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Macedonia

Republika Makedonija, Republic of Macedonia, FYROM (UNO designation)

Last modified: 2004-12-18 by
Keywords: macedonia | makedonija | the former yugoslav republic of macedonia | fyrom | europe | sun: 8 rays | coat of arms: macedonia | law | anthem | constitution |
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[Flag of Macedonia]by Željko Heimer
Flag adopted 5 October 1995, coat of arms adopted 31 December 1946.
Proportion: 1:2
Description: Red field with a golden sun in the middle, with eight rays thickening towards the end.
Designer: Pr. Miroslav Grcev
Use: on land, civil, state and war flag.

Colour approximate specifications (as given in Album des Pavillons [pay00]):


On this page:

See also:


Adoption of the flag

Since its creation as a state in 1945, the Republic of Macedonia has used three flags.

The first flag dates back to 1945 and the People's Republic of Macedonia, part of People's Federative Republic of Yugoslavia; it is red with a red five-pointed star outlined in yellow in the canton.

The second flag, dated 1992, is red with a yellow 16-pointed sun, that Greece claimed is the sun of Vergina, found on the sarcophagus believed to belong to Filip, King of Macedonia.

After the dispute with Greece, the flag was replaced in 1995 with the present one, called the Macedonian sun, again yellow on red.
The (then) biggest opposition party VMRO-DPMNE did not accept this change and continued to use the old flag, which was flown in every municipality with a VMRO-DPMNE majority in its councils, till the local election in 1998.

Jovan Jonovski (President of the Macedonian Heraldry Society), 24 June 2004


The national flag, arms and anthem in the Constitution

The national flag, arms and anthem of Macedonia are prescribed in the Constitution as follows:

Article 5

The state symbols of the Republic of Macedonia are the coat of arms, the flag and the national anthem. The coat of arms, the flag and the national anthem of the Republic of Macedonia are adopted by law by a two-thirds majority vote of the total number of Assembly Representatives.

Source: Macedonian government website

Ivan Sache, 5 March 2002


The 1995 flag law

Act on the Flag of the Republic of Macedonia, adopted by the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia on its session held on October 5, 1995 (proclamed the same day by the Decree No 08-3359/1)

Article 1.

This Act establishes the flag of the Republic of Macedonia.

Article 2.

The flag of the Republic of Macedonia is red with a golden-yellow sun. The sun has eight rays, emerging from the sun disk, thickening towards the end. The sun rays are crossing diagonally, horizontally and vertically.
The diameter of the sun-disk is equal to one-eighth of the length of the flag.
The centre of the sun coincides with the intersection of the diagonals of the flag.
The ratio between the width and the length of the flag is one to two.

Article 3.

[Construction sheet]by Željko Heimer
Reconstructed contruction sheet, original not seen!

The design illustration of the flag of the Republic of Macedonia is a constitutent part of this Act.

Article 4.

On the day this Act comes into effect the Act on the Flag of the Republic of Macedonia (Official Gazette of the Republic of Macedonia No 50/92) ceases to exist.

Article 5.

This Act comes into effect on the day of its publication in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Macedonia.

Source: Unoffical translation of decree 08-3359/1, as published in Slushben Vesnik na Republika Makedonija (Official Gazette of the Republic of Macedonia), 6 October 1995.

Jos Poels, 21 November 1995


The 1997 flag law

Macedonia adopted a new law on state symbols 8 July 1997. The legislation is described by the Macedonian Information Center (MIC) as "one of the most important in the newer history of Macedonia." According to the new law, flags of foreign countries cannot be hoisted from public buildings except at some public and religious holidays when they may be hoisted alongside the Macedonian flag. The limitation on the flying of foreign flags affects first and foremost the use of the flag of Albania, used on municipal buildings in towns of Western Macedonia where there are many Albanians. Six members of the PDSH (Democratic Party of Albanians) voted against the new law. No more details of the legislation is available in the English language reports of the MIC and MILS, so there is no news on the design rules for minority flags mentioned earlier this year.

The enactment of the new law on state symbols was followed by police action against municipal authorities in the towns of Tetovo and Gostivar, where the Albanian flag was removed from the town halls. This led to protests and demonstrations, escalating into riots. Three people have died, more than 50 have been injured and 3-400 people have been detained or arrested (including, at one point, the mayor of Gostivar). Police introduced a curfew. On 12 July demonstrators (many of the Albanians from Macedonia) burned the Macedonian flag in the Albanian capital Tirana.

Sources:

Jan Oskar Engene, 18 July 1997


The flag in the national anthem

The first two stanza of the Macedonian national anthem (Denes nad Makedonija - Today in Macedonia) say:

"Today on Macedonia, is born
the new sun of liberty
The Macedonians fight
for their own rights!
The Macedonians fight
for their own rights!

For now on, the flag flies
(that) of the Krushevo Republic
Goce Delchev, Pitu Guli
Dame Gruev, Sandanski!
Goce Delchev, Pitu Guli
Dame Gruev, Sandanski!"

According to Vele Samak, the anthem was composed and created in 1944 or 1943 by Vlado Maleski, a poet from Struga. It was adopted as an anthem of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia when it was established after the Second World War. Later the song was selected to be the anthem of the newly established independent Republic of Macedonia.

Source: Balkan Info website

Ivan Sache, 28 February 2002

The city of Delchevo was named after the Macedonian revolutionary Goce Delchev, who was one of the leaders of the Ilinden uprising against the Ottomans.

Pitu Guli (1865-1903), a military leader (duke) in Krushevo led a band of rebels ocassionally since 1885. He was later the main military leader of the Ilinden uprising.

Dame (Damjan) Gruev (1871-1906) was a close Goce Delchev's coworker. Imprisoned by the Turks in 1900, he was one of the leaders of the Ilinden uprising, killed in Turkish pursuit.

Jane Sandanski (1872-1915) was a Macedonian liberation fighter. Active in fight against the Vrhovists, he cooperated much with the Young Turks and led a military group that helped the Young Turkish Revolution in Istanbul. In 1909, he was appointed leader of the National Federative Party, established that year. After the Balkan Wars, he fought for favourous solution of the Macedonian question and was killed by deceit by the Vhrovists.

Željko Heimer, 13 March 2002


The coat of arms

[Coat of arms]from the Macedonian Presidency

After independance in 1992 Macedonia retained the coat of arms adopted in 1946 by the People's Assembly of the People's Republic of Macedonia on its second extraordinary session held on July 27, 1946, later on altered by article 8 of the Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia. A new law is to be proclaimed
The coat of arms is described this way:

The coat-of-arms is composed by a double bent garland of ears of wheat, tobacco and poppy, tied by a ribbon with the pattern of a traditional costume. In the centre of such a circular room there are mountains, rivers, lakes and the sun; where the ears join there is a red five-pointed star. All this represents 'the richness of our country, the struggle and the freedom'.

Source: Limes 3/95

Giuseppe Bottasini, 28 August 1995

According to the Macedonian Heraldry website, the coat of arms of Macedonia doesn't appear on the passports. A proposal by a MP to remove the red star wasn't accepted. It seems that the change of the coat of arms creates many problems. The adoption of the traditional gold lion on red shield seems not to be possible because (according to the website):

That is why we still have the old Socialist type coat of arms.

Pascal Vagnat, 26 May 2003

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