The Republic of Moldova is a landlocked country between Romania and Ukraine that covers 13,199 square miles (33,845 square kilometers).

About Republic of Moldova

Location and Geography
The Republic of Moldova is a landlocked country between Romania and Ukraine that covers 13,199 square miles (33,845 square kilometers). It includes the Gagauz Autonomous Region in the south and the disputed Transdniestrian region in the east. The latter region separated from Moldova in 1991–1992 but did not gain official recognition. The capital, Chişinău, is in the center of the country and has 740,000 inhabitants. Chişinău was first mentioned in 1436 and was the capital of the Russian province of Bessarabia in the nineteenth century.
The national symbols represent over six hundred years of history as well as a close connection to Romania. The state flag is composed of the traditional Romanian colors of blue, yellow, and red. In the center is the republic's seal, consisting of the Romanian eagle with the historical Moldovan seal on its breast. Since the fourteenth century, the seal has consisted of an ox's head with a star between its horns, a rose to the right, and a crescent to the left. The national anthem was the same as that of Romania in the early years of independence but was changed to "Our Language" ( Limba noastră ), which is also the name of the second most important secular holiday. Its name has a special integrating power in two respects: Language is the most important national symbol for Moldovans, and it evades the answer to the question of how this language should be labeled: Romanian or Moldovan. All these symbols, however, do not appeal to other ethnic groups and thus confine the idea of an "imagined community" to the titular nation.
In regard to the conflict over symbols between "Romanians" and "Moldovans," the ballad Mioriţa plays a crucial role. It tells the story of a Moldovan shepherd who is betrayed and murdered by two Romanian colleagues: For the Romanian side, this story is about an "incident in the family," while for the Moldovan side, it reproduces the distinction between the good, diligent, and peaceful Moldovan and the mean and criminal Romanian. Next to hospitality, diligence and peacefulness are the national characteristics Moldovans associate with themselves. When Moldovans want to show pride in their country, they refer mostly to the qualities of its wine and food and the beauty of its women. Wine is an especially powerful symbol, associated with quality, purity, and healing. The cellars of Cricova with their extensive collection of old wines are considered the state treasure. Moldovans are also eager to underscore their Latin heritage, expressed by the statue of a wolf feeding Romulus and Remus in front of the Museum of National History in Chiţinău.