The Ilinden-Preobrazhen Uprising of 1903 is a heroic epic in the struggle of the Bulgarian people for freedom and independence. In the preparation of the uprising, one of the tasks of the revolutionary committees was the sewing of battle flags. Each rebel district and each squad prepares its own flag.

Flag of the insurgents from Kratovo

The Ilinden-Preobrazhen Uprising of 1903 is a heroic epic in the struggle of the Bulgarian people for freedom and independence. In the preparation of the uprising, one of the tasks of the revolutionary committees was the sewing of battle flags. Each rebel district and each squad prepares its own flag.

The flag of the insurgents from the city of Kratovo / today in the Republic of Macedonia / with Voivode Yordan Spasov is preserved in the National Historical Museum.
The flag measures 84/84 cm. Its front side is made of red silk, and the reverse side is made of black silk. It is lined with two layers of thin canvas made of cotton material, on which a primer is applied for greater rigidity.

The two sides of the flag are sewn equally from five machine-jointed pieces of silk. On its front, a bronze lion is painted, additionally toned and painted with tempera paints. The lion has been a Bulgarian symbol since ancient times and demonstrates the bravery, majesty, rebellious spirit and freedom-loving Bulgarian. Above the lion in the upper piece of silk is written in bronze the inscription "Kratovo" - the name of the city, and below the lion the year "1903".

On the reverse side of the flag is painted in oil the emblem of death - a skull with crossed bones. This symbol is a common image on flags, seals and documents from the Ilinden-Preobrazhensky Uprising and symbolizes the readiness to fight to the death.

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