LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! DEAR COMPATRIOTS!
“We are faced with the struggle for an authentic and contemporary patriotism,
which must give the words ‘God, Honor, and Homeland’ shape and content.”
Archbishop Marek Jędraszewski
I encourage you to read the following text, which is my manifesto in favor of including the national motto, the official motto of the Polish Army, in the Constitution of the Republic of Poland: “God, Honor, Homeland.” I follow the example of other European countries whose nations are proud of their national mottoes, often having a long tradition. Therefore, Poles should also clearly express their expectations that the motto “God, Honor, Homeland” should be placed next to the image of the white eagle, white and red colors, and the national anthem – Dąbrowski’s Mazurka – as another timeless attribute of the Republic of Poland, an element of our nation’s identity.
Today we struggle for the shape and strength of Polish patriotism. The realization of the main tenet in the brochure’s title will strengthen the attitudes for an independent and strong Poland.
The following text consists of four parts.
The first part explains the national watchwords, or mottoes (in the footnotes, I refer in more detail to the circumstances and the period of origin of the mottoes in individual countries).
The second part presents the tradition and meaning of the motto “God, Honor, Homeland,” especially for the Polish military and an attempt to show it as a code term of Polish patriotism.
The third part shows that the motto is widely functioning in the public consciousness, over different generations, and on various occasions, in the Homeland and among the scattered Polish diaspora, and is already considered the unofficial motto of Poland.
The fourth part refers to the people of service and honor who testified (testify) with their lives and words, the motto “God, Honor, Homeland.” (I cite opinions about these people).
The work is a preliminary documentation of statements and facts related to the triad “God, Honor, Homeland.” This publication aims to provoke a discussion among the Polish elites and people of public life on the need to include the motto in the Constitution of the Republic of Poland as a legacy obliging successive stewards of the state. I hope that a proper legislative initiative will be submitted still in this term of the Polish Parliament.
There is no doubt that a constitutional inclusion of this motto will contribute to the strengthening of Polishness, fulfill the expectations of many Poles, and achieve the ideological testament of late President Lech Kaczyński.
Artur Górski, PhD
Member of the Parliament of the Republic of Poland
HOW DO WE PERCEIVE POLAND?
How do we view Poland? Is it for us something ordinary, everyday, maybe unimportant, or rather something important, extraordinary, of great value, a national treasure, our love? Love towards the Homeland is always expressed in an spirited attitude, with commitment, cherishing Polishness and faithfulness to traditional values. No one is exempt from lending service to the state, which must always be oriented towards the common good.
In times of war, the Period of the Partitions, and various occupations, when the lands of the Republic of Poland were occupied by external enemies and the existence of the Homeland was threatened, patriotism had a heroic dimension – people fought with weapons in hand, made sacrifices, shed blood. There was no lack of heroism and determination in these struggles, and in some periods, there was no lack of success. Honor was then the determinant of action, the highest principle.
When in times of peace and independence, the Homeland is respected, when the authorities cherish our national heritage, patriotism becomes a peaceful, almost quiet love of what is Polish, both in the material sense – its land, territory, and spiritually – tradition, the culture, its heroes, monuments, and the Polish language. Patriotism is thus the everyday work of obeying the law, paying taxes, participating in elections.
But today, despite peace and independence, we have a threat to the common good, which is the freedom of Poland from its internal enemies, various sly individuals, liars and thieves, people without honor, who mock patriotism, and despise Poles, especially our elderly citizens. These elderly people are patriots from generation to generation; for them, the Smoleńsk catastrophe is often a symbol of the highest sacrifice for the Homeland. Father Mariusz Bernyś, who ministers to the sick, had this to say for the newspaper “Nasz Dziennik” [“Our Daily”]: “I have met many patients who come from intelligentsia families connected with Warsaw for generations. They or their parents took part in the Warsaw Uprising. They served the highest values: God, Honor, and Homeland, and their relatives gave their lives for these values. Nobody wanted to listen to them, the communists persecuted them after the war, and now in our new reality, they are despised and rejected.(1)” By a government of lies and villainy.
The so-called “forces of progress” undermine the foundations of our Homeland, mocking the national motto, but also marginalizing Polish culture (disseminating a pseudo-culture that strikes at human dignity), traditions (e.g., by criticizing the exhibiting of Christmas trees and promoting “Halloween” that trivializes the vision of the world of the dead), and also religion (by fighting the presence of the cross). Furthermore, they destroy the family (by affirming genderism and abortion) while undermining authorities or suggesting substitutions with false ones. They lead a creeping atheistic, anti-state revolution. As Father Ireneusz Skubiś, the honorary editor-in-chief of “Niedziela” [“Sunday”] noticed: “Catholics should be aware of these threats. Whereas so many of us are permeated with non-Christian trends, neo-paganism is oozing out from everywhere, especially through the media. The contemporary Catholic must regain consciousness of his/her faith.” Father Skubiś has no doubt that young people are most exposed to these destructive influences.
The internal enemies of Poland try to persuade young people, who are susceptible to such suggestions, that the notions of the national triad are something anachronistic, that Polishness is abnormality. They question the attachment and love to Poland and even state that Poland does not exist anymore (at most, “theoretically”) and there is nothing worth dying for. And young people under their influence very often declare that they have no intention to sacrifice themselves for the Homeland if such a need arose because they are ashamed of their Polishness. It is regrettable that nowadays, according to the IBRiS Homo Homini poll for the newspaper “Rzeczpospolita” [“The Republic”] from February 2014: 41% of Poles would not sacrifice for the “present-day Poland” neither their health, nor life, nor even make any financial or career sacrifices, and only 19% would give their life or sacrifice their health for the Homeland.
As the Rev. Archbishop Józef Michalik aptly noted: “In contemporary Poland, there is more and more talk of a crisis of patriotic education. In the age of globalization, many consider love for the Homeland as a relic of the past. There is a growing process of distancing Poles from patriotism as traditionally understood, which is expressed in declarations of love for the Homeland, a readiness to sacrifice one’s life for its sake.”
The “forces of progress,” sometimes inspired from abroad, realize – with the full support of the present government – the scenario of destruction not only of the Nation and the state but also of the Church. As Cardinal Stanisław Nagy remarked, communism is still deeply rooted in people’s mentality and the structures of power, and in various moments it tries to make itself known. “This is the painful paradox of our homeland today,” said the Cardinal, “we look at our contemporary state, and although it is called ‘Polish’ it does not realize the program which has been undertaken on this earth for a thousand years, and in cooperation with the Church. Instead, it fights against the Church, to its own detriment, to the detriment of the Church, and to the detriment of the Nation. ( … ) Therefore, for the authorities, which are not characterized by patriotism, the Church will always be an uncomfortable presence.” The Church has always been at the forefront of patriotism, teaching it and protecting it, and it still remains the mainstay of Polishness and moral order.
Therefore, today, “political correctness” and the “language of hate” reign over for what is Polish, national and Catholic, everyday work, family life, and being personally decent, are not enough. We must make an effort to rebuild Poland materially and heal the nation spiritually and morally, especially for the sake of our young people who are our future. As it was the case centuries ago, at the side of the Catholic Church, we must carry out strenuous work from the foundations and educational work, fight for Polishness, to preserve the heritage of our fathers, the values and spiritual content that make up the culture of our nation, and to restore and
consolidate the sense of pride and dignity in the Poles. Because without these highest values, without faith in GOD, without loyalty to the principles of HONOR, without love for our HOMELAND, there will be no future for a strong Poland, respected in the world. We must carry on this fight for our children and our grandchildren, so that one day they can proudly say, referring to the ideas contained in the national motto, so important from the point of view of national identity, that they are Poles and Catholics, faithful sons of the Polish land.
I believe that the notions of “God, Honor, Homeland,” introduced as the state motto in the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, will become our shield and weapon in these struggles.
STATE WATCHWORDS (MOTTOES)
What constitutes a national watchword (motto)? According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, it is a guiding principle, a word or motto that embodies a principle or guide to the action of an individual or group. A guiding principle. Also, an element of the identity of a nation and distinctness of a state. It is a written emblem, expressed in a short phrase, sometimes in a sentence or a sequence of terms, defining the characteristics of the state (the element that binds the state together) or the principles (values) most important for the nation (the symbol that unites the nation).
Mottoes, are used by states on all continents. In Europe, most countries have an official currency. The most common concepts in state mottoes are the Homeland, freedom, God, unity, law, peace, harmony, loyalty, strength, honor, truth, and progress. They are surrounded by its citizens with reverence and respect, often passed down from generation to generation.
Sometimes the state motto takes the form of a lofty religious declaration: (Monaco: “With God’s help,” Scotland: “In My Defense God Me Defend,”  Liechtenstein: “For God, Prince and
 The motto of Scotland was taken from an old Scottish prayer. It was used by the royal Stuart dynasty since at least the reign of James IV (1488 – 1513). The second motto of the royal Stuart family is also used: “No one messes with me with impunity,” the original written in Latin.
Fatherland,” Czech Republic: “Truth Prevails.”) Elsewhere, statements of a patriotic nature: (Latvia: “For the Fatherland and Freedom,” the Netherlands: “I will maintain,”) or even a heroic call: (Greece and Macedonia: “Freedom or Death”).
Some sentences refer to the specificity of nations: (Luxembourg:, “We wish to remain what we are,” Switzerland: “One for all, all for one,” Albania: “You, Albania, give me honor, you give me the name Albanian.”) A large group of mottoes refers to the concept of unity (Bulgaria: “Unity makes strength,” Andorra: “Strength united is stronger,” Lithuania: “Let unity flourish,” Serbia: “Only unity saves the Serbs”).
Sometimes mottoes are created at turning points for states and nations. Some have revolutionary origins: (France: “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity,”) Turkey: “Peace in the Fatherland, Peace in the World,”) or struggles for independence: (Greece: “Freedom or Death,” Macedonia: “Freedom or Death,” , Belgium:, “Unity gives Strength,” Norway: “United and loyal until Dovrefjell crumbles”).
In a monarchy, sometimes the state adopts a motto from the ruling dynasty: (Monaco: “With God’s help,” the United Kingdom: “God and my law,”) or the motto of the currently reigning monarch: (Denmark: “God’s help, the love of the people, Denmark’s strength,” Sweden: “For Sweden with the spirit of the times”). Sometimes, it turns out that mottoes are taken from the words of songs (Germany: “Unity and Justice and Freedom,” Luxembourg: “We wish to remain what we are,” Lithuania: “Let unity flourish,”) or from the Holy Scriptures: (Slovak Republic: “Let the mountains bring peace to the people,” Northern Ireland: “Who will separate us from the love of Christ?”
