This week, the Czech Republic’s government announced it wants to rename the country Czechia, apparently because it “rolls off the tongue more easily” and will look better on football shirts.
Yes, those are the first and second worst reasons ever come up with for renaming a country.
“But,” I hear every Czech fail to cry, “what is the answer to the most important question of them all: what would the change mean for our national anthem?”
Well, don’t panic. I’m pretty sure it’ll mean absolutely nothing.
The Czech anthem – Kde domov můj / Where is my home? – only mentions the word Czech twice (when it answers its title with the words “The Czech land, my home”). Since it doesn’t mention the word republic at all, that should mean it can continue.
But – and it’s a big BUT – why would any Czech want to keep using it? It’s a boring piece of 19th century incidental music. Literally; it was written for a short song in a long forgotten play. Its title is also the sort of thing drunk stag parties shout at 3am in Prague.
Czechs, do yourself a favour. Use the name change to change this too.