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Civic Heraldry of Macedonia


Coat of arms of Macedonia (Грб на Македонија)

Origin/meaning :
Macedonia does not have a proper coat of arms, only a state symbol.

The above symbol was adopted on November 16, 2009.

The symbol shows a mountain, a lake and a sunrise, and is surrounded by two curved garlands of sheaves of wheat, tobacco leaves and poppy buds, tied by a ribbon decorated with the embroidery of traditional Macedonian folk motives. The symbol is said to represent "the richness of our country, our struggle and our freedom".

The symbol is identical to the previous one (shown below), but without the red star, which was still seen as a symbol of communism.

Coat of arms of Macedonia (Грб на Македонија)
The symbol of Macedonia from 1946-1991 (as part of Yugoslavia) and 1991-2009 (independent republic)

Historically the arms of the region of Macedonia were shown as a golden lion in a red field. The symbol of the golden lion first appeared as a symbol of "Macedonia" in armorial rolls of the late middle ages. The earliest known attestation is in the Fojnica Armory from 1340, where it contains a 7-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. The use of the lion to represent Macedonia was continued in foreign heraldic collections throughout the 15th to 18th centuries, but seems not to have been used in Macedonia itself.

Coat of arms of Macedonia (Грб на Македонија)
The arms as shown in 1340
Coat of arms of Macedonia (Грб на Македонија)
The arms as shown in 1595

Literature : Information from the Macedonian Herald and Jovan Jonovski

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