The Gagauz are a Turkic
-speaking people in what is now Moldova
. The name of the Oghuz
horde is familiar in Turkish
history; the Gagauz name derives from gok-oghuz
-Oghuz', and use sky-blue
as an identifying colour. They are Orthodox
Christians who fled Ottoman
rule some centuries ago.
When in 1991 the Romanian-majority republic of Moldova became independent with the break-up of the Soviet Union, it included two minorities, the Russian-speakers of Transdniestr, and the Gagauz. Both feared that Moldova would imminently reunite with Romania, and the Transdniestrians fought a war for secession.
The Gagauz also claimed autonomy (in 1990), but it did not become violent. They are now a recognized autonomous region within Moldova, called Gagauz-Eri (formerly called Gagauzia).
At first they unofficially used a sky-blue flag, with a wolf's head (a common Turkic symbol) on a disk in the centre. On 31 October 1995 the Chalk Topluschu (National Assembly) of Gagauz-Eri officially adopted a flag of blue horizontally above narrower white and red stripes, with three yellow stars on the hoist of the blue.