The History of Eternal Flame


The eternal flame is featured throughout many different countries, cultures and religions across the globe, and is an important symbol for Remembrance. It ignites deep, spiritual reflection of the past, as well as hope for the future.

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them.”

Thomas Campbell, Hallowed Ground


Flames are widely recognized as being symbolic of eternal life. Using a flame at any war memorial represents Remembrance and appreciation of the lives lost in service.


➡ Eternal Flames at Wikipedia


Australian War Memorial

Figure 1.1 Credit: Australian War Memorial

Figure 1.2 Credit: Australian War MemorialFigure 1.2 Credit: Australian War Memorial

ANZAC Square

Figure 2.1 Credit: Australian War Memorial Figure 2.1 Credit: Australian War Memorial

Figur 2.2 Queensland National Anzac MemorialFigur 2.2 Queensland National Anzac Memorial

➡ Australian War Memorial – Eternal Flames


Belgium also uses the eternal flame to honour those lost during the First World War, as an addition to the Congress Column in 1922.
A memorial to honour WW1 soldiers with and eternal flame was added in 1922. Located in Belgium at the Congress Column.

Figure 3. Credit Agracier.

➡ Congress Column


Located in Sarajevo at a memorial to commemorate the liberation of Sarajevo from the occupation of Nazi Germany and the fascist Independent State of Croatia. It was first lit in 1946.

Figure 4, Credit: Pudelek.

➡ Eternal Flame Sarajevo

➡ More info


Located in Ottawa, the Centennial Flame was built in 1967.
To celebrate Canada’s 100 year as a confederation.

Figure 5, Credit: D. Gordon E. Robertson.

➡ Centennial Flame


➡ Men of Battersea Eternal Flame – War Memorials Online

➡ Men Of Battersea Eternal Flame | Imperial War Museums


Located under the Arch De Triomphe, it was lit to commemorate WW1 soldiers.

➡ Eternal Flame

➡ More Info


Germany also uses the eternal flame as a symbol of Remembrance. In West Berlin at Theodor Heuss Platz, a flame was lit to commemorate displaced Germans between 1944 and 1950 after the end of World War 2. The structure reads “Freiheit, Recht, Friede”, meaning “Freedom, Justice, Peace”.


Located in West Berlin, at Theodor Heuss Platz, first lit in 1955.
To commemorate the displaced Germans between 1944 – 1950, just after WW2.
Freiheit, Recht, Friede. “Freedom, Justice, Peace”

Figure 6, Credit: OTFW, Berlin.

➡ Theodor Heuss Platz


An eternal flame burns as a reminder to Nazi victims, first lit in 1985.

Figure 7, Credit: Nils in Germany.

➡ Lonely Planet


Located in New Delhi, at the India Gate. It was first lit in 1971, to honour the soldiers of WW1.

Figure 8, Credit: Facebook.

➡ India Gate


Located in Rome, at the Altare della Patria. There is a Tomb of the Unknown soldier, built after WW1 in 1921.

➡ Altare Della Patria


Located in Riga, at the Brother’s Cemetery, where thousands of Latvian soldiers from WW1 are buried. The opening was in 1936 and commemorates WW1 and Latvian independence soldiers.

Figure 9, Credit: Jānis Vilniņš.

➡ Brothers Cemetery


Located in Kaunas, at Tomb of the Unknown soldier.
To commemorate soldiers who fought against the Bolsheviks in 1918/1919.

Figure 10, Credit: Waymarking.

➡ Eternal Flame Lithuania


The National Memorial of Solidarity was opened in 1971, in remembrance of all those that died in WW2.

Figure 11, Credit: Despod.

➡ National Memorial of Solidarity
➡ More Info


Located in The Hague, and eternal flame for international peace, first lit in 2002.

Figure 12, Credit: World Peace Flame.


➡ World Peace Flame


Located in Warsaw, this Tomb of the Unknown Soldier has dates and battles of soldiers from WW1.

Figure 13, Credit: Halibutt.

➡ Tomb of the Unknown Soldier


Located in Lisbon at the Soldier Memorial.


Located in the Kremlin, this flame is to commemorate WW2 and was first lit in 1965.

Russia commemorates those lost in the Second World War through the symbolism of the eternal flame, which was first lit in 1965.

Figure 14, Credit: Reuters Photo.

➡ Eternal Flame


Located at the Monument to the Fallen in Madrid, this is dedicated to all those who gave their lives for Spain.

Figure 15, Credit: Pinterest.

Monument to the Fallen



In honour of the assassinated John F Kennedy.

Figure 16, Credit: Tim Evanson.

➡ John F Kennedy

Decatur, Georgia

For soldiers who sacrificed their lives in battle (WW1, WW2, Vietnam war, Korean war). This was built in 1969.

Figure 17, Credit: Hometown News Atlanta.

➡ Flame of Freedom


Dedicated to all who served, and especially those who have died in the US army. This flame was first lit in 1972.

Figure 18, Credit: Chicago Architecture Info.

➡ Eternal Flame

South Carolina

This eternal flame is dedicated to all who have served in the US army.

Figure 19, Credit: Rendy Bowland.

➡ Bowman War Memorial


For all of the soldiers who were involved in the American revolutionary war.
Completed in 1957.

Figure 20, Credit: Ken Thomas.

➡ Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary Soldier