Mottoes are usually written in the national language, quite often written in Latin (e.g., Spain: “Plus Ultra”/ “Further beyond,” Switzerland: “Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno”/ “One for all, all for one,” Monaco: “Deo Juvante”/“With the help of God”), less frequently in the language of
another nation (e.g., in French – United Kingdom: “Dieu et mon Droit”/“God and my Law,” Netherlands: “Je Maintiendrai”/“I will maintain”), which usually results from the historical conditions of these countries.
Often terms in state mottoes are written in the subordinate form, i.e., in capital letters (e.g., France: “Freedom, Equality, Fraternity,” Ukraine: “Freedom, Agreement, Good,” San Marino: “Freedom,”) which is a sign of respect and expression of emotional attitude to the highest values contained in them. Sometimes the motto is placed under the national emblem (Slovakia) or on the national coat of arms (Great Britain, Scotland, Bulgaria, Andorra) and then become its integral part.
The motto, in order to have an official, legal character, is inscribed in the Constitution (e.g., in Article 2 of the Constitution of the French Republic of October 4, 1958, in the preamble of the Constitution of Andorra of February 2, 1993) or in law (e.g., in the Law on the Coat of Arms of the Republic of Bulgaria of August 5, 1997, whose motto is an integral part), subject to legal protection.
THE CODE OF POLISH PATRIOTISM
As we know, Poland does not have an official motto; we will not find it in the Constitution of the Republic of Poland. The traditional Polish motto is closest to it: “God, Honor, Homeland.” The canon of this maxim was shaped in Poland historically by identifying statehood and the integrity of the country’s borders with faith in God and the role of the Catholic Church, which co-created our statehood, took care of education and culture, and in times of the Partitions and the occupation-era, during the “night of communism,” assured the survival of the nation.
This was aptly set forth by St. John Paul II in his address to the Polish Episcopal Conference on June 5, 1979: “(…) not only was the hierarchical system of the Church firmly inscribed in the history of the nation in the year 1000, but at the same time the history of the nation was in a Providential way, embedded in the structure of the Church in Poland, which we owe to the Congress of Gniezno. This assertion finds support in various periods of Poland’s history, but especially in the most difficult periods. When the country lacked its own native state structures, the overwhelmingly Catholic society found support in the hierarchical system of the Church. That is why the Church was fought against so much, especially during the period of the Partitions. And that is precisely what helped society to survive the times of the Partitions and occupations and helped maintain and even deepen the consciousness of its identity. Maybe someone from abroad will find this situation ‘unusual.’ However, this matter has its unambiguous and important meaning for Poles. It is simply a part of the truth about the history of our Homeland.” And he reminded us that the Polish bishops in contemporary Poland are especially the heirs and representatives of this truth.
From the first centuries of the existence of our state, threatening situations made it necessary for Poles to manifest their attachment to the Homeland and the faith of their ancestors. In this way, the concepts of “God” and “Homeland” were connected, as Blessed Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński pointed out. The Primate of Poland wrote in the times of communist enslavement that love for the Homeland is closely associated with love for God: For us, after God, the greatest love is Poland! After God, we must remain faithful first of all to our Homeland and Polish culture. (…) After God, after Jesus Christ and the Blessed Mother, and after the whole order of God, our love belongs first of all to our Homeland, our language, history, and culture, from which we grew up on Polish soil. (…) we will demand that we can live, first of all, by the spirit, history, culture, and
language of our Polish land developed for centuries by the life of our forefathers. (…) Poland is united by the heart of faith. Its strength stems from the faith of Christ.”
During the ceremony in Surkonty, Father Andrzej Rodziewicz, standing over the graves of murdered soldiers of the Home Army (AK), recalled: “The Polish nation, for over a thousand years united with Jesus Christ and His teachings, has always been faithful to God, the Church and the Homeland. Throughout the centuries, the motto ‘God, Honor, Homeland’ has been an inseparable element of our nation’s history. The Polish people have always been able to combine the sacrifice of their lives with the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, so that thanks to this unison, nothing is lost, but becomes life-strengthening for future generations.” After unifying the concept of “God” and “Homeland,” the third element of the motto appears – “Honor.”
The concept of honor developed historically and was initially closely associated with chivalry. The need (necessity) for frequent verification by the Poles of their patriotic attitudes, which stem from a sense of collective duty and internal obligation (love for the Homeland), led to the formation of the concept of honor as a specific moral attitude. It has become culturally associated with honesty, heroism (courage), loyalty, and sacrifice. In Poland, Barbara Seidler wrote, “Honor is an almost sacred word of primary importance, a notion of no small significance.” That is why the word “Honor” was historically included in the triad constituting the national motto – “God, Honor, Homeland.”
The concept of honor needs to be more broadly defined and described because it is the least grasped by human reason and is often misunderstood. It also seems to be anachronistic. As Archbishop Marek Jędraszewski noted: “We need to return meaning to the word ‘honor,’ which binds itself to man and his fundamental rights to life, without seeking compromise.”
Cardinal Józef Glemp, who in the televised address of the Primate of Poland for Christmas and the New Year 2003, gave a lecture on honor referring to the present times, tried to bring back this concept. “While the words ‘God’ and ‘Homeland’ are understandable,” he said, “but the most mysterious is Honor. Meanwhile, ‘Honor’ is the attitude of every citizen who links God with the Homeland. What is honor? – It is not only pride, haughtiness, and self-confidence, but it is simply conscience. It is honesty at work, in learning, and in commerce. Can a liar, a thief, or a lazy person be called a ‘person of honor?’ How many of us cherish honor as a virtue once characteristic of the Polish people?”
The second part in the triad of mottoes was also described and interpreted by Father Ireneusz Skubiś, the honorary editor-in-chief of “Niedziela,” who wrote in the article “God-Honor-Homeland”: “Honor is a wonderful feature that allows a Christian to feel his dignity, coming first of all from the mystery of the creative act of God who gave man His image and His divine likeness. Honor, therefore, which man carries within himself, is something that does not allow him to go beyond a certain limit, beyond which there is only humiliation, a sense of harm. The man of honor knows how much he is immersed in God, how his life adheres to the life of God – there is a similarity here to the physical phenomenon of osmosis. Therefore, it is good for us to be aware that honor is an important and great thing.”
On the other hand, Przemysław Fenrych noticed in his article “God – Honor – Homeland” also published in the above mentioned weekly, a connection between the concept of “Honor” and the other two concepts of the motto: ‘“God – Honor – Homeland’ and the fact that not by chance, ‘Honor’ was placed in the center. It is the term honor to make those two great words not just be an empty phrase on a banner. That they will live. Neither God nor the Homeland can be served for-profit, out of fear, for fame. The only good and compelling motive is honor. How can we make it one of the most important of Polish words again?” Thus, we see the Catholic dimension of honor.
When we say “Homeland,” we know what we are talking about. We should feel this word with our hearts and embrace it with our minds. The simplest definition of Homeland is given by St. John Paul II in his book “Memory and Identity”: “The Homeland (…) is a heritage, and at the same time it is a state of possession resulting from this heritage – including the land, its territory but even more so the values and spiritual content that make up the culture of a given nation.” He also gives the most beautiful definition of perceiving the Homeland with one’s heart during his welcome address at Okęcie Airport on June 16, 1983: “I come to my Homeland. The first word uttered in silence and on my knees was a kiss placed onto this land: my native soil. (…) However, the kiss placed on Polish soil has a special meaning. It is as if I kissed my mother’s hands, for our Homeland is our earthly mother. Poland is a special mother. Her history is not easy, especially during the last centuries. She is a mother who has suffered very much and continues to suffer. That is why she has the right to our love.” The Homeland is our mother.
The concept of “God, Honor, Homeland” is an inseparable whole. It is a specific, eternal code of Polish patriotism. Archbishop Andrzej Dzięga stated during the ceremony of unveiling of the Smoleńsk monument in Stargard Szczeciński that “God, Honor, Homeland” constitute “three essential keywords.” He emphasized: “These three short but significant words come from God and are a thanks to God.” And he defined the synthesis of patriotism contained in the mottoes’ triad: “Honor is goodness that must be multiplied in the name of God, while the Homeland is as a father and mother, it is love and a sacred gift from God’s hands.”
Aleksandra Noyszewska gave her own view on these three essential concepts: “God, Honor, Homeland” – three words, three symbols – the most precious synthesis of the idea of Polish patriotism. It is an inseparable and deepest synthesis of the essence and sense of human life. One does not argue with the triad of the words God-Honor-Homeland. She simply is. She lives and is always there…”.
Thus the national motto is not only a remnant from the annals of history. It is a knightly ideal and the ideological sense of the nation’s life and the future of our Homeland. In the televised message of the Primate of Poland for Christmas and New Year 2003, Cardinal Józef Glemp said: “We are going into the future. When we go on this journey with faith, God will light the way. We are walking with banners on which we have the motto ‘God, Honor, Homeland’ written. With this motto, we enter the new history of Europe. I earnestly wish to all my compatriots that this motto would be on the banner and in the practice of everyday life. Every word of this call has great content.”
According to this immortal credo, Poles lived, worked, prayed, fought, and died for the freedom and independence of their Homeland. One of the young people, Jacek Z., wrote this very maturely in www.historycy.org: “Attempts to cut oneself off from any of the elements of this slogan destroy Polishness in its very foundations – at its roots. The awareness of the existence of the elements of this slogan can be found throughout Polish history. In this best national-creative part of Polish history. Adherence to this motto allows the Polish nation to survive.”
These concepts are rightly associated with the Polish military effort and army. They were a signpost for the Polish knights and insurgents and for the soldiers of the September 1939 campaign, and the Home Army (“Let God, Honor and the Homeland guide you”) and for the so-called “Doomed Soldiers.” For them, “God meant the highest authority, and the oath made meant adhering to the truth,” said Bishop Kazimierz Ryczan during the unveiling ceremony of the Monument to the Home Army Soldiers in Kielce.
As Father Commander Janusz Bąk reminded the faithful during his homily to the participants of the Veterans’ Pilgrimage to Częstochowa’s Jasna Góra: “The soldiers of the Home Army, bearing the sacred motto on their banners of ‘God-Honor-Homeland,’ believed that their cause would prevail. Soldiers of the Home Army were the armed forces of the Polish Underground State as early as September 1939, creating the first structures of the later army. It was then that they took up the struggle against two occupying powers, desiring that Poland, which was to be wiped off the map of Europe and the world, should become a real, living reality.”
Polish soldiers always remembered God, about Honor and the Homeland. They knew what sacrifice meant and what their vocation was: to defend those who could not protect themselves. As St. John Paul II said during the meeting with parliamentarians at the Sejm in 1999: “In the Polish tradition, there is no shortage of life models dedicated entirely to the common good of our nation. These examples of courage and humility, fidelity to ideals and sacrifice, triggered the most beautiful feelings and attitudes in many of our compatriots who selflessly and sacrificially rescued their Homeland when she was undergoing the most severe trials.”
