Proposed coat of arms of Macedonia

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Coat of arms proposed in 2014 by the Macedonian government[1]
Предлог-грб на Република Македонија 2014.svg
ArmigerRepublic of Macedonia
BlazonOr, a lion Gules, crowned with a mural crown with five turrets

The Macedonian lion is an unofficial symbol of the Republic of Macedonia. After the independence of Macedonia from Yugoslavia the lion was proposed as a coat of arms of the new independent state several times.


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, or red lion on golden field. The earliest known example of this is the Fojnica Armorial[2] 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.[3] The earliest known attestation is in the Fojnica Armory[2] 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 five-pointed crown. The Belgrade Museum of Contemporary Art displays a 1620 version of the symbol with a three-pointed crown, while the Berlin Library displays a 17th-century version with the five-pointed crown.[3] The use of the lion to represent Macedonia was continued in foreign heraldic collections throughout the 15th to 18th centuries[4][5]

Proposed introduction[edit]

The modern Republic of Macedonia had no heraldic emblem when the country gained independence from Yugoslavia, but since then this emblem has often been proposed as a replacement for the non-heraldic national emblem of the republic, a remnant of socialistic symbolism.[4][5] 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. 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.[6]

In 2009 Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization–People's Party proposed the golden lion on red background as a new coat of arms of Macedonia, but it was not accepted. On the 5 December 2014 the government of the Republic of Macedonia proposed a coat of arms which would replace the old national emblem. According to the president of the Macedonian Heraldry Society Jovan Jonovski, the new coat of arms is based on an illustration from Jerome de Bara (1581).[1] The illustration from de Bara's book "Le blason des armoiries" depicts attributed arms of Alexander the Great.[7] It is blazoned as "Or, a lion gules" (on a golden background, a red lion) and topped with a golden mural crown to represent the republican form of government. The parliament did not vote on this design.[8]

Present usage[edit]

The coat of arms with a golden lion on a red shield is used to represent several Macedonian political parties, including the largest one; Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization – Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity and Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization–People's Party. At the same time, the lion as a symbols of these parties is inherited from the original organization VMRO, where it was borrowed from the Bulgarian coat of arms.[9][10]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "The Government has adopted the proposal for a new Coat of Arms for the Republic of Macedonia - Macedonian Heraldry Society".
  2. ^ a b Fojnica Armory Archived 2011-07-06 at the Wayback Machine., online images
  3. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-09-17. Retrieved 2009-09-22.
  4. ^ a b Matkovski, Aleksandar, Grbovite na Makedonija, Skopje, 1970
  5. ^ a b Александар Матковски (1990) Грбовите на Македонија, Мисла, Skopje, Macedonia - ISBN 86-15-00160-X
  6. ^ Zakon za upotreba na grbot, znameto i himnata na Republika Makedonija ("Služben vesnik na Republika Makedonija", No. 32/97, 1997-07-09)
  7. ^ "Le blason des armoiries".
  8. ^ "Macedonia with new state emblem". Gazeta Express (in Albanian).
  9. ^ Тодор Петров, Нелегалната армия на ВМОРО в Македония и Одринско: 1899 - 1908, изд. "Свети Георги победоносец", 1993, стр. 133.
  10. ^ Liubomir Panaĭotov, Ilindensko-Preobrazhenskoto vŭstanie ot 1903 g: voenna podgotovka i provezhdane, Institut za voenna istoria, 1992, str. 167.
  11. ^ Makedonsko Heraldicko Zdruzenie/Macedonian Heraldry Society Archived 2009-09-17 at the Wayback Machine., Zemski Grbovi
  12. ^ a b "Macedonian coat of arms on". Archived from the original on 11 January 2011. Retrieved 8 October 2010.