Plot: the history of the countries that have changed name


(Westend61/Getty Images)

Changing the name is difficult even if you are a natural person. Here in Brazil, except in special cases such as transgendered people, the change is only permitted during the first year after the age of majority and the change may not fit the title.

Even with all this there is still the risk that the request was denied by the court. If it is difficult for just one person, imagine what it is to change the name of an entire country!

There are a selection of nations that have already gone through all this bureaucracy. The latest case of Macedonia. Last Sunday (30), residents there voted in a referendum the proposal of a new name. The Chosen One? Macedonia in the North.

Great job for a little change. But the truth is that the proposal aimed at ending the dispute with Greece that began in the years 90.

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Have you ever been to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia?

Knowledge is less glamorous than those fought by Alexander the great, and certainly Macedonian most famous in history. It is less strange.

The word “Macedonia” is always in conflict. Because the Greek region of that name, allegedly, historically, is the rightful owner of the term.

This conflict intensified in 1991 when Macedonia left Yugoslavia and became an independent state. The Greeks are afraid of there, was the establishment of the movement of the expansion of the attach region has the same name in the territory and held off the ticket of the newly born country in the United Nations. The fight for the names at the end of the accounts based on the struggle for land.

Two years have passed diplomatic questions apaziguadas with the agreement: Macedonia to join the United Nations, since, from that point on, it was called, in principle, by choosing the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, which in Portuguese means “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”. From there choose necessarily appeared in all of the official maps of plaques.

Mapa da Macedônia
map of Macedonia

– (Article/Superinteressante)

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Just use the name of the country that no longer exists is nothing. Much less the name you require choose the very strange.

Over the years, was to accumulate pressure to give the good-bye short and terminate the dispute with Greece. It was not purely negative: the proposal would facilitate the entry of Macedonia in the European Union and NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization).

In June, the two nations signed a treaty that Macedonia will enter Macedonia from the North. The lack of official recognition to be ratified, in addition to increasing support of the population: in spite of Sunday’s referendum last count with more than 90% of votes in favour of the change, only 36% of the citizens of the country showed up to vote. To be valid a referendum would require at least half of the voters.

But the case is not even a little bit isolated. In the list below, Super and remember some of the stories of countries that have changed their name (or go back in change).

[caption id="attachment_29057" align="alignnone" width="1024" class="good"]República Tcheca Czech Republic

– (Jiří Strašek/Wikimedia Commons)


Call it what you want: Chéquia, Tchéquia just don’t call the Czech Republic. In 2016, Eastern Europe entered the country with a request to the United Nations to get a new name, additional official to join the Organization records.

Request accepted by the United Nations to change the official name of the country, but it works marketing strategy to promote their identity on the national scene. The special Embassy of the Czech Republic (I mean Tchéquia), it is advised to use the test cases that do not require a formal name.

The idea had not caught, but who knows in a few years. After all, no one supports France, the French republic, isn’t it?


– (Sarah Atkins/Wikimedia Commons)


Swaziland is one of the last Kingdoms left in the world. A small kingdom in South Africa, mountain, without the Turkmenbashi sea live from agriculture and livestock. A large part of the 1.1 million people have HIV in the countries with the lowest life expectancy – just 39 years.

It is in this place more in the case of change of name happened. In April King Mswati 3″ announced Swaziland will be called eSwatini, or “land of the suazis” (the ethnic majority in the country) in the local language of siswati.

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Change the name of the country brings a sense of new beginning, pieces of the past, whatever the reason. In Africa, which has experienced an intense period of European colonialism in the 19th and 20th centuries, many of the countries to get independence, they made the change. Special eSwatini was under British influence until 1968.

New names to Africa

Burkina Faso is the so-called since 1984 when it was still known as the “high”, a French invention.

Namibia case in 1990, his old title of “South West Africa”, established by Imperial Germany through the decade of the exclusive geographic

Djibouti until 1977, when it ceased to be a colony of France has already called for “Somali French” and “French territory of the Afars that information”.

the Congo

– (MONUSCO/Myriam Asmani/Wikimedia Commons)


This one has already changed more than once to Brazil in the beginning of colonialism. 1885 when it was dominated by Belgium until its independence in the 60s the country variations of the original name: Congo, Belgian Congo, Congo-Leopoldville and Congo.

In 1971, dictator Mobutu Sese Seko, wants to make his mark, he saw that change again. He renamed the country Zaire, another name of the Congo River. I didn’t meet and take the case of power, so that in the years 90, was named to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The word “democracy” has been inserted so that the nation should not be confused with another African country, Republic of the Congo. Thankfully that thought about it.

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