During the Second Republic of Poland, the Polish Army had a motto without the word “Bóg” [“God”]. During World War II, the initiative to add the word “Bóg” to the words “Honor” and “Homeland” in the motto of the Polish Armed Forces in the West was taken up by Bishop Józef Gawlina, who met with General Władysław Sikorski, Commander-in-Chief and Prime Minister, on March 14, 1941: “No, Father bishop,” he said, “this is not the time for that. We have more important matters.” It was only after General Sikorski’s death that the motto “God, Honor, Homeland” was introduced on the banners of the Polish Armed Forces in the West. This occurred as a result of adopting the Decree of the President of the Republic of Poland on October 15, 1943, amending the Decree of the President of the Republic of Poland of November 24, 1933, on the insignia of the army and the navy (Dz. U. RP 1943, October 22, No. 10, item 27).
Currently, the concept of “God, Honor, and Homeland” are the official motto of the Polish Armed Forces, adopted by the Act of February 19, 1993, on the insignia and mottoes of the Polish Armed Forces (Dz. U. of 1993, No 34, item 154, as amended), representing an idealistic view of loyalty to the state. The dominant canon of interpreting the motto is “To the Homeland everything, except for the love of Almighty God and Honor.” Once engraved on armor and swords, this motto is now commonly placed (embroidered in gold) on military banners (it appears in the center of the field, on the reverse side of the eagle emblem, which is the emblem of Poland).
As Archbishop Edward Ozorowski said: “One must constantly recall the slogan embroidered on military banners: “God, Honor, Homeland.” ‘God – because a soldier’s service was filled with faith in God’s omnipotence. Honor – because it was the toil of being a man/woman in uniform and with a weapon in hand. Homeland – for which love was present in the lives of the soldiers of September 1939, of all the battles of World War II, of those sent to Siberia, of the political prisoners.”’ This is how current soldiers should think about this motto so that these words are not just empty platitudes to them, but constitute the essence of their perception of service.
REFERENCES TO THE MOTTO
The motto “God, Honor, Homeland” functions widely in social awareness, in different generations, environments, and circumstances, on banners and monuments, at demonstrations, in culture and education, in Poland, and among Poles living worldwide.
The motto often appears on the banners of schools (e.g., the II Liceum Ogólnokształcące im. Płk. Leopold Lis – Kula in Rzeszów, the Katolickie Gimnazjum im. Św. Stanisława Kostki in Szczecin, the Państwowa Szkoła Muzyczna I st. im. Mieczysław Michalski in Lębork), as an expression of respect for these concepts, an element of identity and patriotic education. It is embroidered on veterans’ banners (e.g., the Związek Żołnierzy Narodowej Siły Zbrojnych [Association of Soldiers of the National Armed Forces], Związek Żołnierzy Armii Krajowej Oddział w Rzeszowie [the Home Army – District Office in Rzeszów], Związek Żołnierzy Armii Krajowej Oddział w Zamościu- [the Home Army – District Office in Zamość], sometimes on scouts’ banners (e.g., Okręg Pomorski Związku Harcerstwa Polskiego, [the Pomeranian District of the Scouting Association of the Republic of Poland], III Szczep Harcerski im. Zawiszy Czarnego Związku Harcerstwa Rzeczpospolitej ze Świnoujścia [III Unit of the Zawisza Czarny Scouting Association of the Republic of Poland from Świnoujście] and other social organizations (e.g., the Association of Siberians, NSZZ “Solidarity”). As Bishop Adam Lepa said during one of his sermons: “Let us thank the Lord that this wonderful motto has returned to the military, scouting and veterans’ banners. It not only reminds us of our glorious past, but also speaks of the heroic soldiers who defended Poland and fought for its independence.”
References to the national motto are quite common and increasingly frequent in our culture. This can be seen in the sung declarations of young people, who refer to these notions in their songs: “God, Honor, Homeland. This is valued here. For a thousand years, always invincible.” (by: Evident); “God is our leader, Honor is our goal, For our Homeland, we will spill much blood” (by: Hussaria); “And those before us used to die for it, Poland – God, Honor, Homeland and the downhearted, I would like to turn back the clock a dozen years or so and lead it quite differently, change it into an era of norms, a period of distortions.” (by: Miuosh). Lech Makowiecki, in his song “Honor i Gniew” [Honor and Anger] sings: “God, Homeland, Honor, and Anger lead the way, As long as there is a saber in our hand and blood in our veins, As long as the commander himself leads us into battle, You will not perish Poland, my country.” While Kasia Kowalska in her song “Niezłomni” [“The Unbroken”] reached for the words: “Blood is not regrettable, I will not lay down my weapon as long as I can, I will run until I lose my breath, I will not regret my strength, God, Honor, Homeland will heal your wounds, so help me God.”
The Syrena Theatre in Warsaw hosted a concert entitled “Panny wyklęte,” [‘The Accursed Maidens’], during which young female vocalists of various musical genres expressed their deep respect in song for the “Doomed Soldiers.” As Jarosław Wróblewski reported: “I will never forget the sight of Maleo holding his heart when Halina Młynkowa sang the pseudonyms and names of young women from the underground. I will not forget Kasia Malejonek’s gestures, singing about ‘Inka’ and at the same time pointing to heaven and the proximity of the one who ‘behaved as one should’ and whose spirit was undoubtedly present at that concert.” The now unfashionable and oft-ridiculed slogans “God, Honor, Homeland” becomes apparent when we start to learn and understand history through music. It is a fight for the factual narration of history, for the recognition of quiet heroism and bravery that comes from the love for God and the Homeland.
This maxim is also present in patriotic poetry. In the poems with the title “God, Honor, and Homeland,” we read: “When they scare us – ‘the Russkies are coming’”) they point to the Partitions and deportations – probably not without reason either, because they know what the Spirit of the Nation is. (…) And the Nation is the Great Power that has always united us. It has pushed away other divisions. There is Honor. There is God. The Homeland. Glory!” (Marek Gajowniczek); “It used to be said, and everyone will admit it, that the most important things were God, Honor, and Homeland (…) today one has to buy and throw things away, and the pile of trash is getting higher and higher, and behind it, one can no longer see what God, Honor, and Homeland are” (by: Kryha) ; “more than one thought that he’ll destroy our country, but the crown atop the eagle’s head still shines bright, many gave their lives for the white and red colors, because they are the most important of values, does anyone still remember about them?” (by: suzeJ)
Many poetry and song contests in the country refer to the slogan “God, Honor, Homeland.” For example, “Zespół Szkół i Placówki Publicznych nr 3” [the No. 3 Complex of Schools and Public Facilities] and the “Parafia Miłosierdzia Bożego w Ostrowcu Świetokrzyskim” [Divine Mercy Parish in Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski] organized the “Powiatowy Konkurs Poezji i Piosenki Religijno-Patriotycznej. Bóg, Honor Ojczyzna” [“District Competition of Poetry and Song of Religion and Patriotism. God, Honor, Homeland”], while approx. one hundred twenty young people from the Diocese of Płock took part in the competition “Bóg, Honor, Ojczyzna w dziejach kultury narodowej” [God-Honor-Homeland in the History of National Culture], which was held in the parish of St. Maximilian Kolbe in Płońsk. The contest was organized by the “Gimnazjum nr 1 im. Papieża Jana Pawła II w Płońsku” [the Pope John Paul II Junior High School No. 1 in Płońsk].
The national motto is used by trade unionists of the Solidarity Trade Union, for whom ‘“God, Honor, Homeland’ are the signposts of their earthly journey.” They organized strikes in 1980 under this motto, and they still adhere to it today. During the 18th All-Poland Pilgrimage of NSZZ “Solidarność” to the Sanctuary of St. Joseph in Kalisz, the trade unionists read the Act of Entrusting the Working People and Employers to St. Joseph: “We ask you (St. Joseph) that through your intercession the face of our Homeland and the world may once again change, so that God, Honor, Homeland may be the highest values for every human being.”
In the message to the participants of the Second Conference in the series “Bez wartości nie ma ‘“Solidarności”’ [“Without Values, There is no ‘Solidarity’”] series, we read: “Given the generational change taking place also in our organization, we are convinced that it is necessary to take actions aimed at educating the young generation in the spirit of values, in the faith and tradition of our fathers, acting in accordance with the motto ‘God, Honor, Homeland.’”
As one trade unionist from Radom wrote in this spirit: “The NSZZ ‘Solidarity’ trade union hides in itself the greatest and most beautiful values: ‘God, Honor, Homeland.’ It is a worldwide symbol of steadfastness in the fight for human dignity with the painful experience of the victims of the ‘system’… This page of history must be cherished and promoted among the young generation.” Patriotism is the main feature of the trade unionists of the Solidarity Trade Union. Both during the “Spring of Solidarity” as well as in the Third Republic, they have placed the motto “God, Honor, Homeland” on their banners.
The motto “God, Honor, Homeland” was and still is the watchword of honor, the way and lifestyle of the Polish landed gentry [ziemianie]. For every landowner of this group, and most were practicing Catholics, a sense of honor was necessary, following the code of honor and customary traditions. The landowners, often descendants of knights, were also great patriots, and it was believed that it was the duty of everyone to serve in the Polish Army. It is worth remembering that a landowner was not necessarily a nobleman but should always be a noble man. Today the landowners try to cultivate these traditions and pass them on to the young generation, with such activities as the “Pielgrzymka Polskiego Towarzystwa Ziemiańskiego na Jasna Górę” [“Pilgrimage of the Polish Landowners’’Society to Czestochowa’s Jasna Góra”], the seventh edition of which was held under the motto “God, Honor, Homeland.”
“We are looking at the history of the Polish landed gentry and we can see beautiful pages of its history,” said Archbishop Stanisław Nowak, “and the landed gentry was a carrier of the tradition of what was beautiful and noble. The communist system tried to get it into our heads and hearts that the Polish landowning class was an enemy of Poland. And yet it was they who led the uprisings, shed blood, and lost everything for the Homeland, for all men.” Today, they fight for the return of their heritage, plundered by communism, and promote a life according to the motto ‘God, Honor, Homeland.’” As Bishop Roman Andrzejewski said: “There are values over which the landowning families continue to guard.”
Scouts are highly attached to the idea of “God, Honor, Homeland.” This is evident in the scout’s vow and the scout’s law. In the case of the Polish Scouting Association [Związek Harcerstwa Polskiego-ZHP] and the Polish Scouting Association of the Republic of Poland [Związek Harcerstwa Rzeczypospolitej-ZHR], which officially educate based on Christian values, the promise states that they will “serve God and Poland.” However, in the pledge of the “Zawisza” Catholic Scouting Association, we read: “On my honor, with the Grace of God, I promise with all my life to serve God, the Church, my Homeland …”. Scouting is also associated with two ideas that are the fulfillment of the attitude of honor: “Rely on the word of a scout as on (the knight,) Zawisza” and “A scout acts in a knightly manner.”
