“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.
After the fall of Ceauşescu in late December, 1989, “Trei Culori” remained the official anthem for several months until replaced by the democratic government. “Trei culori” was still played for those months in post-Communist Romania, without the Communist verses, and with the original text.