Flag of Hungary

The flag of Hungary (Hungarian: Magyarország zászlaja, more commonly Hungarian: magyar zászló) is a horizontal tricolour of red, white and green. In this exact form, it has been the official flag of Hungary since May 23, 1957. The flag's form originates from national republican movements of the 18th and 19th centuries, while its colours are from the Middle Ages. The current Hungarian tricolour flag is the same as the republican movement flag of the United Kingdom (used since 1816) and the colours in that form were already used at least since the coronation of Leopold II in 1790, predating the first use of the Italian Tricolour in 1797.

Flag of Hungary
UseCivil and state flag
AdoptedMay 23, 1957[1] (as state flag)
June 19, 1990[2] (reaffirmed)
DesignA horizontal triband of red, white and green
Civil Ensign of Hungary
Variant flag of Hungary
UseCivil flag and ensign
AdoptedAugust 18, 1957[3] (as civil ensign)
DesignA horizontal tricolour of red, white, and green
Flag of Hungary with arms (state)
Variant flag of Hungary
UseUnofficial state flag[note 1]
AdoptedOctober 10, 1995[4]
DesignA horizontal tricolor of red, white and green with the state coat of arms in the center.
War Flag of Hungary
Variant flag of Hungary
UseUnit colour
AdoptedMarch 15, 1991[5]
Naval Ensign of Hungary
Variant flag of Hungary
UseNaval ensign

Current flag

The modern flag of Hungary originated from the national freedom movement from before 1848, which culminated in the Hungarian Revolution of 1848. The revolution was not only in opposition against the monarchy but also the Habsburg Empire, as well as to form an independent republic. 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, with exception to some minor differences, and were marshalled from arms that first appeared in the late 12th and early 13th century as arms of the Árpáds, Hungary's founding dynasty. The stripes are horizontal rather than vertical to prevent confusion with the Italian flag despite the banner in that form predating the Italian tricolour by at least 7 years, which had been designed after the French flag. According to other data, the recent form of the Hungarian tricolour had been already used from 1608 at the coronation of Mathias II of Hungary and following coronations.

Folklore of the romantic period attributed the colours to virtues: red for strength, white for faithfulness and green for hope. 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 1 January 2012, makes the ex-post interpretation mentioned first official (in the semi-official translation: strength (erő), fidelity (hűség) and hope (remény)).


II. Lipót koronázása 1790.ben és az ősi magyar nemzeti színek
Hungarian national colors on the wall, Hungarian coronation of Leopold II in Pressburg (Pozsony, today's Bratislava) in 1790, 58 years before the Hungarian revolution

As described above, the red-white-green tricolour clearly emerged as a sign of national sovereignty during the 1848–1849 revolution against the Habsburgs. Hungarian volunteers and Émigrés fought for the social movement and wars of Italian unification under the banner for Garibaldi.[6] After the revolution in Hungary was defeated, the tricolour flag was prohibited by the Austrian Emperor; after the Compromise of 1867, however, the tricolour became not only legal, but also the official flag of Hungary. The flag had the so-called minor arms (also known as the Kossuth coat of arms) of Hungary with archangels as supporters were used as a badge on the flag. This configuration was used until the end of the Habsburg Empire in 1918.

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.

It seems that from 1920–1944 or 1945 the tricolour displayed the minor arms of Hungary, but the version without them was also used.

Between 1946 and 1949 the crown was removed from the top of the arms serving as the badge.

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.

During the anti-Soviet uprising in 1956, revolutionaries cut out the Hammer and Sickle emblem and used the resulting tricolour with a hole in the middle as the symbol of the revolution. For some months the new government changed the flag to bear the minor arms without the crown as the badge again.

In 1957, during the Stalinist restoration after the revolution was defeated by the Soviet Red Army, the new government created a "new" coat of arms, which however was never officially put onto the flag. Therefore, 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, as it did not bear any communist insignia.

There was a recommendation of the Committee of Symbols in the 2000s, that the coat of arms should be part of the state flag, while the national flag should remain plain (as is the status quo).[7] This has not been implemented in law, though in case of most state use the arms are legally permitted on the flag (see below).

Exact description and legislature

The Hungarian Constitution does not explicitly state anything about the width:length ratio of the flag;[8][9][10] but, there is a law from 1957 that is in force stating that seagoing merchant vessels shall hoist the red–white–green tricolour in 2:3 ratio.

By a government decree from 2000, the ratio (which is neither defined in the Constitution nor in 1995[11] or 2000[12] legislation) of flags used on government building is 1:2.

Summarized, this would mean:[11]

  • FIAV 100000.svg A red–white–green tricolour. Actually many variations might be used though according to 1995/LXXXIII §11 (3) "(3) In cases specified in paragraphs (1) and (2), the arms and the flag can be used also in their historical forms.", as (1) reads as: 1995/LXXXIII §11 (1) "(1) For the purpose of declaring their belonging to the nation, private persons can use the arms and the flag, subject to the limitations in this law."
  • FIAV 010000.svg red–white–green tricolour, ratio 1:2 (by decree from 2000). According to 1995/LXXXIII §11 (4), the official coat of arms of Hungary might be placed onto it as a badge.
  • FIAV 001000.svg White background with green red alternated flammulette ("flame tongues", triangles with wavy edge) border, coat of arms in the center, embraced by oak branches from the left, olive branches from the right. Ratio not defined. ( 1995/LXXXIII §8 (1) )
  • FIAV 000100.svg 2:3 (ratio defined by 1957 law) red-white-green tricolour (there is a merchant fleet)[13]
  • FIAV 000010.svg Unknown or unspecified;
  • FIAV 000001.svg White background with green red alternated triangle border, coat of arms at 1/3 of the flag, nearer to the pole. Ratio not defined. ( 1995/LXXXIII §8 (2) )


Flag of Hungary with arms

Unofficial civil flag of Hungary

Flag of Hungary with arms (state)

Unofficial state flag of Hungary

State flag of Hungary (vertical version)

Unofficial state flag of Hungary (vertical version)

Historical flags

Flag of Hungary (13th century)

Royal Standard of the Kingdom of Hungary in the 13th century.