In the commentary to the scouting law of the ZHR, we read: “A scout loves God and is a faithful son of the Church. He serves God by fulfilling His commandments, fulfilling the duties of a Church member, spreading and defending the faith. A scout loves Poland. He tries to know her better. He serves her by fulfilling his duties at the post where God has placed him at the moment (…) Bearing the responsibility for the work in a small unit, which is a part of Poland, he is responsible for the whole of Poland. A scout values the happiness of his nation more than his happiness. He constantly fights for Poland’s moral and material greatness and for the fulfillment of its historical mission. A scout knows that by serving God faithfully, he serves Poland best and that serving Poland faithfully and honestly is also serving God.”
Scouts can be seen on national holidays. They stand guard at graves or monuments of Poles killed in national uprisings, during wars, and murdered by the German Nazi and Soviet occupants and Ukrainian chauvinists in Volhynia (for example, they were also present at the unveiling of the plaque commemorating Volhynian crimes, which is located in the Church of Blessed Władysław of Gielniów in Ursynów (Warsaw), at the Katyń Monument, the Siberian Monument and the Monument “Mokotów Walczący 1944”). For many years the scouts have been bringing the symbolic “Light of Independence” to Poland from Volhynia, where the Legionnaires of Commander Józef Piłsudski fought their sacrificial battles at Kostiuchnówka. The light is lit in Łódź on (Poland’s) Independence Day.
They cultivate the memory of scouts who fought and died during World War II, especially in the Warsaw Uprising: in small sabotage efforts, in the Assault Groups of “Kedyw,” as insurgents from the battalions “Zośka” and “Parasol,” and the “Zawiszacy” of the Scouts’ Field Post. They also cultivate the traditions of the pre-war cavalry. The 8th Cracow Scout Troop has adopted the colors of the 8th Uhlan Regiment, while the scouts from Kielce co-create the Kielce Volunteer Cavalry Squadron named after the 13th Wilno Uhlan Regiment. “The creators and organizers of this undertaking, the contemporary cavalrymen, consider it their moral duty to remind today, in a united Europe, of the national roots and slogans that were on the saber heads of the Polish Cavalry – God, Honor, Homeland.”
These concepts are also referred to by soccer football fans, who often place banners with the national motto on the stands of football fields and display their colored scarfs of club loyalties with these mottoes. During the VIth All-Poland Patriotic Pilgrimage of Soccer Football Supporters to Jasna Góra at the end of the Eucharist, the participants of the pilgrimage entrusted themselves to the Mother of God, and at the end of the Mass they shouted three times: “Let every soccer football fan confess this in his heart: ‘God, Honor, and Homeland.’”
Father Jarosław Wąsowicz from the Salesian Youth Education Association explained that the fans’ meetings at Jasna Góra show that they can unite not only around sports but also around other values: God, the Church, honor, and love for the Homeland. “In all difficult moments, it turned out that soccer football fans in Poland are organized enough to participate in the guard at the coffins of the Presidential couple, to participate in the funeral of the President in an organized way, to participate in the beatification of Father Jerzy Popiełuszko, to participate in Independence Day marches.” In an interview for www.ronda.pl, Fr. Wąsowicz defended soccer football fans: “Fans are today the guardians of the memory of Polish patriots, they bolster public remembrance of important events; they care for our history. They educate thousands of young people in this respect. They show that we can be proud of our ancestors, of their attitude. In this way, they promote self-sacrificing attitudes that may still be useful to us in Poland. They educate in these values, thanks to which our nation survived all historical winds and storms. They should be rewarded for this, not punished, as happens to be the custom of the Polish Soccer Football Association and the current government.” Most soccer football fans consider themselves patriots or nationalists.
Supporters of many football clubs have taken part in organized and numerous commemorations of the Warsaw Uprising, the Wielkopolska Uprising, and the Independence Day March. Lechia Gdańsk fans traditionally mark their presence in the Gdańsk Independence Parade. They close the parade carrying a banner with the inscription: “God, Honor, Homeland.” As one of the fans wrote on a blog: “Values such as God, Honor, and Homeland should be strongly engraved in the hearts of every Pole. These values should be cared for and polished like a diamond and even more so because they are more valuable than any material goods.”
These slogans are used more and more often during patriotic manifestations (e.g., the defenders of Protection of the Cross in front of the Presidential Palace, the “Marsze Pamięci” [“Marches in Remembrance”] on the anniversaries of the Smoleńsk catastrophe, the “Marsz Wolności” [“Freedom March”], Solidarity and Independence Day March, other marches, and protests of young nationalists, including a protest in front of the rainbow arch symbol on Warsaw’s Zbawiciela Square [Savior’s Square] with a banner bearing the slogan: “An Independent Poland. God, Honor and Homeland”). The words of the national motto also appeared during social protests (e.g., against the pseudo-play “Golgota Picnic” staged in the Teatr Polski in Bydgoszcz, in front of the TrzyRzecze Theater in Białystok, and the Teatr Stary in Cracow). These slogans are referenced during the celebration of Independence Day and the National Day of Remembrance of the Doomed Soldiers. During the ceremony in Wrocław, in his sermon, Father Colonel Henryk Szarejko reminded that the testament of the soldiers of the second occupation contains the words: “God, Honor, Homeland.” “Today, we are obliged to fulfill this testament,” he said.
The words “God, Honor, Homeland” were the motto of various educational (patriotic) initiatives organized for the youth (e.g., the seminar “God, Honor, Homeland. Nowy Sącz soldiers and generals in the service of the independent Republic of Poland,” organized by Nowy Sącz City Hall, the Communal Office of Chełmiec and the Nowy Sącz Foundation, a meeting of the Antoni Bolt Torunium Society in Toruń under the motto “God, Honor, Homeland and the Polish Army – a Story about Life and the Realities of War,” organized by the Student Government of the Jagiellonian University in cooperation with the Home Army Museum in Cracow). This was also the theme of the Walking Rally along the Route of the 5th Wileńska Brigade of the Home Army of Major “Łupaszka.”
The words of the motto are also placed on monuments commemorating the heroism and sacrifice of the soldiers of the Home Army, the “second underground” and the victims of the Smoleńsk catastrophe (e.g., the monument “God, Honor, Homeland” in Opole to the soldiers of the National Armed Forces (NSZ), the Home Army monument in Sopot to the fallen and murdered Home Army soldiers, the obelisk “God, Honor, Homeland, Katyń – Smoleńsk – Severny” in Ostrołęka).
In addition, representatives of several organizations, including members of the Prisoners, Internees and Repressed Club and the Association of Political Prisoners of the Stalinist Period, placed the slogans “God, Honor, Homeland” and a crown on the eagle on the columns of the communist-era Monument to the Heroes of Białystok without permission. Neither the prosecution nor the police saw this as an illegal act. Ultimately, the Mayor of Białystok decided to leave the slogans on the Monument. Tadeusz Waśniewski, President of the Białystok branch of the Union of Political Prisoners of the Stalinist Period, said: “This is now a Polish monument because in free Poland monuments are with the crowned eagle and the motto of the Poles: ‘God, Honor, Homeland.’ ( … ) This act is not political; none of the organizers belong to any party. (…) Why can’t the soldiers of the underground who gave their lives for a free Poland have an authentic Polish monument?” rhetorically asked Waśniewski.
This motto fulfills a significant patriotic role for Poles living in the former Polish Borderlands [Kresy] and the Polish-Polonia community. Patriotic education takes place primarily in the competencies of the Church, educational system, and cultural events. For the third time at the initiative of Jekabpils branch of the Union of Poles in Latvia “Rodacy” [“Compatriots”] and the parish of the Holy Trinity in Krustpils organized the Festival of Sacred Song, uniting Polish ensembles and choirs in Latvia under the slogan “God, Honor, Homeland.” In this way, the 150th anniversary of the January Uprising was commemorated. In turn, the Polish Educational Society in Belarus held a Patriotic Poem Contest under the slogan “God. Honor. Homeland.” The contest aimed to foster patriotic spirit and show the beauty and value of Polish poetry. Sabina Malinowska, a young Pole from Lviv [Lwów] said in an interview for www.kresowiacy.com : “We need to remember that we are Poles no matter what country we live in or what we do. We are united by God, Honor, and the Homeland.”
The residents of Podbrzezie and Wesołówka, members of the Union of Poles in Lithuania, celebrated the 25th anniversary of their circles with a joint prayer in the parish church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Father Marek Gładki, the parish pastor, referred in his sermon to the heroic struggle of our ancestors who defended freedom and Polishness in the Wilno region with the motto “God, Honor, Homeland.” The parish priest asked the question: what are these values for the present generations of Poles from the Vilnius region, and whether they can protect them by renouncing their individual interests, small-mindedness, and egotism. “I trust that for the community you are creating, these are not empty words but a real way of life. I hope that I will not be disappointed in you, that you are truly ready to sacrifice your lives for Polishness, for the people living in this land, for the sake of tradition, for the preservation of the Faith, national identity, and native culture,” said Fr. Marek Gładki.
A similar appeal was made on the anniversary of the May 3rd Constitution by the Metropolitan Archbishop of Lviv, Archbishop Mieczysław Mokrzycki, who presided over the solemn Holy Mass at the Cathedral Basilica in the city. He called upon the local Poles to educate well the future generations to whom the most outstanding values embroidered on the banners should be passed on: “God, Honor, Homeland.”
Amongst the Polonia, for example, the students from the School of Polish Language and Culture in Bielefeld, Germany, taking part in the program “I will tell you about free Poland,” made a film entitled “God, Honor, Homeland” based on an interview with a witness of history, Mr. Piotr Techmański, an artist and educator. Similar patriotic initiatives, with an educational dimension, have been carried out in various countries with the participation of veterans. The Polish Teachers Association in America and the Father Stanisław Cholewiński Polish School in Palos Heights carried out an educational project entitled “The Chicago Stones of Remembrance.” Disseminating the project and inviting others to participate, the organizers wrote a letter to the principals of Polish-language schools in the USA, stating: “This is an excellent opportunity, perhaps one of the last, to save from oblivion those who won us freedom and independence. For our students, it will be a living history lesson and a way to get to know the people who put the slogan ‘God-Honor-Homeland’ into practice.”
