Nine countries that have changed their names

Netherlands – Holland

The Dutch government has decided to change the image of the country in the world. The change began with a proposal to abandon the familiar but unofficial name of Holland. Now the state will be called only the Netherlands. The authorities suggest that this will help create a positive image in which there will be no place for the “red light district.”

We will be very curious to see how quickly the Netherlands succeeds in changing the association of the world community and ordinary tourists. In the meantime, they are just preparing for rebranding; we decided to study what other states have changed their names.


The country has been associated abroad with the “red-light district,” as well as available prohibited substances. Authorities suggest that the name Holland will interfere with the creation of a new, positive image of the country in the world. In pursuit of an ideal reputation, the new image will be actively promoting sports and cultural events. The Dutch government plans to implement the rebranding program before the end of 2019.


Northern Macedonia – Macedonia

In February 2019, Macedonia became Northern Macedonia. The name change was due to economic interests and an almost 30-year conflict with Greece, in which there is a northern province of Macedonia. The Greeks believed that no other state has the right to bear the same name as their historical area. And the Macedonians were not going to give up, which Greece responded by blocking the entry of Macedonia into the EU. As a result, the Macedonian authorities compromised, ending many years of controversy.

Ireland – Air

Ireland was part of the British Commonwealth of Nations from 1931 to 1949, was her dominion (an independent state within the British Empire -. . Note wildchildmag ), and was called the Irish Free State. But already in 1937, changed its name to Air e. That is how the English version of the name Ireland sounds in Irish. Then, in 1949, when the country withdrew from the British Commonwealth, having gained independence, it was renamed the Republic of Ireland, or, more simply, Ireland.

Thailand – Siam

Fans of spending the winter in Thailand may not suspect that relatively recently, the country had a completely different name, which only Siamese cats remind of now. And here you can already guess that we are talking about Siam. From 1238 to 1932, Thailand so named. A revolution took place in Siam that led to a change in the political system – to a constitutional monarchy

Sri Lanka – Ceylon

The island of Ceylon owned the British Empire, where it was decided to plant plantations of coffee trees. But once they died from harmful insects. Then tea houses appeared in their place. The country went to the new name of Sri Lanka for a long time and painfully: through riots, the youth uprising of 1971, and the new constitution. She was accepted in 1972 when they approved a new version.

Myanmar – Burma

Before independence from Britain, Myanmar was called Burma. In 1974, the country became the Socialist Republic of the Burmese Union. The toponym “Burma” is formed from the name of the ethnic majority of the population but has a foreign origin. Therefore it was not popular with the Burmese, and Bima appeared among the locals. In the 80s, under military dictatorship, the state became Union of Myanmar, and in 2010 – Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the authorities also changed the emblem and flag.

Congo – Zaire

In 1960, the Belgian Congo ceased to be a colony of Belgium and gained independence, changing its name to the Republic of Congo. Then, during the military coup dictator, Mobutu came to power, renaming the state in the Republic of Zaire, and at the same time, the capital from Leopoldville to Kinshasa. And only in 1997, after the overthrow of the dictatorial regime, the country was given a new option – the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Saudi Arabia – Hijaz

Today, Hijaz is one of the territories that make up modern Saudi Arabia. It is considered a historical place of origin of Islam. 1925, the Hijaz was captured by the Kingdom of Najd, resulting in the emergence of the state of Najj and Hijaz. And in 1932, it was renamed according to the name of the ruling Saudi dynasty, so Saudi Arabia appeared.

Cambodia – Kampuchea

In the last century, the country renamed five times. Such inconstancy is connecting with the change of power. When Lon Nola was in control, he renamed the state for ethnic reasons, the Khmer Republic. It lasted only five years, and it was replaced by Democratic Kampuchea, after four years – the People’s Republic of Kampuchea, after ten years – the State of Cambodia. It was only in 1993 that the Kingdom of Cambodia returned to its former name, which was in the year of independence.

Do you think the change in the name of the country affects its future history?





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