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Staro Nagoričane (North Municipality, Macedonia)

Last modified: 2019-06-11 by ivan sache
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Flag of Staro Nagoričane - Image by Mello Luchtenberg, 2 April 2007

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Presentation of Staro Nagoričane

The municipality of Staro Nagoričane (in Cyrillic, Старо нагоричане; 4,840 inhabitants; 433.41 sq. km), located near Kumanovo, is made of the 39 villages of Algunja, Aljince, Arbanaško, Bajlovce, Breško, Bukovljane, Vojnik, Vragoturce, Vračevce, Dejlovce, Dlabocica, Dobraca, Dragomance, Drenok, Žegljane, Željuvino, Kanarevo, Karlovce, Konice, Kokino, M'glence, Makreš, Malotino, Mlado Nagoricane, Nikuljane, Oblavce, Orah, Osiče, Pelnice, Puzajka, Ramno, Rugjince, Staro Nagoricane, Stepance, Strezovce, Striovac, Cvetisnica, Cvilance and Čelopek.

The village of Staro Nagoričane has an important Serbian population; its Mayor, Vlatska Dimković, is a member of the DPSM (Demokratska Partija Srba u Makedoniji, Serbian Democratic Party of Macedonia). The St. George (Sveti Gjorgji) church of Staro Nagoričane is considered as one of the most important monuments in North Macedonia. The church was built, probably in 1313, by King Milutin on the foundations of an older church built, according to the tradition, by the Byzantine Emperor Roman IV Diogenes (1067-1071). A writing over the western entrance bears the date 1313, whereas the frescoes of the southwestern wall are "labelled" 1317-1318.
The church has the shape of an elongated cross and is topped by a large octaedric dome in the center, surrounded by four smaller ones. The walls are built of stone in their lower part, whereas chromaticity was achieved in the upper part by alternating layers of stone and bricks. Unique in North Macedonia, the church has preserved its original iconostasis made of stone pillars, parapet plates and ornamented archigraph with icons painted alla fresco. The other frescoes of the church were painted by the famous artists Michael Astrapus and Eutychus, who also decorated the St. Kliment church in Ohrid, the St. Nikita monastery in Skopska Crna Gora and several religious objects in the neighbouring Balkan.


The Kokino obervatory, dating back to the Age of Bronze, was discovered in 2001 near the village of Kokino by the archeologist Jovica Stankovski.
Quoting the Macedonian Center for Archeological Research:

The archaeological site Kokino is situated on the summit of the large neo-volcanic top that dominates the area with its height of 1,013 m and towers over the village of Kokino (northeastern North Macedonia) at its base. In 2005 on a day dedicated to the ancient observatories in the world, American Space Agency (NASA) prepared a list with 15 ancient observatories in the world on which the Megalithic Observatory Kokino can be found ranked on the 4th place.
In this area, thanks to the natural tendency of the rocks to form cracks, caused by their geological structures, two surface approximately orientated from west to east and with an approximate difference in height of 15 m, have easily been artificially flattened. On the lower, west platform, several stone seats (thrones) have been formed in the andezite rock. The alignment of the seats is approximately north south, so that anyone seated on them would face towards the eastern horizon.
Some archaeological findings as are the forms of the ceramic vessels chronologically belong to the late Bronze Age Period from 14th to 11th centuries BC, especially the celt mould for the bronze axe and the amulet have their special and very significant place among the other findings. It represents a "holy mountain" where more than one cult were celebrated among which the cult of the Great Mother Goddess is one of the most significant, well known and widely spread in Ancient Macedonia since Neolithic times (7000 years BC). Recent archaeological research is suggesting also further usage of the site up until the 7th century BC.
If carefully observed stone markers can be noted, used in the past mark places of the Sun's raise in the day of the summer solstice, Moon in the day of maximal and minimal decline in the winter period, Sun in the day of the vernal and autumn equinox, Sun in the day of the winter solstice, Moon in the day of maximal and minimal decline in the summer period. All markers can be seen from the central position of the observatory.
The precise work while crafting these markers, their good condition and preserved original shape and dimensions, as well as other unique elements (thrones, transhea, central position, ritual positions and etc.) as well as vast amount of archaeological material encountered the Ancient Observatory Kokino among the very ancient observatories in the world.

Ivan Sache, 7 April 2007

Flag of Staro Nagoričane

The flag of Staro Nagoričane (Macedonian Ministry of Local Self-Government website, page no longer online), is vertical, blue with a red border and the municipal coat of arms on the bottom of the flag.
The coat of arms is based on the Serbian coat of arms, recalling the Serb tradition in the municipality, red with a white cross and a red firesteel at each corner of the shield and an escutcheon outlined in yellow showing the famous St. George church. The year 1313 added in the point of the shield recalls the foundation of the church.

Ivan Sache, 7 April 2007