A reason for meetings of the Polish community is often Independence Day, the anniversary of the adoption of the May 3rd Constitution, or the National Day of Remembrance of the Doomed Soldiers. The Union of Polish Political Prisoners in Australia organized official celebrations of the National Day of Remembrance of the Polish “Doomed Soldiers.” A solemn Holy Mass was held at the Divine Mercy Shrine in Keysborough to commemorate the independent and past anti-communist soldiers. They had fought in patriotic resistance to the Sovietization of Poland. The faithful gathered at the Mass which celebrated the memory of those who, devoted to their oath to “God, Honor, Homeland,” often alone and betrayed, had given their lives at the altar of the Homeland. In the last prayer of the faithful gathering, the participants of the Holy Mass asked “for an awakening of those in power in the Polish Homeland so that love of country and the motto ‘God, Honor, Homeland’ would never be perceived as a threat.” Reporting on similar ceremonies in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland in Manchester, Joanna Dudzić concludes: “The large turnout and examples of Poles raised on the ideals of God, Honor, Homeland has had a positive impact on the immigrants who have come to the United Kingdom in recent years.”
The Polish National Alliance in Canada is an organization whose guiding principle is: “God, Honor, Homeland,” enshrined in the Preamble of the Constitution of the Polish National Alliance in Canada. In an open letter from the Board of Directors of the Polish National Alliance in Canada (ZG ZNPwK) to the participants in the march in Defense of Television and Media Freedom in Poland, Jacek Bukin, its President, reminded in Ottawa: “The Polish National Alliance is one of the oldest and most active Polish organizations in Canada, and for over 80 years it has been guided by the invariably essential words: God, Honor, Homeland.” Similarly, the Józef Piłsudski “Eagle Riflemen’s” Association in Canada adopted as its official motto for its activities, “God, Honor, Homeland.”
PEOPLE OF SERVICE AND HONOR
In a position of authority, many public figures have testified, in word and deed, to the patriotism and motto that united them. Some of them have passed away, others died under dramatic circumstances, sacrificing their lives for the Homeland. These people are simply decent, mainly eminent, sometimes heroic. There is no point in comparing them, putting them on the line, but we should listen to their voices and look at their deeds, which shape our identity. All are individuals of service and honor.
ROTAMASTER WITOLD PILECKI
Rotamaster Witold Pilecki (1901-1948), a soldier of the Home Army (AK), participant of the Warsaw Uprising, “the Auschwitz volunteer,” after his death honored with the Polish Order of the White Eagle. With his entire life and death at the hands of the communists, he lived by the motto “God, Honor, Homeland,” which was his inner guiding light. He was raised in this spirit and instructed his subordinates and family accordingly. “Love your Homeland, the precepts of your holy faith and the traditions of your country. Grow up to be men/women of honor, always faithful to the highest values that you have recognized and which you are obliged to serve with your whole life” – this was the message that Rotamaster Pilecki left his children still during the war.
On the 60th anniversary of the death of Rotamaster Witold Pilecki, on the initiative of the senators of the Law and Justice Party, on May 7, 2008, the Senate of the Republic of Poland passed a resolution in which it states that the memory of this heroic soldier has almost been destroyed and even though he was decorated with the Order of the White Eagle by President Lech Kaczyński, the young generation still knows woefully little about Witold Pilecki. Therefore, it is necessary to restore this knowledge to the Poles. “The Senate of the Republic of Poland would like to honor Him, recognizing Him as an exemplary Pole, completely devoted to the cause of the Homeland,” states the text of the resolution. At the end of the resolution, we read: “The entire life of Witold Pilecki is an example of how to live and how – if necessary – to die for the Homeland. His memory should be one of the elements building the collective identity of Poles.” Today, Rotamaster Pilecki is a symbol of extraordinary courage, love of the Homeland, sovereignty of the Polish spirit, dedication and steadfast patriotism.
There are many initiatives that aim to popularize the figure of Witold Pilecki. The best known and most useful is the Paradis Judaeorum Foundation, which has organized a social campaign “Let’s Remember the Rotamaster.” The goal of this campaign is, among other things, the lobbying for a film with the working title “The Auschwitz Volunteer,” as well as the establishment of May 25th (the anniversary of the death of Witold Pilecki) as a new holiday in the European Union – the International Day of Heroes of the Fight Against Totalitarianism. The Foundation wants Pilecki to be buried at the Wawel Castle in Cracow.
Thanks to the efforts of the Foundation, the National Bank of Poland minted a silver coin with the image of Witold Pilecki (2010), the Polish Post issued (in the years 2008-2013) postcards in several designs bearing the slogan “Let’s Remember the Rotamaster,” and the local governments of several cities – among them Katowice, Poznań, Zakopane, Nowy Targ – commemorated the Rotamaster in their city topography. Its founders are the “Youth for Poland Association” [“Młodzi dla Polski”] and the website “Red is Bad.” During the first month, there were more than 6,000 profile “likes.”
GEN. WŁADYSŁAW ANDERS
General Władysław Anders (1892-1970), member of the Polish Armed Forces, Commander-in-Chief of the Polish 2nd Corps, Commander-in-Chief of the Polish Armed Forces, a man of great renown, honored with the “Virtuti Militari” War Medal, and commemorated with the Order of the White Eagle, was an anti-communist and a great Polish patriot. The General understood what were the consequences for the Polish cause of bringing Polish troops out of Soviet Russia and putting them on the side of the British. That is why he never ceased in convincing his officers and soldiers that it was necessary to constantly “take the vow with honor,” because it would bear fruit for Poland in the future.
Before the attack on Monte Cassino, he said to his soldiers: “The task that has been assigned to us will make the Polish soldier famous worldwide. In those moments we will be remembered in the thoughts of the whole nation, we will be supported by the spirits of our fallen comrades-in-arms. Soldiers – remembering the bandit attack of the Germans on Poland, for the partition of Poland together with the Soviets, for the thousands of ruined towns and villages, for the murder and torture of hundreds of thousands of our sisters and brothers, for the millions of Poles deported as slaves to Germany, for the country’s misery and misfortune, for our suffering and forced vagrancy – with faith in final justice in Divine Providence we will go forward with the holy prayer in our hearts of God, Honor, and Homeland.”
The decisions taken in Yalta in February 1945 destroyed all hope for a free and sovereign Poland. Just one day after the announcement of the so-called “Big Three” decision, General Anders reacted strongly and decisively. In a telegram sent to President Władysław Raczkiewicz, he said: “In view of the tragic communique of the last “Big Three” Conference in Yalta, I report that the Polish 2nd Corps cannot recognize the unilateral decision handing Poland and the Nation over to the Soviets. I asked the allied authorities to withdraw the 2nd Corps from the combat zone. I have no conscience to demand my soldiers’ blood sacrifice at this time.” General Anders’ overriding concern was the restoration of an independent Poland. He felt that the Poles had been wronged once again in history, and his patriotism and honor did not allow him to pass over in silence the decisions of the so-called “Big Three.” He also felt a great responsibility for the soldiers he later supported when the Polish 2nd Corps was disbanded in 1947.
Today, General Anders, who is one of the great figures of our history, is held in high esteem and many schools bear his name in Poland and throughout the Polonia community. These include: The General Władysław Anders Polish School in Chicago, General Władysław Anders Primary School No. 4 in Łomża (the organizer of the interschool competition “General Władysław Anders – A Great Pole of the 20th century,”) General Władysław Anders Technical School in Białystok, and General Władysław Anders Municipal Middle School No. 1 in Mińsk Mazowiecki.
Ryszard Kaczorowski , “Jelita” coat-of-arms, (1919 – 2010), Polish politician, social activist and leader, during the war he was a scoutmaster of the Republic of Poland and commander of the Białystok banner of the “Szare Szeregi”; member of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Poland during the emigration period, and the last President of the Republic of Poland in Exile; he was a great patriot, “one of the most worthy Poles.” For the President, the signpost on his life’s path was the motto found on Polish banners: “God, Honor, Homeland.” He fought for his country, served it and worked for it, even in foreign lands.
As Bishop Henryk Hoser said during the unveiling of the statue of Ryszard Kaczorowski in Ossów: “His whole life was a life of consistency, the life of a man faithful to his ideals, which we often celebrate with the words “God-Honor-Homeland.” The Mayor of Mińsk Mazowiecki made a similar statement during the ceremony of the inauguration of the President’s monument (bust) in the city: “(….) he devoted himself to work for his Homeland. He became a symbol of a steadfast patriot, who, being above politics and divisions, united, shared, and conveyed the values enshrined in God, Honor, and Homeland.”
During the ceremony of transferring the body of the President to the Temple of Divine Providence in Warsaw, more than two years after his tragic death in the Smoleńsk tragedy, Bishop Antoni Dydycz spoke about the life of President Kaczorowski as a testament for future generations: “ This testament tells us one thing – that those who have served the nation faithfully have always tried to remember the identity, the identity built on three pillars expressed by the words: God, Honor and Homeland, and the contents they contain are written in an exceptionally clear way in your testament, in Your life.” They were written in the life that was shaped by the chivalric tradition, the customs and values of Poland that had existed for a thousand years and were closely related to God and the Church.
The great respect for the President is evidenced by the towns whose council members awarded Ryszard Kaczorowski, sometimes posthumously, with the title of Honorary Citizen (e.g., Nowy Sącz, Tomaszów Lubelski. Moreover, the City Council of Gdynia named a promenade after Ryszard Kaczorowski, the City Council of Stalowa Wola decided to name a municipal traffic roundabout in His memory and the City Council of Siedlce decided to name a street. Furthermore, several schools were named after Ryszard Kaczorowski, including Public Middle School No. 14 in Białystok, Public Middle School No. 2 with Integration and Sports Classes in Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski and the Primary School in Strabla. Kaczorowski is a man of honor, of great importance and deep faith, a statesman who left his mark on the history of Poland.
Wojciech Kilar (1932 – 2013), pianist, eminent composer of classical and film music, awarded the Order of the White Eagle, showed his great devotion to the words “God, Honor, Homeland”: “We have this formula, which may not satisfy some, but which is extremely capacious. It is this formula: God, Honor, Homeland. As far as I am concerned, it is not true we are in a post-God, post-Honor era. Maybe this is someone else’s truth, in any case not mine. These are modern times. It used to be like this: Honor is Honor, Homeland is Homeland, not “God, but something there,” “not Homeland, but something there.”
As Mieczysław Walaszczyk wrote in “Nasz Dziennik”: “Wojciechch Kilar did not hide his pride of Polishness and patriotism, emphasizing that the essence of the Polish cultural code is in the words: ‘God – Honor – Homeland’. He also testified courageously about his faith and attachment to the Catholic Church. A native of Lwów [Lviv], he never returned to his home town. He was aware of how the city had been devastated by the communists.
