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National education and media are fostering homogenization of the language, particularly in urban settings.The Turkish minorities speak Turkish, a Turko-Altaic language.

The flag, a tricolor of horizontal stripes (from top: white, green, red), while a visible national emblem, is not so vested with specific meaning.

Among the most potent symbols of Bulgarian national identity are several key historical events: the founding of the Bulgarian states in 6; the partition of Bulgaria in the Treaty of Berlin (1878); the union with Eastern Rumelia (an autonomous Ottoman province created by the partition) in 1885; the successful defense against Serbian encroachment in 1885; and territorial gains, losses, and humiliation in the Balkan wars (1912–1913) and World War I (1914–1918).

During the state socialist period, the crown (a symbol of monarchy) was replaced by a star.

After the fall of state socialism in 1989 the crown was replaced following a seven-year debate.

, Slavs began to settle the Thracian-occupied eastern Danubian plains.

In the seventh century, they joined with invading Bulgars to gain control of a sizable territory, which they defended against Byzantium in 681, gaining recognition as the first Bulgarian state.

The names "Bulgar", and "Bulgarian" most likely derive from a Turkic verb meaning "to mix." Ethnic Bulgarians trace their ancestry to the merging of Bulgars (or Proto-Bulgarians), a central Asian Turkic people, and Slavs, a central European people, beginning in the seventh century in what is now northeastern Bulgaria.

Besides ethnic Bulgarians, there are several ethnic minorities, the most numerous being Turks and Gypsies, with smaller numbers of Armenians, Jews, and others.

Much vocabulary has been borrowed from Russian, Greek, and Turkish, and the latter two have had a strong influence on Bulgarian grammar.

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