British Virgin Islands

Friday, Feb 28, 2020

Territorial Song to replace ‘God Save the Queen' @ sports events

Territorial Song to replace ‘God Save the Queen' @ sports events

When Virgin Islands long jump queen Chantel E. Malone received her gold medal for winning the Women’s Long Jump Final at the Pan American Games in August 2019, those at the Estadio Nacional, in Lima, Peru and others viewing via television or live-stream, then heard the National Anthem, ‘God Save the Queen’, played.
While this may not be the last time Malone wins a medal at such a prestigious international event, it may be the last time ‘God Save the Queen’ is played whenever an athlete or team from the [British] Virgin Islands receives a medal at regional and international sports events.

Cabinet, in its meeting of September 18, 2019, decided on this change.

According to Cabinet’s post meeting statement released to the media today, October 8, 2019, Cabinet decided that the Territorial Song, "Oh Beautiful Virgin Islands" be played, in place of the National Anthem, "God Save the Queen", at regional and international sports events where a participant(s) representing the territory of the Virgin Islands receives a medal and that a Resolution be tabled in the House of Assembly at the next convenient Sitting.


The winning team or athlete's national anthem was first played with the raising of the country flag at the 1924 Olympic Games.

A nation may choose to have another anthem played instead of their national one if they so choose.

Even though they were a divided country, both West and East Germany participated as the United Team of Germany from 1956-1964. To avoid dispute between the countries, the anthem to be played was chosen to be Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 melody to Schiller's Ode an die Freude (the ode to joy).

Research shows that at the 1992 Olympic Games, the former Soviet republics competed in a united team known as the "Unified Team", with the song "Ode to Joy" played during their medal ceremonies.

Taiwanese athletes receive their medals to the "Flag Raising Song", rather than the Chinese National Anthem.

At the 1980 Games in Moscow, several non-Communist countries that were participating chose to have the Olympic Hymn played instead of their National Anthem.

According to Olympic rules, national anthems cannot be longer than 80 seconds in length, which means that some countries have had to create a shortened version of their anthem.

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George Bernard Shaw
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