He was worldly in the music he composed, but also very Polish. In his works he often referred to Polish folk dances and to the Polish sacral music tradition. He always tried to convey values in music and created pieces connected with the history of Poland, such as “Bogurodzica,” “Angelus” or “Exodus.” He looked for his roots in the whole of Polish history and in the motto he repeatedly invoked: ‘God, Honor, Homeland’. He did not understand other forms. He professed his faith and views in an almost impertinent and manner without any complexes,” wrote Mateusz Matyszkowicz in “Gazeta Polska Codziennie.” Two years before his death the composer received the Lech Kaczynski Honorary Award for being “an outstanding artist who has made Polish ancestral tradition stronger and continued in its interpretation in the light of modern-day experiences.” When accepting the award from the hands of Prof. Zdzisław Krasnodębski, Kilar said, among other things, that in his work he will try to present an eternal example of what the Poland of the late-President Lech Kaczynski wanted to see, i.e., “a Poland in which the words God, Honor, Homeland meant so much to our ancestors and which strengthened them in the most difficult moments of our history.”
Władysław Pasikowski (born in 1959), film director and screenwriter, recipient of the Krzyż Kawalerski [Knight’s Cross] of the Order of Polonia Restituta, creator of the film “Jack Strong” devoted to the heroic story of Colonel Ryszard Kukliński, declared in an interview that the words “God, Honor, Homeland” are for him – “something sacred”. And disrespecting the sacred is blasphemy. When asked by a reporter if he would change the order of these terms, he said: “I don’t think any re-ordering is necessary, because the imponderabilia presented thus are not accompanied by numerals. The poet was thinking of the whole rather than the sequence. Happily, this is an issue for difficult times….” In preparing for the film about Colonel Kukliński, Pasikowski discovered his great devotion to Honor and the Homeland (“but he never did mention God”), his patriotism, which still included an awareness of sacrifice and devotion to duty. However, in the film it is not Colonel Kukliński who reminds us of the Polish national motto, but the Soviet communist leader: “How did they used to say it? God, Honor, Homeland? …”
Pasikowski when asked by some weekly about the “Patriotism” theme, said: “I have never found a better definition than that ‘the Homeland is a great collective responsibility.’” At present, the most important patriotic goal is to “pull the Polish people out from the vagaries of communism and join the European level of consciousness.” He added at the same time that: “It is the task for the patriotism of today to exterminate this darn Soviet mentality in the nation. And if war breaks out … well, as usual we will have to put our heads under the axe and not collaborate with the enemy.” Władysław Pasikowski uses blunt language at times, but this simple, one-note message appeals to a certain group of young people who will learn patriotism faster from a film about Colonel Kukliński than from a sermon in church.
Prof. Witold Kieżun (born 1922), professor of economics, soldier of the Home Army (AK), participant in the Warsaw Uprising 1944, and awarded the Krzyż Komandorski Orderu Odrodzenia Polski [Knight’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta]. He had sent 28 letters to various U.S. press agencies in protest against the use of the term “Polish concentration camps.” [“Polskie obozy koncentracyjne”].
Christian values were important to him. In one of his lectures he said: “It is important to remember that the E.U., earlier the E.E.C., was created by Schuman, and Schuman is a candidate for becoming announced a blessed; the E.U.’s conception was a Christian one. Now this has radically changed. (… ) There is a necessity for all of us who know that the Christian culture is our culture, who now believe, as I do, that our motto should be: ‘God, Honor, Homeland.’” This motto gave him the strength to fight during WW2, and afterwards it became a signpost for his life.
The professor is an economics patriot. He encouraged Poles to buy Polish goods, to support Polish industry and the Polish economy. In one of the interviews he notes that Germany has six per cent of foreign banks, France a few dozen percentage points and in other countries of Western Europe it is up to 20 per cent. In Poland, only four out of the licensed 63 banks are Polish. 95% of bank capital is in foreign hands. Out of the 100 largest companies, we have only about 30%. Finances are completely controlled by foreign capital, similarly in trade. According to the professor, for the same products Poles pays from 30% to even 65% more than a citizen of the West. “At this moment, the structure of the Polish economy is that of a colonial country, just like the structure of Burundi, Rwanda and other African countries,” stated Professor Kieżun. And he concludes: I am sad to die not in the Poland for which I fought…. It is very sad. We are dying out, we have lost our brand in the world, we are completely dependent on others …”
Prof. Kieżun was awarded the Przemyław II Medal by the Lech Kaczyński Academic Civic Club in Poznań. The 2014 justification for the medal reads: “Professor Witold Kieżun is an outstanding personality. His fidelity to the highest ideals, his extensive work ethic and strength of character make him a model of a patriotic Pole: during the Warsaw Uprising he did not hesitate to risk his life to defend Poland with bravery; today he protects Poland with the work of his mind and with activities for public benefit. He is a living symbol of those many Poles who are often silently exposed to the world and are faithful to the motto: God, Honor, Homeland. Witold Kieżun was a battle hero in his youth; later, in peacetime, he served Poland with hard work and professional activity; in his life he realized the great patriotic value of patriotism.” He remains a role model, a person of authority and an indomitable patriot. [Translator’s note: Witold Kieżun passed away on June 12, 2021].
Józef Szaniawski (1944 – 2012), political scientist, an eminent historian, sovietologist, academic lecturer, the last political prisoner of the Polish People’s Republic. After his death he was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta. In his books he wrote about “about the beautiful victories of the Poles.” He recalled the great history of the Polish nation, shedding new light on the Battle of Grunwald and Marshal Józef Piłsudski. He was one of the few scholars to point out the continuity of Moscow’s imperial politics. His legacy is also the memory of Colonel Ryszard Kukliński. He was a friend and full supporter of Colonel Kukliński and thanks to his efforts, he led to the Colonel’s rehabilitation under the law. He nurtured his memory. He founded and was a custodian of his Chamber of Memory Museum in Warsaw’s Old Town.
Szaniawski was one of the initiators of the Katyń Monument in Warsaw’s Śródmieście district and defended it when it was threatened by an unfavorable ruling by the conservator of monument’s office. He said: “In reality, it is the significance of the Katyń Monument that is at stake, which was particularly heightened after the tragic catastrophe of April 10, 2010, near Smoleńsk, when the former Prresident Lech Kaczyński and the elite of the Republic of Poland were killed on their journey to Katyń.”
His involvement in the “Katyń issue” was not only due to his interest in the history of the Polish borderlands and Russia. As Andrzej Melak noted: “Born in Lwów [Lviv], Józef Szaniawski carried this great wound in his heart all his life, caused by the Poles who were driven out or forced to leave the Polish Borderlands area after WW2. The knowledge of love and devotion to the “City of the Ever Faithful” burned in his heart and quenched the flame of love for the Homeland. The longing he felt for other parts of the world created the need to be faithful to Poland: to her history and heritage of past generations, and those who built our new identity under the motto God, Honor, Homeland.”
Szaniawski was a very religious person. “Everything he did in life (…) was inspired by the Christian faith and spirituality. During his life he did not care about what was practical, but lived in a world of values and principles. He sought the truth about our Homeland, also about its enemies and friends,” said Bishop Piotr Jarecki during the homily at Szaniawski’s funeral Mass.
According to Father Tadeusz Rydzyk, “the professor was always very concerned about Poland’s fate. He dreamt of a beautiful Poland and placed his trust in Poles and Poland.” However, according to Prof. Wiesław Wysocki, he believed in Poland and the Polish people. Szaniawski was a free man who valued freedom above all else. “He was an independent type person, valuing independence like nothing else. He was a righteous individual placing righteousness above all other matters. He wore his “wealth within himself and wherever he went” and not in his wallet. He was of those who had the motto “God, Honor, Homeland burned into their hearts,” said Prof. Wysocki. In his opinion, “Professor Szaniawski was one of those people who are said to be sick, who are ailing … for Poland. He was seriously and incurably ill in this respect. About her. For Poland, his shining star.” Yes, Professor Szaniawski loved the Poles, he loved Poland, he loved the Polish borderlands and he hated the Communists.
ARCHBISHOP HENRYK HOSER
Archbishop Henryk Hoser SAC (born in 1942), Bishop of the Diocese of Warsaw-Praga and Chairman of the Expert Group for Ethics of the Polish Episcopal Conference, is a bishop who thinks not only about God but also about his nation and his Homeland. As a son of a participant of the Warsaw Uprising he is a steadfast teacher of patriotism. He reminds us that values such as freedom and sovereignty are not given to us once and for all. They can be lost when one takes selfish actions and when one does not have the will to build the common home named Poland.
In his opinion the celebrations of the 93rd anniversary of the “Miracle on the Vistula” were for Poles not only an important history lesson, but above all a school of wisdom. “The events of 1920 remind Poles that there are such supreme values in life as: God, Honor and Homeland for which it is worth paying even the highest price. (…) The morals of a society and the unity of faith and knowledge are what builds every state. They testify to a responsibility and a broad outlook that is not limited to immediate and particular benefits,” he said.
The Bishop of Warsaw-Praga also appealed to the young people for them to remember the tragic events of the Warsaw Uprising and not to forget the deep motivation of the insurgents. “This was not fanfare. They believed in higher values and in the name of those values which boiled down to the slogan: ‘God, Honor, Homeland,’ they fought and gave their lives in the name of these values,” stated Archbishop Hoser. In his opinion, one of the most important tasks facing our nation today is the formation of a young generation of Poles based on the patriotism that shaped the youth of the Second Republic and found their trying moment subsequently during the Warsaw Uprising in 1944. “In the onslaught of proposals existing for today’s youth it is worth returning to the slogans that guided educational efforts in the inter-war period, i.e., “Homeland, Learning, Virtue” and, “God, Honor, Homeland,” said Archbishop Henryk Hoser.
As Father Henryk Zieliński, the editor-in-chief of the weekly “Idziemy” [“On Our Way”] wrote about the Bishop of the Diocese of Warsaw-Praga: “Archbishop Hoser’s voice, not only in the matters of the Gospel, bioethics or church discipline, but also in the matter of respecting the memory of the Warsaw Uprising and the January Uprising or against honoring the Red Army among the blocks of flats where the NKVD interrogation cells were located, rings out the strongest today in Warsaw. By clearly standing on the side of the truth, of the Church and the Nation, Archbishop Hoser has won wide recognition among the clergy and the faithful all across Poland.” But he also won over many enemies in the progressive circles who unleashed a campaign in the media to discredit the Archbishop as an “intransigent conservative.” Among others Prof. Krystyna Pawłowicz, MP, defended Archbishop Hoser: “You are an example of steadfast preaching and defense of the fundamental truths of our faith. You are a symbol of resistance against leftist, godless usurpation and chaos.”
Lech Kaczyński (1949-2010), politician, lawyer, Chairman of the Supreme Chamber of Control (NIK), Minister of Justice and Attorney General, President of Warsaw, President of the Republic of Poland taught Poles patriotism, respect for their own country, tradition and nation. He believed that the nation is a relay race of generations, that today’s generations pass the baton to the next and together create a great treasury of Polish history, a treasury that is proud, sublime, sometimes tragic, but uniquely ours, i.e., Polish. As Jarosław Kaczyński mentioned, “for Lech Kaczynski – as a man, citizen, as a Pole – Polishness was a value. An added value. We both knew the saying repeated for a long time in our Homeland, that ‘since we were born Poles – we will die as Poles.’ But these words also mean that Polishness is a gift with which we accept but also enrich with our lives.”
