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Macedonia: Historical flags, 1875-1915

Last modified: 2003-01-18 by ivan sache
Keywords: vmro | proposal | ilinden | krushevo |
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Proposal of national flag (1903) - Republic of Krushevo and Ilinden uprising

1903 proposalby António Martins

A red over black flag was proposed as the national Macedonian flag in 1903 but was never officially adopted.

Jaume Ollé, 24 October 1998

Traditional Macedonian flag had two equal horizontal parts, the upper half being red and the lower black.. This traditional Macedonian flag shad also a symbolic meaning - the same meaning as the slogan of the Macedonian fighters from the beginning of the century: "Freedom (red) or Death (black)". During the 1903 Ilinden uprising and the Krushevo republic the formal flag of Macedonian fighters was black-and-red.

Zeljko Heimer, quoting a defunct website, 23 December 1998

Krushevo is the highest town in the Republic of Macedonia, with its elevation of over 1300 m (about 4000 ft) above the sea level. It is a well-known winter ski resort. Its old architecture, many hotels, and all conditions necessary for pleasant winter holidays, make Krushevo an ideal place for relaxation.

The republic known as Krushevska republika was established here in 1903 during the Ilinden insurrection. One of the most important points in the Ilinden uprising was the declaration of the "Manifesto from Krushevo". It called for all the people of Macedonia regardless of their nationality and religion to fight together against the Ottoman empire and live peacefully in a free country of Macedonia.

There is in the area a monument called Mechkin Kamen (Bear's Stone). This was the place where Pitu Guli'sband (cheta) was trying to defend the town of Krushevo from the Turkish troops coming from Bitola. The whole band and their leader (vojvoda) perished and Krushevo as well as many of the nearby villages were set to fire by the Turks.

Unfortunately, the Krushevo Republic lasted only 12 days. The Ilinden uprising and its forever unforgotten heroes Nikola Karev, Pitu Guli, Damjan Gruev, and Goce Delchev will be always examples how to love and fight for freedom of our motherland.

Zeljko Heimer, quoting Balkan Info website, 13 March 2002

The flag is used by the football club Vardar from Skopje. His supporters are called Komiti (fighters for freedom).

The real Macedonian flag.was red with a golden gun and knife crossed in saltire in the middle of the flag, or in the upper left corner of the flag. The red background symbolized the blood of all Macedonians who had died or were about to die for the freedom of Macedonia. The golden gun and knife meant fight till death, and death for every one who will spy and betray the oath they had given in the name of freedom of Macedonia.

Goce G., 18 March 2001

Origin of black and red colours

In the beginning of the XXth century, the VMRO (Macedonian Interior Revolutionary Organisation) was clearly an anarchist movement and used a black over red flag. The VMRO also used a black flag with red cyrillic inscription "freedom or death", adopted in 1876.
The first flag quoted originated the black and red colours in the nationalist flags in the end of XIXth century and in the XXth century.

Jaume Ollé, 24 October 1998

VMRO never had the red and black flag as official. Red color might mean freedom, but the original meaning was the blood of all Macedonians who died fighting for the freedom of their motherland, Macedonia. The black color symbolized the death of Goce Delcev, the ideologist of Macedonian freedom movement in the late 1890s and the beginning of the 20th century, more accurately, until 4th of May 1903, when he was killed after having been surrounded by the Turk soldiers in the village of Banica, now in Greece.

Goce G., 18 March 2001