Showing posts with label country name changes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label country name changes. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Swaziland's New Name in All Six UN Languages

Topographic map of Eswatini (Swaziland), showing terrain, rivers, bordering countries, and capital cities.
Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland. Based on this map by Htonl and NordNordWest.

"Eswatini" Not Only For English

Last year, we told you about the small African Kingdom of Swaziland's name change to "Kingdom of Eswatini", which it turns out has caught on more quickly than usual in the media. Unlike Côte d'Ivoire, Cabo Verde, Timor-Leste, and Czechia, whose previous English names are still arguably dominant today, Wikipedia editors have found that most sources switched rapidly from Swaziland to Eswatini after the name change.

In our first article, we promised to let you know when the new name came through in the other official languages of the United Nations (since the UN acts as a sort of formal registry for countries' official names). Well, here they are:




Monday, February 18, 2019

"North Macedonia" Name Change Goes Into Effect

Are there two Macedonias? Where is North Macedonia located? Why is North Macedonia called north? Map of Macedonia, including both the recently renamed North Macedonia as per the Prespa Agreement and the Greek provinces of Macedonia.
North Macedonia is "north" because most of historical Macedonia was south of it, in what's now Greece. (Contact us for permission to use this map.)

North Macedonia: New Name Adopted

Last Tuesday, the controversially-named Republic of Macedonia - also known as the "former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" (FYROM) - officially become the Republic of North Macedonia. The changed entered into force exactly eight months after the country first made a deal with Greece to end their naming and identity dispute.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

All About South Ossetia's 2017 Name Change

South Ossetia (purple) and Abkhazia (green) within the claimed borders of Georgia. Click to enlarge. Map by ChrisO based on UN map of Georgia (public domain; source).

Adding "State of Alania"

At PolGeoNow we promise to inform our readers any time one of the world's countries changes its name, even if it's just a modification to the country's official long name, or a switch in the name's preferred English translation.

But there was one name change we missed out on reporting last year - depending on what you consider a "country".

In April 2017, people in the disputed Republic of South Ossetia voted to change the self-declared country's full name to "The Republic of South Ossetia – the State of Alania". The name change referendum reportedly passed with about 80% of valid votes in favor, though many countries strongly condemned the whole process, seeing it as part of an ongoing Russia-led attempt to steal the region away from Georgia (the country, not the US state).

Saturday, October 6, 2018

"North Macedonia" Vote Not All About Country Name

Are there two Macedonias? Where is FYROM located? Where is Macedonia in relation to Greece? Map of Macedonia, including both the controversially-named Republic of Macedonian (FYROM) and the Greek provinces of Macedonia.
Besides the controversially-named Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Greece has three Macedonia provinces too. Contact us for permission to use this map.

Referendum in the Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)

Last Sunday, people in Southeastern Europe's Republic of Macedonia - also known as FYROM, an acronym for "former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" - voted on whether to approve a recent deal signed with Greece. The deal famously includes changing the country's name to "Republic of North Macedonia", but it's actually about a lot more than that.

For the details on the referendum and its results, check out our companion article: What Happened in the "North Macedonia" Referendum?

What Happened in the "North Macedonia" Referendum?

Are there two Macedonias? Where is FYROM located? Where is Macedonia in relation to Greece? Map of Macedonia, including both the controversially-named Republic of Macedonian (FYROM) and the Greek provinces of Macedonia.
Besides the controversially-named Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Greece has three Macedonia provinces too. Contact us for permission to use this map.

Referendum in the Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)

Last Sunday, people in Southeastern Europe's Republic of Macedonia - also known as FYROM, an acronym for "former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" - voted on whether to approve a recent deal signed with Greece.

The deal famously includes changing the country's name to "Republic of North Macedonia", though that's not all it's about.

The question on the ballots was:

Friday, September 28, 2018

"Macedonia": Why is a Name So Important?

Where is Macedonia in relation to Greece and the ancient Kingdom of Macedonia of Alexander the Great? Map of ancient Macedonia compared to current borders of Greece and the Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).
Ancient definitions of Macedonia compared with modern borders.
Contact us for permission to use this map.