The Polish president spoke not only about patriotism in the fight against the Bolsheviks in 1920, the first and second conspiracy (he came up with a legislative initiative to establish the National Day of Remembrance of the “Doomed Soldiers”), the Warsaw Uprising of 1944, which created the moral basis for our independence and freedom, but also patriotism at work, including the ethos of “Solidarity.” He was aware that: “Today, after 20 years of the Third Republic, we must build a new patriotism. A patriotism that looks to the future, but must also have its roots, must also be rooted in the past. It is essential to have remembrance, because there is no patriotism without remembrance. During a ceremony to mark the 90th anniversary of Poland’s independence, the President said: “Patriotism comes from love, from a sense of identification with the community, with the community of culture, history. And such patriotism was present then (in the Second Republic) and is equally needed today. (…) Patriotism is needed first of all to develop our country, to work for its interests, to make up for the distance we lost in the 19th century – as soon as possible. We lost it in the nineteenth century, 45 years of communism did not give us a chance either, but we must try to make up the developmental distance that we have today from our richest friends, if not eliminate it, then at least quickly reduce it. Working towards this goal is the basic task of a modern-day Polish patriot.”
Archbishop Henryk Muszyński spoke about the positive influence of the President of the Republic of Poland on Poles at the end of the Holy Mass for the presidential couple that lost their lives in the Smoleńsk tragedy: “Throughout your life, dear President, you were a faithful son of the Church and a reliable witness of the Gospel of Christ. Your motto was ‘God, Honor and Homeland’ (…) after years of programmed atheization, when God was banished, you raised high the banner on which the words ‘God, Honor, Homeland’ returned. Not only onto the banners but also into the hearts of men (…). God revealed in Christ was for you a source of inspiration and power, honor was a sign of dignity, perseverance and determination, and service to the Homeland was your vocation and the focal point of your whole life,” stressed Archbishop Muszyński.
Janusz Śniadek, the former leader of “Solidarity,” spoke about the late Polish President Lech Kaczyński: “Mocked for unfashionable patriotism, being faithful to God and the Homeland, we raised our heads. We stopped being ashamed of patriotism, as patriotism stopped being something embarrassing. We owe this to President Kaczyński. He reminded us what it means to be a Pole. God, Honor and Homeland!” MichaL Kacewicz, who considers himself a friend of Lech Kaczyński, recalled a year after the Smoleńsk disaster: “For Lech Kaczyński the most important words were ‘God, Honor, Homeland.’ He was not a ‘cheap’ politician. He was a man who did not deal with speculations and light matters. He did not act for applause, which often marks the fate of many politicians. He created things for his people and his country that determine the future. (…) He dealt with great matters – those which are at the basis of the construct of society.” There is no doubt that the national motto was the program of Lech Kaczyński’s presidency, which he tried to implement consistently.
There were also many other people about whom people said that the motto “God, Honor, Homeland” was their whole life. Such silent patriots included Janusz Kochanowski, Władysław Stasiak, and Archduchess Maria Krystyna Habsburg of Żywiec. Also noteworthy is the judge Bogusław Nizieński, faithful to the motto “God, Honor, Country.”
Archbishop Stanisław Nowak spoke about Janusz Kochanowski, Poland’s former Ombudsman, in his funeral homily: “We share the pain of all of Poland, which Janusz Kochanowski served so beautifully in the name of the Polish people’s eternal motto: ‘God, Honor, Homeland.’ He recalled that at Jasna Góra, with his family in Częstochowa and at school there, he ‘learned to value life according to the motto ‘God, Honor, and Homeland.’”
Jarosław Brysiewicz, former Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, said of Władysław Stasiak, Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration: “Minister Władysław Stasiak was a man of outstanding motivation. I think that the motto that has long been embroidered on Polish banners – ‘God, Honor, Homeland’ – is the best reflection of what the MP did, how he thought and the values he lived by.”
Bishop Tadeusz Rakoczy said the following about Archduchess Maria Krystyna Habsburg during the funeral homily: “For the Duchess, the words God, Honor, and Homeland were of great importance.” The Bishop recalled the Archduchess, emphasizing her faith, Polishness and modesty. On the Archduchess’ name-day, the inhabitants and authorities of the city of Żywiec also remembered this “great Polish woman and patriot.”
Bogusław Nizieński (born in 1928), Public Interest Spokesman in the years 1999-2004, awarded with the Order of the White Eagle, was the subject of a film directed by Alina Czerniakowska “Daj rządy mądrych i dobrych ludzi…” [“Give governments of wise and good men”]. The half-hour documentary presents a profile of Judge Nizieński, the son of an Legionnaire officer, raised in the Polish tradition of “God, Honor, Homeland,” and connected to the Kresy [Borderlands] (born in Wilno [Vilnius]), and a soldier of the Home Army. He also served in other activities as a state official for his country. Czerniakowska stated before the film’s screening at the Ronin Club that, in making the film, she asked herself, “Can an honest, polite, gentle, good, patriotic man win against the machinery of evil?” From Nizieński’s portrait and life emerges a man of iron principles, loving his Homeland, who is able to “convince people that Poland is worth sacrificing for.”
Radio Maryja (supported by TV Trwam), whose director is Father Tadeusz Rydzyk, an unquestionable authority for a large group of Catholics, has for years been an institution that is most deeply involved in promoting the ideas of God, Honor, and Homeland. This radio reaches out to the foundations of our culture, knows where our nation should strive towards, sees where the state is decaying and where there is a chance for its development. The essence of the work of Radio Maryja is to lead people to God most effectively through the Virgin Mary, in accordance with our national tradition (e.g., retreats for young people with Radio Maryja and Television Trwam in the Diocese of Łomża, which were held under the slogan: “Be the salt of the earth: ‘God – Honor – Homeland’”). The clergy and their invited guests on the airwaves of Radio Maryja constantly proclaim that if God, Honor and the Homeland are in the first place, then the rest that follows is in the right place. Serving these values gives freedom and strength.
According to Father Ireneusz Skubiś: “Under the leadership of its charismatic Father Director, Radio Maryja shows first of all its faithfulness to the Homeland, its tradition, culture, customs and way of life. (…) In the programs of Radio Maryja, we find great concern for Polishness, the Catholicism of our nation. (…) This radio is also a sign of opposition against the pressures so intensified today, which lead to the dilution of the values that have united our nation for generations and which are based on the Decalogue and the Gospel.”
As Archbishop Sławoj Leszek Głódź said in his homily during the 20th anniversary of Radio Maryja on December 2, 2011, “Radio Maryja does a lot to put up a dam to historical amnesia and national nihilism. In its programs, for example those from the cycle ‘Myśląc Ojczyzna’ (‘Thinking of the Homeland’), and in other the conversations on the air – Poland comes back. That Poland, the one in which the slogan ‘God, Honor, Homeland’ is treated with due seriousness and responsibility. The characters of people, often forgotten, are recalled. People of service and honor. Those who remained faithful to the laws of God and country. Remembering the ‘Doomed Soldiers,’ those who were forsaken by the world and smashed by the Soviet system. Priests loyal to God and the Homeland.” Radio Maryja has rendered a great service to the Church and Poland.
The Director of Radio Maryja has been appreciated. The Chapter of the Association of the Victims of Repression during Martial Law awarded the Cross “Tibi Mater Polonia” to Father Tadeusz Rydzyk, the Director of Radio Maryja, in recognition of the priest’s contribution to his service of Poland and the fight for such values as “God, Honor, Homeland.” Father Tadeusz Rydzyk has repeatedly defended and promoted these values by word and deed and fought for them: “Today we must bear witness to the truth and every believer must do it and not make deals because they will give him/her money and let us onto the dance floors. Poles have always said: ‘God. Honor. Homeland’ because it must be remembered that if you have no God in your heart, you have no honor and your Homeland is worth nothing, and then you perish.” It is worth noting that the Redemptorist-affiliated Institute of National Education of the Servire Veritati Foundation organized a campaign “God, Honor, Homeland,” for the development of national culture.”
As you can see from the above examples, and perhaps there were many more, these concepts live in the consciousness of our compatriots and are already considered an unofficial motto of Poland, an ideal showcase of Poles to other nations.
There is no doubt that the legal and constitutional empowerment of this motto will contribute to the strengthening of Polishness, meet the expectations of many Poles and fulfill the ideological testament of the late President Lech Kaczyński.
This is why I believe that the concepts of “God, Honor, and Homeland,” this precious glue of the Polish nation, should be permanently enshrined in Polish statutes or in statutes of a constitutional rank as the official motto of Poland. If written into the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, it should be placed there alongside other symbols of the state: the image of the white eagle, the white and red national colors, and the national anthem, Dabrowski’s Mazurka, as another timeless attribute of the Republic of Poland and an element of our nation’s identity.
As we read in Article 1.2 of the Act of January 31, 1980, on the emblem, colors and anthem of the Republic of Poland and on the national seals (Journal of Laws 1980 No. 7, item 18, as amended): “To treat these symbols with reverence and respect is the right and duty of every citizen of the Republic of Poland and of all state bodies, institutions and organizations.”
It is a pity that many citizens do not remember about their rights and duties even on national holidays. We can regret that the patriotism of Polish youth is often limited to slogans, symbols and emotions, and at the same time it lacks spiritual roots. “If young people at demonstrations shout God, Honor, and Homeland, but do not enter the Church, it means that something is missing. Polish patriotism is inseparably connected with Catholicism, and who does not understand it, does not understand the essence of Polishness,” said Andrzej Kołakowski for PCh24.pl” It is not enough to wear a T-shirt with the slogan “God, Honor, Homeland;” one cannot limit his/her patriotism to tattooing the national motto on one’s arm.
That is why we have a great challenge ahead of us, a lot of educational work, providing good, spiritual examples. Also a lot of effort to maintain and return of true Polishness. We are waiting for the cleansing of the country from various anti-Polonisms in culture, and from Soviet monuments. The task of taking care of Polish identity also faces the Law and Justice party, especially when it forms the government. As Jarosław Kaczyński said during his speech at the PiS Program Congress: “We have no intention to support projects of a clearly anti-Polish character. Our internal anti-Polish forces is a dangerous force to be reckoned with.” Not only do we want to introduce the national motto “GOD, HONOR, COUNTRY” into the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, but we will undertake the effort to make it a state motto so that it becomes “part of the daily practices” of the nation.
- Bernyś, M., Krzyk miłosierdzia [The Cry of Mercy], in Nasz Dziennik, April 14, 2014, No. 87.
