"Trei culori", the anthem during the rule of Nicolae Ceauşescu's communist government, is based on the Romanian patriotic song "Tricolorul", written in 1879, which has the same music, but the text was revised to conform with Communist standards. The title refers to the national flag of Romania, which is a tricolour: red, yellow and blue. The composer also wrote the melody for the Albanian anthem. The anthem was in use 1977-1990.
After the fall of Ceauşescu in late December, 1989, "Trei Culori" remained the official anthem for several months until replaced by the deomcratic government. "Trei culori" was still played for those months in post-Communist Romania, without the Communist verses, and possibly with the original text.
Ciprian Porumbescu born Cyprian Gołęmbiowski on October 14, 1853 – June 6, 1883) was an Romanian composer born in Şipotele Sucevei in Bukovina (now Shepit, Putyla Raion, Ukraine). He was among the most celebrated Romanian composers of his time; his popular works include Crai nou, Trei culori, Song for the 1st of May, Ballad for violin and piano, and Serenada. In addition, he composed the music for Pe-al nostru steag e scris Unire, which was used for Albania's national anthem, Hymni i Flamurit. His work spreads over various forms and musical genres, but the majority of his work is choral and operetta.
Envelope with the score of Porumbescu's "Trei Culori" (in use-1977-1990) issued in 1977.