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North Macedonia bans the Vergina Sun from public spaces

A ban on the use of the Vergina Sun in all public spaces in North Macedonia came into effect on Monday, as the neighboring country implements the conditions of the name deal it signed with Greece last year.

The agreement, which was approved by both national Parliaments in early 2019, foresaw a six-month transitional period before the ban would be enforced.

The deal stipulated that North Macedonia has no connection nor claim to the culture of Ancient Macedonia and its symbols.

“The Vergina Sun was depicted in North Macedonia’s first flag but was later removed after Greece imposed a trade embargo on the country,” notes daily kathimerini.

The Vergina Sun also known as the Star of Vergina is an official Greek national rayed solar symbol. It  first appearing in ancient Greek art of the period between the 6th and 2nd centuries BC. The Vergina Sun proper has sixteen triangular rays, while comparable symbols of the same period variously have sixteen, twelve, eight or (rarely) six rays.

The name “Vergina Sun” became widely used after the archaeological excavations in and around the small town of Vergina, in northern Greece, during the late 1970s, In older references, the name “Argead Star” or “Star of the Argeadai” is used for the Sun as the possible royal symbol of the Argead dynasty of Macedon. There it was depicted on a golden larnax found in a 4th-century BC royal tomb of Vergina belonging to either Philip II or Philip III of Macedon, the father and half-brother of Alexander the Great, respectively.

Will the North Macedonians change also their flag?

The four constitutional amendments that concerned the name change were passed in North Macedonia on January 11, 2019 and came into force on February 12, 2019.

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