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Macedonia (Greece)

Last modified: 2004-12-22 by ivan sache
Keywords: macedonia | sun: vergina | sun (yellow) |
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[Unofficial flag of Greek Macedonia]by Mark Sensen

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Status of the flag

The "Greek Macedonian" flag (Vergina sun on dark blue) is fairly widespread in Greece and can be easily bought. However, it has no official status. There is no law prescribing its shape or regulating its use.
I remember answering a query about just this matter for Jos Poels of the Flag Institute, a while ago. He asked me for information on an announcement by the Greek government in 1993 that the "Star of Vergina" was to be made the official emblem of the prefecture of Thessaloniki. Here is what I wrote:

From what I recall, the government was proposing to make the Star of Vergina the official emblem of the Prefecture of Thessaloniki (considered 'capital city' of Greek Macedonia). This would indeed have been a bold step, because no other Prefecture has ever had an emblem of its own. They all use, in their official seals, the emblem of the Greek State, which is indeed used by the vast majority of state agencies or local authorities. It seems that Greeks are somewhat lacking in imagination, so far as local emblems go, since there appear to be no province, commune, municipality, prefecture etc. arms or symbols.

It was my impression at the time, and still is, that the intention to make the Sun of Vergina the official emblem of the Prefecture of Thessaloniki may have had a lot to do with some sort of proposal, discussed at about that time as an idea for negotiations, that the (self-styled) "Republic of Macedonia" should not use "official emblems" of neighbouring states, i.e. Greece. I think that the Greek government must have realised that the Star of Vergina, although considered as undoubtedly Greek, was nevertheless not an official Greek emblem, since it was not incorporated in the arms of the Hellenic Republic or any other form of state emblem. To remedy the situation, in anticipation of negotiations, they announced their intention to make it the official emblem of the Prefecture of Thessaloniki. But it seems that the idea about the prohibition on the use of "official emblems" never quite got off the ground, and with it died the plan to make the Star an emblem of Thessaloniki


Jos used this information (kindly acknowledging the source) in a piece of his in the journal of the Dutch Vexillogical Society [vxn].

Yannis Natsinas, 15 September 1999

This flag was more than obviously created to annoy Macedonians, inverting the original red and blue of proposal for the first Macedonian flag (the flag that was in use in1992-1995 had no details in the sun-disk, proposal had).

Željko Heimer, 19 April 1996

Alternative designs

Incidentally, another version of a flag with the sun of Vergina is one I saw last weekend in Thessaloniki (again, it was for sale). This is the usual Greek flag (the "sea" version) with a golden star in the fly. The only reason I find it interesting is because it looks like a Greek version of a "defaced" ensign, like the British blue or red ensigns used in colonies, with the colonial badge in the fly.

Yannis Natsinas, 15 September 1999

Greek Macedoniaby António Martins

I saw in Rhodes Greek Macedonian flags, in two versions: one with only the emblem on blue, and the other with the emblem surrounded by an inscription. In the top half-circle in Greek letters and in the bottom half-circle in Latin letters Macedonian Hellas.

Dov Gutterman, 18 July 1999