New East Digital Archive

Bulgaria bans public display of communist symbols

Bulgaria bans public display of communist symbols
The Monument to the Soviet Army in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, partly painted in the colours of Ukrainian flag in 2014 (Image: Vassia Atanassova - Spiritia under a CC licence)

6 December 2016

Bulgarian lawmakers have voted to make the public display of communist symbols illegal.

Brought about through amendments made to an existing law on the “Criminal Nature of the Communist Regime”, the ban was passed on its first reading in the Bulgarian parliament on 24 November.

The law bans displaying communist symbols publically and provides for the removal of communist symbols, slogans, photographs and other signs or objects from public spaces. According to a number of communist news sources, any symbol or object that cannot be removed immediately will have a sign placed next to it reading: “The communist regime in Bulgaria during the period 09.09.1944 – 11.10.1989 and the actions of the Communist Party of Bulgaria have been declared criminal by a law voted upon by the 38th National Assembly”.

A number of post-Soviet states and members of the former Eastern Bloc have undergone, or are undergoing, a process of decommunisation, which in some cases involves a ban on communist symbols. Among the most discussed in recent years is that of Ukraine, which began a formal decommunisation process in April 2015.