The inscription "FREEDOM OR DEATH" on the Peruvian revolutionary flag

There is hardly a Bulgarian who has not heard the famous motto "Freedom or Death", present in all our revolutionary flags. This catchphrase has gradually become a role model and a conscious need of our freedom fighters since the second half of the 19th century. The first "People's Voivode" GS Rakovski in his poem "Forest Traveler" (1857) describes the "flag" (flag) to be raised in a band of bandits, with the words:


 Golden, green, bright banner


on the one hand, "Freedom or death!"


scary kind of lion depicts


on the other hand, “God be with us!

The flag, playing the role of an element uniting the masses, at the specific historical moment was accepted as an expression of freedom and a symbol of the renewing Bulgarian state. In the course of the preparations for the uprising in 1876, flags were sewn intensively in the centers of the resistance - all green with an upright lion depicted, above which stood the cherished inscription. Such was the case of Perushtitsa, solemnly waved by the leader Petar Bonev on April 23, but, unfortunately, this single specimen burned in the flames of the fires during that bloody year. However, the memory of him remained…

Today, visitors to the museum can get acquainted with the masters made an exact copy of the flag of the Perusht rebels, made only a year after the Liberation. But this exhibit is accompanied by an intriguing story. On October 20, 1886, in the context of the extremely aggravated political situation in the country, a revolt broke out in the small town against the regents and the government of Vasil Radoslavov. The goal, according to Simeon Radev, was for the population of several Rhodope villages to rise up and seize Plovdiv in order to proclaim the Russian envoy Nikolai Kaubars a dictator. In Perushtitsa, after the bell rang, the riot was announced. The main instigator, Nikola Gichev, managed to organize a group of about 120 people, to whom there were speeches that Russian troops had entered the country, and that the Regency had been overthrown and the Grand National Assembly disbanded. The assembled crowd raised the flag, circling the village, singing, "Fight, we want it!" On the way to Plovdiv and Churen they set up guards, but the next day they were all captured by the arriving government army.

Text: Mario Jasim