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

Last modified: 2009-04-24 by ivan sache
Keywords: macedonia | makedonija | the former yugoslav republic of macedonia | fyrom | europe | sun: 8 rays (yellow) | law | construction sheet | anthem | constitution | grcev (miroslav) |
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[Flag of Macedonia]

Flag of Macedonia - Image by Željko Heimer, 26 June 2005

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, as the civil, state and war flag.

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

  • Red: Pantone 485c / CMYK (%) C 0 - M 100 - Y 90 - K 0
  • Yellow: Pantone 108c / CMYK (%) C 0 - M 0 - Y 100 - K 0

See also:

History of the flag of Macedonia

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 the People's Federative Republic of Yugoslavia; it is red with a red five-pointed star outlined in yellow in the canton.
The "Sun of Vergina" 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 Philip, King of Macedonia.
After the controversy with Greece, the flag was replaced in 1995 by 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

These days, top themes in Macedonian medias are expecting NATO membership and a possible veto from Greece. In that context, unofficially, was mentioned that one of the measures that Macedonian government would take as a response will be the return of the previous flag (1992-1995) as the national flag.

Valentin Poposki, 11 February 2008

The process of adoption of the current flag of Macedonia

In his book Znaci i ornamenti (Muzej na sovremena umetnost, Skopje 2005), Pr. Grcev (b. 1955, Professor of Urban Planning at the Faculty of Architecture of Skoplje) provides his original flag proposal and the construction sheet. The flag was designed to be in proportions 5:8 (being a nice approximation of the Golden section Φ, according to Grcev, with the mesh of 10 x 16 squares (let's call this length A) providing for the design elements - the central disk was to be circumscribing the central four such squares (i.e. having diameter of A*sqrt(2) ) while the eight yellow rays were to be triangles - the vertical rays with apexes in the centre of the flag and bases 2 Along, the horizontal rays with apexes one A away from the centre in opposite direction and bases also 2 A long. The diagonal rays had apexes in opposite corners of a rectangle 2 A wide and 1.25 A high (i.e. having diagonals matching the diagonals of the flag!) while having base 3 A long along the top and bottom edges and touching the host and fly edges - so that the flag diagonals from the division lines between red and yellow there.
Apparently the Parliament (or probably some of its committees) decided to amend the overall proportions and added the red ring around the sun disk.

Željko Heimer, 12 February 2009

On 20 September 1995, Nova Makedonija writes that the Republic of Macedonia will have a new national flag as soon as 5 October, when the Parliament session on the issue is to take place. The paper states two options for the flag, both having red color as a background and a golden-yellow symbol as a central figure. The first solution for the symbol would be a rising or setting half-sun, while the second will be a sun with rays going horizontally, vertically or diagonally across the flag.
The paper also says that parties included in Parliament are already discussing the possible look of the new flag.

Sources close to the Macedonian Parliament presidency say that next Thursday or Friday, a procedure is to begin at Parliament to adopt a new flag. Along with the flag, the Parlament will discuss about the already forgotten law on a national coat of arms.
The dynamics of activities at the session has not yet been precisely determined, but the procedure will be designed so that it is completed before the 30-day deadline, defined in last week's agreement Macedonia signed with Greece in New York.
As days are numbered, the 16-sun-rays flag that represented Macedonia since August 1992 will be replaced in a short procedure. Meaning, the proposal to pass a new law on the flag, as a first stage, will be presented at the same time with the definite version of the suggested law, which is a third stage. In this way, the Parliament will skip over the usual practice to debate over a draft law. Thus shortened, the procedure will enable the Parliament to get the entire matter completed in a single day. Under the current procedural regulations, however, a Parliament session cannot be scheduled before 15 days after the procedure has been started.
As far as the procedure goes, there are announcements that the Government will not be the one to come up with a suggested solution, but the proposal is to come from a group of parliamentarians. The intention is to have a group of members of Parliament including elements from all the parliamentary groups. The suggestion will first of all be discussed by the Constitutional Commission and will then be proceeded to the Parliament. Another option is to have the Parliament signatories proposing a solution determined by the Constitutional Commission.

The basis for deciding on the new flag, sources inform, will be the suggestions that were chosen during the open competition three years ago, when independent national symbols were designed for the first time. The following six ideas were then bought out: MAKO by Dimko Krstevski, Phoenix 92 by Kostadin Tancev, 5222 by Branko Kostovski, A-OPULSI 68 by Ilija Spasovski, Makedonija 992 by Aco Mitrevski and 08002 by Milivoj Gruevski.
Over 100 ideas entered the competition in 1992, with the red and golden-yellow colors as predominating features. The most frequently suggested symbol was the sun, drawn in all kinds of stylized shapes. Upon a proposal of the jury, the Constitutional Commission members voted by a majority of votes in favor of the suggested red flag with a many-rayed sun in the middle. It is these two elements that have led many spectators to believe the new flag will also have red color as a basic one and again a golden sun as a center symbol, only this time in quite a different shape than the current one. Some even point out to three suggestions as the most serious candidates.

