Historical coat of arms of Macedonia

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Coat of arms of Macedonia
Versions
Macedonian lion.svg
A 1992 rendition by Miroslav Grčev
Details
Escutcheon Gules, a lion Or

Between the 14th and the 19th centuries, Macedonia was commonly represented in foreign armorials with a coat of arms depicting a golden lion on red field. The modern Republic of Macedonia currently has no heraldic emblem, but since the country gained independence from Yugoslavia this emblem has multiple times been proposed as a replacement for the non-heraldic national emblem of the republic, a remnant of socialistic symbolism.[1][2]

History[edit]

The earliest known example of this is the Fojnica Armorial[3] from 1340, and later examples include the Korenić-Neorić armorial of 1595, a 1630 armorial on display in the Belgrade Museum of Contemporary Art and a 17th-century armorial in Berlin Library.[4] It was used in the past for setting Macedonia free from the Ottoman Empire.[citation needed][clarification needed] The symbol of the golden lion on red ground first appeared as a symbol of "Macedonia" in armorial rolls of the late middle ages. The earliest known attestation is in the Fojnica Armory[5] from 1340, where it contains a seven-pointed crown and appears side by side with entries for Illyria, Bosnia, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Serbia and Bulgaria. The Korenić-Neorić armory roll of 1595 included a 5- pointed crown. The Belgrade Museum of Contemporary Art displays a 1620 version of the symbol with 3-pointed crown, while the Berlin Library displays a 17th-century version with the 5-pointed crown.[6] The use of the lion to represent Macedonia was continued in foreign heraldic collections throughout the 15th to 18th centuries[7][8]

Present usage[edit]

The coat of arms is presently used to represent several Macedonian political parties, including the largest one; VMRO-DPMNE. In 2009 VMRO- Peoples party proposed the golden lion on red background as a new coat of arms of Macedonia.

Proposed reintroduction[edit]

Such efforts have so far failed, due to political and national disputes over possible replacements. A proposal by architect and graphic designer Miroslav Grčev was put forward in 1992 to replace it with a revised version of the historical gold lion on a red shield. The Macedonian Heraldry Society considers that coat of arms to have been the best solution for a new state emblem.[10] However, this was rejected on three main grounds:

  • several political parties, notably VMRO-DPMNE, already use that emblem as their party symbols
  • the Albanian political parties of Macedonia considered the proposal to be only representative for the ethnic Macedonians, but not also for ethnic Albanians
  • the state coat of arms of Bulgaria is somewhat similar (but not identical)

Because of these reasons, the political parties agreed to continue to use the current device until a solution is found. The emblem did not appear on the country's first passports, however, in 2007 the device was put on the front and the inside of the new biometric Macedonian passports, while the parliamentary debate about acceptance of a new national emblem still continues.

According to the provisions of the Article 5, Section 2 of the Constitution of Macedonia, the two-thirds majority is required to pass a law on the new symbols of the Republic. The usage of the Coat of arms has been defined by a law.[11]

Alternatives[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Matkovski, Aleksandar, Grbovite na Makedonija, Skopje, 1970
  2. ^ Александар Матковски (1990) Грбовите на Македонија, Мисла, Skopje, Macedonia - ISBN 86-15-00160-X
  3. ^ Fojnica Armory, online images
  4. ^ Macedonian heraldry|http://heraldika.org.mk/zemski.htm
  5. ^ Fojnica Armory, online images
  6. ^ Macedonian heraldry|http://heraldika.org.mk/zemski.htm
  7. ^ Matkovski, Aleksandar, Grbovite na Makedonija, Skopje, 1970
  8. ^ Александар Матковски (1990) Грбовите на Македонија, Мисла, Skopje, Macedonia - ISBN 86-15-00160-X
  9. ^ Makedonsko Heraldicko Zdruzenie/Macedonian Heraldry Society, Zemski Grbovi
  10. ^ http://www.heraldika.org.mk/eng/State.htm "The most acceptable design was of Miroslav Grcev, professor of architecture"
  11. ^ Zakon za upotreba na grbot, znameto i himnata na Republika Makedonija ("Služben vesnik na Republika Makedonija", No. 32/97, 1997-07-09)
  12. ^ a b "Macedonian coat of arms on heraldika.org.mk". Retrieved 8 October 2010.