Last modified: 2007-03-31 by ivan sache
Keywords: lipkovo | lipkove | star (white) |
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Municipal flag of Lipkovo - Image by Mello Luchtenberg & António Martins, 12 November 2006
The municipality of Lipkovo (in Albanian, Lipkovë 27,058 inhabitants;
267.82 sq.km) is located in the northern, montainous region of
Macedonia, on the border with Kosovo. It is made of the village of
Lipkovo and the settlements of Alaševce, Belanovce, Vaksince, Višica, Glažnja, Gošince, Dumanovce, Zlokukjane, Izvor, Lojane, Matejče, Nikuštak, Opae, Orizari, Otlja, Rnkovce, Ropalce, Runica, Slupčane, Straža and Struma.
Lipkovo is mostly inhabited by ethnic Albanians and was the centre of the 2001 crisis between the Albanians and the Macedonian army and police.
The two accumulation lakes of Lipkovo and Glažnja supply water to the neighbouring big city of Kumanovo.
Recently, archeological remains of potential great interest have been found, but the political situation prevents their scientific study. Quoting Suzana Nikolić, Balkan Insight, 24 May 2006:
Ten months after two mummies that may be more than 2,000 years old were discovered in the village of Lipkovo, they remain an enigma. The reason is that they were found in an ethnic Albanian area, where villagers do not trust the Macedonian authorities - even archaeologists and historic experts. While archaeologists point to the significance of the extraordinary discovery, local politicians insist no action must be taken that upsets the fragile inter-ethnic harmony that has prevailed in Macedonia since ethnic warfare almost exploded in 2001. Unfortunately for the country’s eager and curious historians, the mummies were discovered in a village that lay at the centre of the 2001 crisis, when army and police clashed with the Albanian rebels.
So when two mummified bodies were discovered last July in a part of Lipkovo village called Kisela Voda, the Vejseli family - on whose property the mummies were found - prohibited further excavation. These are not the first mummies to be found in the area. In the 1960s, workers found three similar mummies while constructing a local road that led to a dam. The first was taken to the Forensics Institute in Skopje, where it remains, but the other two were sent to Belgrade and are now feared lost. They were found in coffins made of thick oak, covered with boards attached without nails. Archeologists have not agreed on their age. Some date back them as far as the IIIrd Century BC, while others put them more recently at the VIIth or VIIIth Century AD.
The land belongs to the Vejseli brothers who own a nearby granary and a flour mill. As a result of the find, construction activity has halted and the site is covered with garbage and debris. Macedonia's ethnic tensions have prevented any serious expert analysis of the site. The landowners would not allow a team of archaeologists from the National Museum in nearby Kumanovo to approach the relics, or make photographs. Villagers fear Macedonian archaeologists will misuse their research to bolster their own arguments about which tribe or a nation lived first on this territory and which therefore has more historic rights to the land. The Lipkovo villagers prefer to believe the mummies are of IIlyrian tribesmen, as Albanians consider them to be their ancestors. [...]
Ivan Sache, 12 November 2006
The municipal flag of Lipkovo, as shown on the Macedonian Ministry of Local Self-Government website (page no longer online), is in proportion 1:2, horizontally divided green-white-green-white-green, with a red triangle charged with a small white star placed along the hoist and two blue triangles adjacent to the red one (therefore touching each other only by a point).
Ivan Sache, 17 February 2002