The opening of the procedure for replacement of the national flag will also be used to decide on a national coat of arms. The previous Parliament failed to provide the required 80 votes in favor to adopt this symbol. The matter then stopped at an argument between the Constitutional Commission and the VMRO-DPMNE parliamentarian group. The Commission's suggestion was to have a golden many-rayed sun in the middle (an application of it's suggestion for the flag), whereas the VMRO-DPMNE deputies insisted on a lion as a central figure. Neither suggestion was given the necessary two-thirds majority of votes and the issue was dropped and left for better times in the future.
It should be pointed out here, however, that the SDSM member of Parliament Nikola Popovski did initiate a procedure on the coat of arms as early as last spring. His idea was to keep the old coat of arms but without the five-pointed star. Some say that his suggestion will be in the race along with the most successful ideas of the 1992 open competition. Unofficial sources even say that the new flag symbol will also appear on the national coat of arms.

As A1 TV informs, calling on its sources, the new symbol on the Macedonian flag most probably will be a sun with eight sunrays on a red base. Meantime, there are two possible variants for the flag, the difference being the length of the sunrays. Proposers of the new symbol are a group of delegates of the election coalition Alliance for Macedonia and their number may be over 80 parliamentarians.

Source: MIC reports, 20 September 1995 (searchable database), retrieved by Andrej Brodnik, 21 September 1995

The national symbols of Macedonia in the Constitution

According to Constitutions: What they tell us about national flags and coats of arms [vap00], 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.

Ivan Sache, 5 March 2002

The law on the flag

Act on the Flag of the Republic of Macedonia
adopted by the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia on its session held on 5 October 1995,
proclaimed the same day by 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-seventh 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.
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.

Unoffical translation of Decree 08-3359/1, as published in Služben vesnik na Republika Makedonija (Official Gazette of the Republic of Macedonia), 6 October 1995.

Jos Poels, 21 November 1995

[Construction sheet]

Construction sheet of the flag of Macedonia - Reconstruction after the law by Željko Heimer, 26 June 2005

Using a flag sheet of 140 x 280 units, so not to have fractions in dimension numbers, the overall dimensions and the sun disk diameter being 1/7 of the length (i.e. 40 units) are the only explicitly prescribed by the Law, the others have to be assumed from the drawing, so all others are reconstructions.
Unfortunately, the law does not say anything about the width of the fimbriation around the disk, nor on the points where the sunrays end nor where they come to the flag edge.
Apparently, the lines forming the edges of the sun rays that touch the hoist and fly edges do go through the sun disk center, while the remaining four lines crossing the top and four at bottom do not pass through the center, but rather touching concentric circles smaller then the sun disk.
The width of the vertical rays at the edges, as well as the ose of the horizontal ray at their edges is 1/10 of the legth, i.e. 28 units. While the horizontal rays imaginary prolonged end in the center of the flag, the vertical rays end touching an imaginary circle with diameter half that of the sun dimaeter, i.e. 20 units.
The diagonal sun rays have one edge matching the flag diagonals, while the other imaginary prolonged ends touching an other imaginary circle with diameter 1/8 of the sun disk diameter, i.e. five units. The width of the diagonal sun rays along the top and the bottom edges of the flag is 1.5 times the width of the vertical edges, i.e. 42 units.
Finally, the diameter of the imaginary circle forming the outer edge of the red fimbriation around the sun disk is 50 units.

Željko Heimer, 26 June 2005

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 Kručevo Republic
Goce Delčev, Pitu Guli
Dame Gruev, Sandanski!
Goce Delčev, 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 town of Delčevo was named after the Macedonian revolutionary Goce Delčev, who was one of the leaders of the Ilinden uprising against the Ottomans.
Pitu Guli (1865-1903), a military leader (duke) in Kručevo 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 Delčev'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 biggest Macedonian flag

The biggest Macedonian flag ever has been made for the football match between Macedonia and England, played in Skopje on 6 September 2006. The flag is 28 m x 50 m long and weights about 200 kg.
It is a cloth flag, which could be flown if there were a big enough pole. It was ordered by Skopska Pivara (Skopje Brewery) as a gift for the fans. There were photos of it in the daily newspapers, as it was lying across the southern part of the stadium in Skopje.

Valentin Poposki, 7 September 2006