- Frukacz, M., “Ogólnopolski Kongres Katolików – Stop Ateizacji,” in: niedziela.pl, June 13, 2013. (http://www.niedziela.pl/artykul/5191/Ogolnopolski-Kongres-Katolikow—Stop).
- Michalik, J., Słowo wstępne, in: “Wychowanie do patriotyzmu,” Przemyśl-Rzeszów, 2006, p. 11.
- The motto of Scotland was taken from an old Scottish prayer. It was used by the royal Stuart dynasty since at least the reign of James IV (1488 – 1513). The second motto of the royal Stuart family is also used: “No one messes with me with impunity,” the original written in Latin.
- The words of the Czech motto “Truth Prevails” refer to the Hussite tradition. They come from the apocryphal “Third Book of Ezra” which was never part of the biblical canon. The current motto of Czech Republic, first inscribed on the banner of the President of Czechoslovakia in 1920, was again sanctioned by inscription on the banner of the President of the Czech Republic after the establishment of the state on January 1, 1993.
- The motto of the Netherlands dates back to 1550, when the country was part of Spain.
- The motto of Switzerland refers to Swiss characteristics such as a sense of duty and solidarity. It has been in effect since 1902, when it was placed on the Federal Palace of Switzerland, the seat of the Federal Parliament.
- The motto of Albania is taken from a work written by Naim Frasheri (1846 – 1900), the national poet of Albania, one of the most famous figures of the Albanian National Awakening in the 19th century. The content of the motto refers to the widespread illiteracy of the population stating that only through education in the national language is the Albanian nation formed.
- The motto of Bulgaria has been in effect since 1991 with the adoption of the state coat of arms.
- The motto of Serbia is a historic Serbian battle cry calling for unity in the face of an external threat. Legend has it that the motto was given to the Serbs by Saint Sava.
- The motto of France derives from the revolutionary slogan formulated on June 30, 1793: “Liberty Equality, Fraternity, or Death.”
- The author of the motto of Turkey is Mustafa Kerna Atatiirk, the first president of the Turkish Republic. The motto was introduced after the overthrow of the Ottoman dynasty and the abolition of the caliphate in 1922.
- The motto of Greece originated during the Greek War of Independence in 1820. It was the war cry of the Greeks who rebelled against Ottoman rule. Today it symbolizes the Greeks’ defiance of tyranny and oppression.
- The motto of Macedonia was the revolutionary motto of the independence movements since the second half of the 19th century. The motto was to be taken from the words of Patrick Henry, spoken on March 23, 1775, in Virginia, during the American War of Independence: “Give me liberty, or give me death.”
- The motto in Belgium was introduced after the Revolution of 1830, the original written in Dutch, French and German.
- The motto of Norway has been in effect since the passing of the Eidsvoll Constitution in 1814, an attempt by the country to regain complete sovereignty, Dovrefaller – the name of the mountain.
- The motto of Monaco is also the motto of the ruling house of the principality, inscribed on the coat of arms of the Grimaldi dynasty. The words of the motto are historically linked to the pious Prince Lambert Grimaldi (1458 – 1494), who in his quest for an independent duchy very often appealed to God’s support.
- The royal motto of Great Britain, which has been around since the 5th century, is etymologically derived from the call of King Richard the Lionheart.
- The Royal Motto of Denmark is a motto adopted by Queen Margrethe II in 1972 with her accession to the throne.
- The Royal Motto of Sweden is a motto adopted by King Carl XVI Gustaf in 1973, with his accession to the throne.
- The words of Germany’s motto are taken from the first line of the third stanza of the “German Anthem.”
- The motto of Luxembourg refers to the country’s ambition to remain separate and independent from those neighbors who have traditionally dominated it politically and militarily: Belgium, France, Germany. The words of the motto are taken from a patriotic song of 1859.
- The words of the Lithuanian motto are the last verse of the Lithuanian national anthem, “The National Song,” written by Vincas Kudirka in 1898.
- Slovakia’s motto has its origin in the fifth verse of Psalm 72.
- The motto of Northern Ireland is taken from St. Paul’s letter to the Romans 08:35: “Quis ino separabit caritate Christi,” translated as “Who can separate us from the love of Christ?”
- The motto of Spain has been in effect since 1977. It refers to the discovery of the New World by Christopher Columbus.
- Other national mottoes that function in the public consciousness include. “Si Deus nobiscum quis contra nos” (“If God is with us, who can be against us?”). The motto of the Jagiellonian dynasty, taken from St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans, was engraved on the entrance gate of the Royal Castle in Cracow, “Semper fidelis” (“Always faithful”). This motto was granted by Pope Alexander VII to the city of Lwów [Lviv] in 1658, and later extended to the entire Polish borderlands. (The Kościuszko Insurrection), “In the name of God for our freedom and yours” (November Uprising), “Nie rzucim ziemi skąd nasz ród!” [We won’t forsake the lands of our family line!] (first words of the Rota by Maria Konopnicka).
- St. John Paul II “About the Homeland and patriotism”, in: “Nasz Dziennik”, November 19, 2012, No. 270.
- http://wpolityce.pl/polityka/114097-dla-nas-po-bogu-najwieksza-milosc-to-polska-musimy-po-bogu-dochowac-wiernosci- przede-wszystkim-naszej-ojczyznie
- Seidler, B., Honor, in “Życie Literackie” no. 17, April 26, 1964.
- Skubiś I., Bóg – Honor – Ojczyzna, naszaniedziela.pl, April 22, 2013. (http://naszaniedziela.pl/artykul/105580/nd/Bog—Honor—Ojczyzna
- Fenrych, P., Bóg – Honor – Ojczyzna, fm.niedziela.pl (http://www.fm.niedziela.pl/artykul/18804/nd/Bog—Honor—Ojczyzna)
- St. John Paul Il, “Memory and Identity,” (in the Polish language version), Cracow 2005, p. 66.
- St. John Paul II about the Homeland and Patriotism, in “Nasz Dziennik,” November 19, 2012, No. 270
- http://www.pis.org.pl/article.php?id= 22635
- http://www.armiakrajowa.org.pl/ aktualnosci/146-pielgrzymka-kombatantow-na-jasna-gore-9092012-r
- The terms “Honor and Homeland” were introduced as the national motto in the Il Republic of Poland by the Act on Emblems and Banners of the Republic of Poland of August 1, 1919 (Journal of Laws of 1919, No. 69, item 416). As a motto of the Polish army, it was introduced by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Poland of November 24, 1937 on Insignias of the Army and Navy (Journal of Laws of 1938, No. 51, item 32). This motto is engraved above the main entrance to the Chancellery of the Prime Minister, which between 1927 and 1939 housed the General Inspectorate of the Armed Forces.
- Kaczmarski K., “O Wielką Polskę na wojennym wychodźstwie. Stronnictwo Narodowe wobec rządu gen. Władysława Sikorskiego (1939 – 1943)” [“For a Great Poland in Wartime Exile. The National Party in the face of the government of General Władysław Sikorski (1939-1945)”], Rzeszów 2013, p. 154.
- http://www.franciszkanska3.pl/ Abp-Ozorowski-Polska-jest-wielkim-dobrem,a, 71 78
- In many schools, students while touching the motto on the flag, vow to guard the values inscribed on it: God, Honor, Homeland and conscientiously and honestly perform their duties serving the Homeland with conscientious study, work and exemplary behavior.
- Wróblewski J., Bóg, Honor i Ojczyzna w wykonaniu Kasi Kowalskiej, fronda.pl, May 11,2013 (http:/www.fronda.pl/a/bog-honor-i-ojczyzna-w-wykonaniu-kasi-kowalskiej,28085.html?page=2&;)
- http://marek-gajowniczek. blog.onet.pl/2014/03/05/bog-honor-ojczyzna/
- http://www.solidarnosc.org.pl/bbial/aktualnosci_g 1 _2013.html
- http://www.jasnagora.com/wydarzenie.php?ID= 1776
- http:/racovia44.blog.onet.pl/20 l11/01/10/bog-honor-ojczyzna/
- http://wspolnota-polska.org.pl/wiadomosci/25-lecie-dzialalnosci-Kol-ZPL-w-Podbrzeziu-i Wesolowce,3560.html
- http://spk-wb.org/aktualnosci/spk-wb/anglia-polnocna/72-obchody-swieta-konstytucji-3-maja-w-manchester.html It is worth noting that the Invocation of the Association of Polish Veterans in Great Britain, who have had such a positive impact on young immigrants, contains, among others, the following words: “Dear God, grant that all of us who are united by the common soldier’s duty, performed under the white and red insignia, may always perform our service to You and Poland as befits the righteous Poles whose motto is: ‘GOD, HONOR, HOMELAND!”’
- An open letter, “Nasz Dziennik,” September 29 – 30, 2012, No. 228.
- Szubarczyk, P., Cena wolności [The Price of Freedom], in “Nasz Dziennik,” May 17-18, 2014, No. 113.
- Walaszczyk, M., Wojciech Kilar nie żyje [Wojciech Kilar has passed away], in: “Nasz Dziennik,” December 30, 2013, No. 302.
- Matyszkowicz, M., Requiem dla Wojciecha Kilara [Requiem for Wojciech Kilar], in: niezalezna.pl
- (http://niezalezna.pl/50103-requiem-dla-wojciecha-kilara) http://www.wielkiprojekt.2011.sobieski.org.pl/main/nagroda
- Kowalewska, M., Spór o pomnik katyński. Jaki będzie jego los?, in: www.wpolityce.pl
- Melak, A., A co Ty wiesz o Józefie Szaniawskim?, in: “Nasz Dziennik,” December 23, 2013, No. 298.
- Rutkowska, M., Epitafium dla Profesora, in: “Nasz Dziennik,” September 6, 2012, No. 208.
- Zieliński, H., Nagonka na abp. Hosera, in “Idziemy,”July 14, 2013, No. 28.
- Kacewicz, M., Lech Kaczyński on nie był „tanim” politykiem, newsweek.pl, April 7, 2011. (http://newsweek.pl/lech-kaczynski-on-nie-byl–tanim-politykiem,75022,1,1.html)
- Frukacz, M., Pogrzeb Rzecznika Praw Obywatelskich, in: niedziela.pl (http://www.niedziela.pl/artykul/91705/nd/Pogrzeb-Rzecznika-Praw-Obywatelskich)
- Gardas, L., Arcyksiężna Maria Krystyna Habsburg pochowana w Żywcu, in: dziennikzachodni.pl
- Pabis, N., Trwamy i wygramy, in: naszdziennik.pl, June 16, 2013, (http://www.naszdziennik.pl/polska-kraj/35851,trwamy-i-wygramy. Among others, Cardinal Henryk Gulbinowicz and the PiS party leader, Jarosław Kaczyński, also received the “Tibi Mater Polonia” Cross distinction.