April 16, 2014

The Hungarian Tricolour Flag

It’s hard to believe that the three colours on the Hungarian flag aren’t so ancient at all (while others think, that the colours are from the Middle Ages).

Az_Árpád-házi_királyok_családi_zászlója( Arpad striped flag)

In the past, the colours of the reigning royal family were the colors of the country itself.  Later on, the zealous Hungarian armies marched under the banner of the Virgin Mary – for example on the field of Mohacs before they met their tragic end…

esze tamasrakoczi zaszlo

We didn’t have a tricolour flag during the Rakoczi war for independence either - one of the flags from the time was a red and white flag with the Rakoczi coat of arms, whilst the other was a simple banner with a green field and the inscription in Latin: “Freedom”.

Accordingly, the Hungarian flag features a tricolour element, which is based upon the French flag, as a reflection of the ideas of the French revolution; while red, white, and green are colours derived from the historical Hungarian coat of arms, which have essentially remained in the same form since the mid-15th century, and according to some reports, had been in use since the coronation of Mathias II in 1608.

The red-white-green tricolour emerged as a sign of national sovereignty during the 1848–1849 revolution against the Habsburgs (who had lived under  the black and gold banner of the Austrian monarchs).

1848 Eredeti zászló

Actually the first red-white-green flags are from the military flags of 1848

The flag was approved as the national flag of the country in 1867.

After the fall of the Habsburg Empire, the years 1918 to 1920 were highly turbulent, and several hard-to-trace minor changes took place. The red-green-white tricolour stayed the same, but small differences emerged in terms of the badge. A short interlude and exception was the 1919 Hungarian Soviet Republic, which lasted for four-and-a-half months; it used a solid red banner.

With the onset of Communist rule in 1949, a new coat of arms featuring a Communist red star was placed on the flag as the badge.

The official flag of Hungary has been a pure red-white-green tricolour since 1957.

After the fall of communism in 1989 there was no need to change the flag, although there was a recommendation, that the coat of arms should be part of the state flag…

magyar_zaszlo-A.jpg

Something EXTRA:

Each of the colors used in the flag/coat of arms has a symbolic meaning. Red signifies valor, courage, and the noble patriotic spirit shown by the countrymen during the fight for independence, it also stands for the blood spilt in the independence struggle. White is a traditional symbol of peace and faith and represents the faithful nature of the Hungarians. Green symbolizes agriculture and the hope for a better future. Alternatively, red for the blood spilled for the fatherland, white for freedom and green for the land, for the pastures of Hungary. The new constitution, which took effect on Jan. 1st 2012, makes the ex-post interpretation mentioned first official (in the semi-official translation: strength (erő), fidelity (hűség) and hope (remény)).

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