Last modified: 2011-04-08 by alex danes
Keywords: gagauzia | moldova | wolf | bessarabia |
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image by António Martins-Tuválkin
Today I received 'news' about the flag of Gagauzia, an autonomous part of Moldavia/Moldova. The flag was
confirmed by law on 31 October 1995 by the National Assembly (Chalk Topluschu) of Gagauzia (Gagauz Eri).
Mark Sensen, 6 August 1996
The Gagauzians, a Christian people, settled in this part of Europe after they fled Ottoman rule in what is now Bulgaria. They proclaimed their autonomy in August 1990, but moves to establish a separate administration were suppressed by Moldova. The wolf in the flag is symbolic of the mythical origin of the Turkic peoples from whom the Gagauzians are descended. Some written reports suggest that the wolf's head should be yellow on a white disc.
Stuart Notholt, 28 May 1995
The word Gagauz is in origin Gokoguz. The Turks of Turkey are descendants of a Turkic tribe called Oguz. The Gokoguz are another tribe of Turkic stock. The word "gok" means sky (i.e., sky blue, as used by the Crimean Tatars and Uygurs). The Gagauz language is very similar to Crimean Tatar and Turkish. The Gagauz are Christians, and have been settled in the areas even before the Ottomans came to that part of Bessarabia.
Seyit Karagozoglu, 4 May 1998
On 28 May 1995 voters went out to participate in the first election to the local autonomous legislature set up by the Moldovan parliament in December last year. They also voted for a governor of the autonomous area. As far as I remember Gagauz voters expressed their wish for such an arrangement in a referendum. Whether this will affect the status of the flag I do not know.
Jan Oskar Engene, 29 May 1995
The territory of Gagauzia (capital Comrat) stretches over approx. 3,000 km², and is made of four parts separated from each other by Romanian-speaking areas. Autonomy of Gagauzia was granted by the Moldavian government in December 1994.
Gagauz are Orthodox Christians who speak Turkish, which they write in Cyrillic, and more often Russian. Their Legislative Assembly is called "Baskani", with competency in the regional affairs. The Gagauz national flag is hoisted beside the Moldavian flag on the roof of the Assembly building, whose pediment is still decorated with the arms of the SSR Moldavia in bronze (colour picture in Vexillacta).
M. Lupant saw in the National Gagauz Museum in Comrat a small black-and-white document showing a Gagauz flag with a symbol instead of the three stars, dated 1993. The flag was hanging on the wall of the room where the first Gagauz government met on 28 July 1993. The Museum also displays a Gagauz flag without stars, dated 1992.
Ivan Sache, 27 July 2001
Law No 2-IV/1 On Flag of Gagauzia (adopted by National Assembly on 31 Oct,
The flag consists of three stripes:
upper stripe is blue - 6/10 of flag-width;
middle stripe is white - 2/10 of flag-width;
lower stripe is red - 2/10 of flag-width.
Three yellow stars are placed on the blue stripe. Diameter of the star - 15/100 of flag-width; Distances from centre of one star to centre of other star - 3/10 of flag-width; Distances from centres of two left stars (in the hoist part) to the hoist - 3/10 of flag-width.
I note that the vertical positioning of this arrangement is not stated on the
law, only the arrangement and distances of the stars and the horizontal offset
of the emblem. Likewise, nothing is said about the orientation of the stars, nor
their number of points, nor their density. Based on observations, we can though
be almost sure they are pentagrams pointing upwards, the emblem being
horizontally centered on the blue area.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 10 December 2001
Since then (1995), the national symbols have been prescribed in the Organic Law of Gagauzia, as follows:
Organic Law of Gagauzia
Title I. - Legal status of Gagauzia within the Republic of Moldova.
1. Gagauzia shall have its symbols: the flag, the coat of arms and the anthem, which shall be used jointly with the symbols of the Republic of Moldova.
2. The flag of Gagauzia is the official symbol of the autonomous region of Gagauzia (Gagauz Yeri). It is a rectangle made of three horizontal stripes, from top to bottom, blue (azure blue - 60% of the flag height), white and red, those latter two stripes having each other a height of 20%. Golden stars are placed in an equilateral triangular pattern on the blue field.
3. The arms of Gagauzia are a shield, with in its lower part, on a white field, the yellow (golden) semi-circle of the rising sun. The national ornaments are placed symmetrically on each side of the shield. The shield is framed by golden spikes, themselves surrounded by a representation of the flag of Gagauzia. In the lower part, beyond the limits of the shield, is a conventional representation of grapevine leaves and grapes. The shield is surmonted by three five-pointed golden stars forming an equilateral triangle.
4. The anthem of Gagauzia (Gagauz Yeri) shall be determined by local law.Translated from
image by Ivan Sache, 27 July 2001
image contributed by Stoyan Antonov
In 1994 I received from a Gagauzian friend a small table flag with the explanation that it identifies Gagauzians as ethnos in difference to the state flag of Gagauzia which represents all ethnic communities living in this entity.
Stoyan Antonov, 26 July 2001