Close-up of the United Macedonia Salute
The United Macedonia salute is a salute with the thumb and pointing finger shaped in a circle and the left over three fingers pointing up, used by some nationalist Macedonians in Macedonia as well among Macedonians in the diaspora, advocating the irredentist concept of United Macedonia.
Symbolism of the salute
The meaning of this salute is, as said by Macedonians, the two fingers in a circle symbolize the letter 'O', which is the first letter of the Macedonian word 'Обединета' (Obedineta) meaning 'United' in Macedonian referring to a United Macedonia.
The other three fingers symbolize the three regions of Macedonia; Vardar Macedonia, Aegean Macedonia and Pirin Macedonia. The five fingers as a whole resemble the Vergina Sun, which was the flag of the Republic of Macedonia from 1992 to 1995.
The United Macedonia salute on protests in Skopje
Within Macedonia itself, it is mostly used by the youth to show their thoughts about a United Macedonia as well as Macedonians in the diaspora. The use of this sign has increased over the past years, especially at protests against the possible name change in the name issue with southern neighbour Greece.
Members of other Balkan peoples, especially Greeks will often find it provocative and offensive due to possible irredentist claims on the Macedonian region in northern Greece.