founders of the national style in Latvian instrumental music.

Natural scientist

  • Davids Hieronims Grindelis(1776 - 1836)

    He was the first Latvian natural scientist, chemist, pharmacist and doctor.

Politicians and rulers

  • Indulis Emsis (born 1952)

    biologist, Green politician and former Prime Minister of Latvia.

  • Vaira Vike-Freiberga (born 1937)

    She has been President of Latvia since 1999.

  • Aigars Kalvitis(born 1966)

    He has been Prime Minister of Latvia since December 2, 2004.

Writer and poet

  • Rainis (Janis Pliekšans, 1865 - 1929)

    Eminent Latvian writer, cultural worker, politician, with a number of books of poetry and plays. Rainis has been nominated as "Person of the 20th Century in Latvia".

  • Andrejs Pumpurs(1841-1902)
  • Zenta Mauriņa (1897 -1978)

    Zenta Mauriņa was a Latvian writer and philosopher.

    Her father was a Latvian doctor and her mother a German-born pianist from Saint Petersburg. Having developed polio at the age of five, she had to spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair. In 1946 she fled the Soviets via Germany to Uppsala in Sweden, where she lived until 1966. Afterwards she lived in Bad Krozingen near Freiburg im Breisgau.

    Her works describe the fate of Latvia in the 20th century between freedom and oppression. In 1996 a stamp with her portrait was issued in Latvia in her honor

Actors, directors

  • Alvis Hermanis (born 1965 in Riga)

    The director has been running the New Riga Theater since 1997.


  • Imants Bleidelis (born 1975)

    football player.

  • Michail Tal (1936-1992)

    chess player.

  • Mikhail Nikolajewitsch, Baryschnikow (born 1948)

    dancer and ballet director

  • Sergejs Žoltoks (1972-2004)

    professional hockey player. Žoltoks was the center of the Nashville Predators. He was active in professional hockey in the USA and Canada for twelve years.

  • Alexei Shirov (born 1972)

    chess player. He achieved the title of chess grandmaster in 1990.

  • Janis Lusis (born 1939)

    athlete. He won all three Olympic medals.

  • Uljana Semjonova(1952)

    Greatest basketball player in Olympic history. She was also three times world champion.

Theologians and philosophers

  • August Bielenstein(1826 - 1907)

    pastor and linguist.


  • Henry Stolow (1901-1971)

    stamp dealer. He emigrated to the USA with his brother in 1936. There they founded the company J. and H. Stolow, Wholesale Stamp Dealers, 475 Fifth Ave, New York 17, NY, which existed until the 1970s.






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