UMD Calls for U.S. Embassy Apology over Macedonian Anthem Blunder

The United Macedonian Diaspora called for an immediate statement of apology by the U.S. Embassy in Skopje, Macedonia for last night’s unacceptable disrespect of the Macedonian national anthem during the annual 4th of July reception.

The Macedonian national anthem performed by Macedonia’s Eurovision contestant Tamara Todevska was sung incorrectly. In Todevska’s version an entire important portion of lyrics, which referred to Macedonia’s independence fighters Goce Delchev, Pitu Guli, Dame Gruev, and Jane Sandanski, were removed. Todevska should publicly apologize for this blunder.

UMD strongly believes this was not a mistake, but intentional given calls for changing of Macedonia’s anthem because Bulgaria insists these historical figures be labeled Bulgarian in Macedonian history textbooks. Bulgaria has threatened to block Macedonia’s EU path if these demands are not met.

Without a formal apology by the U.S. Embassy, the U.S. will be viewed as taking sides in this pointless historical debate sparked by Bulgaria. The U.S. anthem is the Star-Spangled Banner and just like the respected offered to the U.S., the U.S. should display the same respect during national holidays, especially in countries that are our allies in NATO.

In addition to a letter complaint to the U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Micaela Schweitzer-Bluhm, UMD informed the U.S. Department of State, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and the Congressional Caucus on Macedonia and Macedonian-Americans about the situation.