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North Macedonia: History of the flag

Last modified: 2019-09-08 by ivan sache
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Historical outline

Since its creation as a state in 1945, the Republic of Macedonia has been using three flags.
The first flag dates back to 1945: the People's Republic of Macedonia, part of the People's Federative Republic of Yugoslavia used a red flag charged in the canton with a red five-pointed star outlined in yellow.
The second flag, known as the "Sun of Vergina" flag, dated 1992, is red with a yellow 16-pointed sun, claimed by Greece to be the "Sun of Vergina", featured on the sarcophagus believed to belong to Philip, King of Macedonia.
After the controversy with Greece, the "Sun of Vergina" flag was replaced in 1995 by a third flag, 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 held in 1998.

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

These days, top themes in Macedonian medias are the expectation of NATO membership and a possible veto from Greece. In that context, it was mentioned, unofficially, that one of the measures that the Macedonian government would take as a response will be the return of the "Sun of Vergina" flag as the national flag.

Valentin Poposki, 11 February 2008

Albanian parties challenging the North Macedonia national flag

According to Mariela Trajkovska, Dnevnik, 16 April 2005, the leaders of two important Albanian political parties in North Macedonia ask for a change of the national symbols, claiming that the current symbols do not reflect the multi-ethnicity of the state.
Ermira Mehmeti, the spokeswoman of the BDI, a party member of the governing coalition, said: "The anthem and the flag shall express the new characteristics of the Constitution and of the State". The party has yet to organize an internal discussion and to decide when to propose the change of the national symbols to the government. The issue must be discussed in the party since it recognized the current flag two years ago. The Vice President of the BDI, Rafiz Aliti, was more direct: "We require a new flag for the state. The Macedonian community shall have to decide if it needs a national flag different from the flag of the state. We, the Albanians, already have a national flag and we do not want to change it, although it is the state flag of Albania. The Macedonian Constitution recognize us as representatives of the Albanian people. Changing our national flag would mean that we do not belong to that people."
Arbër Xhaferi, the leader of the PDSH, an opposition party, claims that the Albanians do not feel represented by the current state flag of Macedonia, which should be accepted by all citizens. He regrets that it took a lot of time to the BDI to change its mind on the issue of the national symbols. A change of the symbols could be possible if all parties are prepared to discuss. The aim of the discussion shall be the design of symbols accepted by everybody.
The main Macedonian party of the governing coalition, the SDSM, has refused to comment the situation before having seen concrete elements of discussion. The question of the change of the national symbols has never been addressed by the SDSM.

Ivan Sache, 20 April 2005