Coat of Arms of the Republic of Macedonia

Coat of Arms of the Republic of Macedonia was adopted on 16 November 2009, with adoption of the Law of the Coat of Arms and flag of the Republic of Macedonia (Official Gazette No. 138 of November 17, 2009).

Actually, this is only the removal of the red five pointed star off the Arms on the People’s Republic of Macedonia from 1946.

Article 2 describes the Coat of Arms as follows:
(1) “The Coat of Arms of the Republic of Macedonia is a field surrounded with wheat sheafs that merge at the top, interwoven with poppy and tobacco leaves, connected at the bottom with a ribbon of a folk pattern”.
(2) “In the middle of the field is a mountain is outlined with a river at its foot, and sunrise behind it”.
A new, third arcitle is added, stating:
“The design of the Coat of Arms of the Republic of Macedonia is an integral part of this Law”.

History

At the creation of the Arms for the Peoples Republic of Macedonia, unlike most other Socialist states and republics, the historical Coat of Arms did not find a place in the new socialist emblem, the design of which followed the “Arms” of the USSR. Instead of the historical Arms, the emblem of the PR Macedonia embodied a purely landscape motif, and thus fell into line with Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. The authorship is attributed to Vasilie Popovic – Cico, who, probably is the author of the emblazon included in the Law, which was used until the end of that year. According Niko Tozi , who also took part in the creation of the Arms, Cicio knew for the Land Arms. There is an opinion that the author of the present Arms, from the constitution, is Gorge Andrejevic –Kun, to whom the authorship of all other State Arms of the Federal Peoples Republic of Yugoslavia is attributed. He actually unified the styles of the Arms of all Republics.

The Coat of Arms of the People’s Republic of Macedonia was adopted by law by second special session of the People’s Assembly on July 26, 1946 in Skopje. (Prezidium na narodnoto sobranie na Narodna Republika Makedonija, Zakon za grbot na Narodna Republika Makedonija, br 559, Skopje 27 Juli 1946)

Article 1 of this law gives the description of these Arms:

The Coat of Arms of the Peoples Republic of Macedonia is a field surrounded by stalks of wheat interwoven with fruits of opium poppy and tobacco leaves, which at the bottom are connected with a ribbon with folk design. The ribbon bears the text „ N. R. Makedonija” (P. R. Macedonia). Between the top of the stalks of wheat there is a five- pointed star. In the center of the field a mountain is outlined, at the bottom of which a river is flowing. Behind the mountain there is a sunrise.

In “Nova Makedonija”, (The only daily newspaper of that time which was the gazette of the Peoples Front)# 482, 28 July 1946, a wider explanation is given:

The Coat of Arms of the Peoples Republic of Macedonia is symbol of freedom and brotherhood of the Macedonian people and the riches of the Macedonian land. The stalks of wheat, opium poppies and tobacco leaves represent the riches of Macedonia and the diversity of its economy. The five-pointed star is a symbol of the people’s liberation war by which the Macedonian people won its freedom. The folklore motif on the ribbon is representing the richness and beauty of the people’s essence. In the middle, there is Pirin mountain, the largest Macedonian mountain, which was the centre of people’s liberation wars in the past, and the river that flows, is the Vardar river, the most famous river in the Republic. Pirin and Vardar at the same time represent the unity of all parts of Macedonia and the ideal of the Macedonian people for national unification. The sun represent the freedom and the creative life of Macedonia.

The design and the explanation are different from the one used later. In the first Constitution of the People’s Republic of Macedonia. (Ustav na Narodna Republika Makedonija, Prezidium na ustavotvornoto sobranie na Narodna Republika Makedonija, Skopje, 31.12.1946.)
in Article 3 the Coat of Arms is defined as follows:

The state Coat of Arms of the People’s Republic of Macedonia is a field surrounded by stalks of wheat interwoven with fruits of opium poppy and tobacco leaves, which at the bottom are connected by a ribbon with folk design. Between the top of the stalk of wheat there is a five- pointed star. In the center of the field a mountain is outlined, at the bottom of which a river flows. Behind the mountain there is a sunrise.

In this description as in the previous one, there is no mention of the colors. The only difference is that in the Constitution the description of the text on the ribbon is dropped. The stamp used bears the earlier design of the Arms, while the impression in wax of the sealing cords, applied later, bears the new design.

Republic of Macedonia

With the dissolution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugolavia, the question of the Coat of Arms for Macedonia arose. In 1992 the government set up a Commission for establishing the Coat of Arms and the Flag of the Republic of Macedonia, consisting of Aneta Svetieva-ethnologist, Aleksandar Cvetkovski- artist, Kosta Balaban- art historian and Dimitar Kondovski- artist. Aleksandar Matkovski was also involved. A public competition was announced, and about 3000 designs were submitted. Most of them were influenced by the Land Coat of Arms represented in the book of Matkovski (Coats of Arms of Macedonia, reprinted in 1990.). Unfortunately, he died not long before the Law on the Coat of Arms, flag and anthem of the Republic of Macedonia entered the Parliamentary procedure. At the session regarding this law, a message from Matkov¬ski was read, in which Matkovski suggested that the historical Arms should be accepted. The Commission did not propose a single project to the Assembly. The issue became highly politicized.

Due to the lack of a majority, this law never entered the Parliamentary procedures, although by Constitutional Law, it should have been completed by the end of 1992. Macedonian passports were issued without any Coat of Arms on the cover, with the idea that once the Coat of Arms was decided upon, the image would be impressed later. This situation lasted until 2006, when new passports were issued bearing the old Coat of Arms of the Peoples Republic of Macedonia.

Attempts to define the Arms

First attempt to solve the Arms problem was made in 1992, when there was a proposition to follow the design of the flag: red a golden Sun of Kutles (Star of Vergina) altering it with stylized letter “M” and two wavy lines at the bottom. This proposition did not enter the Parliamentary procedures due to objection from Greece that the 16-point star is only Greek. Later, due to the immense Greek pressure in 1995, the Republic of Macedonia abandoned this flag and adopted a new one.

Several propositions for defining the Arms of Republic of Macedonia:

  1. For Arms to be adopted the Land Arms with the same drawing as used by political party VMRO-DPMNE. This initiative was submitted several times by different groups.
  2. For Arms to be adopted the Land Arms in new representation by Miroslav Grcev, 1994.
  3. Propositon by Nikola Popovski, just to to remove the five pointed red star, 1995.
  4. The “Slovenian Solution”, to place the element of the coat of arms on a shield.

The proposal by Nikola Popovski was reintroduced by the Prime Minister, Nikola Gruevski, in 2007, as an initial phase of finding a solution to the problem of the Coat of Arms.

Once support was ensured, in 2009 the Government renewed the proposal, as the only such proposal ever to enter parliamentary procedure. On 16 November 2009, without any public or parliamentary discussion, the Law on the Coat of Arms of the Republic of Macedonia was adopted with the old “new” solution on the appearance of the State Arms.