What's in a Name? The "Macedonia" Dispute

This Sunday, Southeastern Europe's Republic of Macedonia is voting on a deal with Greece that includes changing its name to "Republic of North Macedonia". Greece objects to its neighbor using the name "Macedonia", and has been locked in a bitter dispute over it ever since the smaller country declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.

The spat is serious enough that the Republic of Macedonia has been forced to accept the temporary name "former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" (FYROM) in the UN and other international organizations for the past 25 years, and has been blocked entirely from joining the European Union and NATO, where Greece holds veto power on new member applications.

Monday, July 16, 2018

All About Swaziland's Name Change (With Maps)

Topographic map of Eswatini (Swaziland), showing terrain, rivers, bordering countries, and capital cities.
Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland. Based on this map by Htonl and NordNordWest.

Swaziland's New Name

If you follow PolGeoNow on Twitter, you already know that the small, southern African country of Swaziland was renamed "Eswatini" this April. The full English name of the country, previously "Kingdom of Swaziland", has also been changed to "Kingdom of Eswatini".

The rename was first announced by the country's king on April 19 - his 50th birthday. (Some media incorrectly reported that April 19 was also Swaziland's 50th anniversary of independence. The country is indeed celebrating its 50th this year, but the actual day of the anniversary is September 6.)

The change was apparently effective immediately: A purported copy of the legal order making the new name official, also dated April 19, was posted on a Swaziland news blog in May, with some validation from other sources.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

All About Nagorno-Karabakh's 2017 Name Change

Map of the self declared Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh Republic) in relation to Armenia and Azerbaijan. Includes capital cities Yerevan, Baku, and Stepanakert.
Map by Evan Centanni, modified from this map by Bourrichon and Lesqual. License: CC BY-SA

Nagorno-Karabakh is Now "Artsakh"

Most country name changes are just modifications to the country's official long name, or a switch in the name's preferred English translation. But last year, one self-proclaimed country changed its title completely.

In February 2017, the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic officially became the "Republic of Artsakh". The name switch was part of a new constitution, approved in an internationally-controversial Feb. 20 referendum. According to the breakaway government's official figures, the referendum passed by 88%, with a voter turnout of 76%.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Gambia Changes Its Name Back

Map of the Gambia: towns, roads, borders, and rivers, with scale shown.
Map by Evan Centanni. Contact for usage rights.

Gambia Name Change Reversal

Last year we reported on how the Gambia, a tiny country located along the banks of a river in West Africa, had changed its official name at the UN. The country's maverick dictator had decided in 2015 to switch from "Republic of The Gambia" to "Islamic Republic of The Gambia".

Friday, November 4, 2016

The Czech Republic is Now Officially "Czechia" For Short

(Subscribers click here to view this article in the members area.)

Czech Republic Changes Official Name

Location of "Czechia" within the European Union
Map by David Liuzzo (CC BY-SA)
Last month, we wrote about a formal name change for the Gambia, a small country in Africa. But the Gambia wasn't the only country to modify its official name this year: Europe's Czech Republic also filed a name change with the UN, of a slightly different kind.

Rather than changing the details of its full name, as the Gambia did when it switched out "Republic of the Gambia" for "Islamic Republic of the Gambia", the Czech Republic actually only changed its foreign language short name.

Long known for not really having a good short name in English, the Czech Republic now wants you to call it "Czechia" (pronounced "CHECK-ee-ah") in all casual contexts. (The complete formal name is still "Czech Republic".)

Friday, October 28, 2016

The Gambia's Name Change

(Subscribers click here to view this article in the members area.)

US government map of the Gambia (source)
The Gambia Changes Official Name
If you read our review of world political geography changes in 2015, you might remember a brief note on the official name of the Gambia, a tiny country located along the banks of a river in West Africa. Last December, the Gambia's maverick dictator decided to declare the country an "Islamic republic", a designation that can have various meanings and is used by four other countries in the world.

