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Lay for the Day
22nd December

1989: the Romanian army sides with the people's rebellion, and the government of Nicolae Ceausescu is overthrown, bringing an end to 42 years of Communist rule. The uprising had erupted three days earlier, when the security forces opened fire on demonstrators in Timisoara. After the army's defection, Ceausescu and his wife fled from Budapest by helicopter, but they were soon captured, then convicted of mass murder in a hasty military trial, and executed by firing squad on Christmas Day.

Flag with a Hole

Winds of change
Blow again
Flag with a hole

In the town of Timisoara
in December 1989
the people of Romania
rose up against their dictator,
Nicolae Ceausescu,
who'd ruled for two decades.
Then they took their national banner
and they cut a circle from the centre,
cutting out the symbol
of the hammer and the sickle,
so the flag of their revolution
was a flag with a hole.
And the hundreds who fell,
the hundreds who fell
in battle with Securitate forces
fell for the flag,
the flag with a hole.

Winds of change
Blow again
Flag with a hole

Curtains drawn
Dawn sun certain
Flag with a hole

Light blows through the shadow
On all who follow
Flag with a hole

Stand and wave
Sad and brave
Flag with a hole
Flag with a hole


Words and music by The Children

The Lay Reader: an archive of the poetic calendar