At the time, at least one regional news source claimed that the country's official name had indeed been changed from "Republic of The Gambia" to "Islamic Republic of The Gambia". But for a country's name to be formally changed, its government normally has to pass a law or at least issue some kind of proclamation, and at the time it wasn't clear whether that had actually  happened.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

ICYMI: Cape Verde's Name Change

In the following weeks, PolGeoNow will be publishing several short "in case you missed it (ICYMI)" articles on events from 2013. This is news that we weren't able to cover when it first broke, but that we thought our readers might still want to know about.

Premium members click here to view this article in the ad-free members area. Not a member yet? Subscribe now!

Topographic map of Cape Verde, now known officially as Cabo Verde
Cape Verde, now officially Cabo Verde (click to enlarge). Map by Oona Räisänen/Wikimedia (CC BY-SA) (source).
By Evan Centanni

Cape Verde Changes Official Name
If you read our article on the year 2013 in political geography changes, you've already heard about the change to Cape Verde's official English name. But since keeping track of country name changes is one of the primary missions of Political Geography Now, we are now presenting this in-depth report on the topic.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Who Recognizes Palestine in 2013?

(Keep up with changes to Palestine's situation: view all Palestine updates.)

 Palestine is now an Observer State in the U.N., but it's still not recognized individually by all U.N. member countries. Read on for more about the latest countries to recognize Palestine, plus other recent changes to its international status.
Map of countries that recognize the State of Palestine as an independent country, updated for May 2013 with most recent additions highlighted
Countries recognizing the State of Palestine in green, with most recent additions highlighted in lighter green. Palestine in magenta (circled). Map by Evan Centanni, modified from public domain graphic (source).

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Libya Changes Official Name

Map of rebel campaigns during the last stage of Libya's 2011 civil war
Map of the last stage of Libya's 2011 civil war (click to see full map and original article). Map by Evan Centanni, based on public domain map from Wikipedia (source).
State of Libya
Last month, the North African country of Libya changed its official long-form name to "State of Libya" (Arabic: Dawlat Libya). This comes as part of Libya's governmental transition following its 2011 civil war, in which a rebel coalition defeated the regime of dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Over the last year, the country's formal name had not been clearly defined, with the country referred to in most documents simply as "Libya". The rebel National Transitional Council had only made a point of ceasing to use the Gaddafi-era name.

During the last decades of Gaddafi's reign, the country was known in long form as the "Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya". The word "jamahiriya" was coined by Gaddafi by combining the Arabic words for "republic" (jumhuriya) and "the masses" (jamahir).


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Hungary Shortens Official Name

Country Name: Hungary (English), Magyarország (Hungarian)
News Category: Name Changes
Summary: Hungary's full official name changed from "Republic of Hungary" to just "Hungary" when a new constitution came into effect in the Central European country at the beginning of this year.

Full Story
Map of Hungary from the CIA World Factbook (public domain)
A member of the Soviet-influenced Eastern Bloc during the Cold War, Hungary was one of the many European countries that underwent major reforms after the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989. Its name was changed from "People's Republic of Hungary" to "Republic of Hungary", and the old communist constitution was heavily amended to welcome in democracy.


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Libyan Rebels Take Capital

Country Name: Libya (English), Lībyā (Arabic)
Official Name (National Transitional Council): Libya, Libyan Republic
Official Name (Gaddafi Regime): Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahariya (English), al-Jamāhīriyyah al-‘Arabiyyah al-Lībiyyah ash-Sha‘biyyah al-Ishtirākiyyah al-‘Uẓmá (Arabic)
News Category: Divided Countries
Summary: Libyan rebels last month took sudden control of the national capital of Tripoli and other cities, ending months of stalemate in the North African country's civil war. Although the old government of Muammar Gaddafi maintains control of a few holdout cities, the rebel National Transitional Council is gaining increasing recognition internationally. The power transition is bringing with it changes to the country's flag and official name.

Control of Libya on June 1 (left) and September 2 (right). Gaddafi-held cities in green, rebel-held cities in
black. Blue represents ongoing struggle for control. Public domain maps from Wikimedia (source).