Flag of Hungary (11th c. - 1301)

Standard of the Árpád dynasty in the 13th century.

Flag of Hungary (1301-1382)

Royal Standard of the Kingdom of Hungary under the Angevin dynasty from 1301–1382.[14]

Flag of Sigismund of Hungary

Royal Standard of Hungary under the rule of Sigismund (1387–1437).[15]

Flag of Vladislaus I of Hungary

Royal Standard of Hungary under the rule of Vladislaus I (1440–1444).[15]

Flag of Matthias I of Hungary

Royal Standard of Hungary under the rule of Matthias I (1458–1490).

Flag of Matthias I of Hungary (variant)

Royal Standard of Hungary under the rule of Matthias I (1458–1490).

Flag of Vladislaus II of Hungary

Royal Standard of Hungary under the rule of Vladislaus II (1490–1516).

Flag of Louis II of Hungary

Royal Standard of Hungary under the rule of Louis II (1516–1526).

Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy

Flag of the Kingdom of Hungary, used from the 18th century to 1848 and between 1849–1867.

Francis II Rákóczi's Iustam Causam banner

Flag raised during Rákóczi's War of Independence (1703–1711)

Flag of Hungary (1848-1849, 1867-1869)

Flag of the Kingdom of Hungary, used between 1848–1849 and 1867–1869.

Flag of Hungary (1869-1874)

Flag of the Kingdom of Hungary from 1869 to 1874 with the Hungarian small coat of arms.

Flag of Hungary (1874-1896)

Flag of the Kingdom of Hungary from 1874 to 1896.

Flag of Hungary (1896-1915)

Flag of the Kingdom of Hungary from 1896 to 1915.

Flag of Hungary (1896-1915; angels)

A variant of the flag of Hungary, used between 1896–1915, while part of Austria-Hungary.

Flag of Hungary (1915-1918, 1919-1946)

Flag of the Kingdom of Hungary from 1915 to 1918.

Flag of Hungary (1915-1918; angels)

A variant of the flag of Hungary used between 1915–1918.

Flag of Hungary (1918-1919)

Flag of the short-lived Hungarian People's Republic, used between 1918–1919 under the rule of Károlyi.

Flag of Hungary (1919)

Flag of the Hungarian Soviet Republic, used briefly in 1919.

Flag of Hungary (1915-1918, 1919-1946)

Flag of Hungary, used between 1919–1946 with the Hungarian small coat of arms.

Flag of Hungary (1946-1949, 1956-1957; 1-2 aspect ratio)

Flag of Hungary, used between 1946–1949 and 1956–1957 with the Kossuth coat of arms.

Flag of Hungary (1949-1956; 1-2 aspect ratio)

Flag of the Hungarian People's Republic, used between 1949–1956, bearing the Communist Rákosi coat of arms.

Flag of the Hungarian Revolution (1956; 1-2 aspect ratio)

This flag, from which the Rákosi era coat of arms has been cut out, became the symbol of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.

Government Ensign of Hungary (1957-1990)

Government ensign of Hungary, used between 1957–1990.

Flag of Hungary

Flag of Hungary, used from 1957.

Head of state standards

Standard of the Regent of Hungary (1920s-1939, afloat)

Ensign of the Regent, used between 1921–1939.

Flag of the Supreme Warlord of the Royal Hungarian Defence Forces (1939-1945, on land)

Standard of the Regent as supreme warlord of the Royal Hungarian Army, used between 1939–1944.

Standard of the President of Hungary (1948-1950, afloat)

Ensign of the President, used between 1948–1950.

Standard of the President of Hungary (1990s-2012)

Standard of the President, used between 1990–2012.

Flag of the President of Hungary

Standard of the President, used from 2012.

See also


  1. ^ The official Hungarian state flag does not contain the Hungarian coat of arms, but the variant defaced with the coat of arms is often used during solemn occasions.


  1. ^ "1957. évi II. törvény a Magyar Népköztársaság Alkotmányának módosításáról" [Act II of 1957 on the Amendment of the Constitution of the Hungarian People's Republic]. hu.wikisource.org (in Hungarian). Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  2. ^ "1990. évi XL. törvény a Magyar Köztársaság Alkotmányának módosításáról" [Act XL of 1990 on the Amendment of the Constitution of the Hungarian Republic]. Törvények és országgyűlési határozatok (in Hungarian). Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  3. ^ "51/1957. (VIII. 18.) Korm. számú rendelet a magyar tengeri kereskedelmi hajók lobogójáról" [Decree of the Government No. 51/1957. (VIII. 18.) on the Ensign of the Hungarian Maritime Merchant Vessels]. hu.wikisource.org (in Hungarian). Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  4. ^ "1995. évi LXXXIII. törvény a Magyar Köztársaság nemzeti jelképeinek és a Magyar Köztársaságra utaló elnevezésnek a használatáról" [Act LXXXIII of 1995 on the usage of the national symbols and name of the Hungarian Republic]. Törvények és országgyűlési határozatok (in Hungarian). Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  5. ^ a b "A Magyar Honvédség új felségjelzése és hadilobogói" [The new insignia and war ensigns of the Hungarian Defence Forces]. Haditechnika. 25 (3): 3–4. 1991.
  6. ^ The Weakening of Absolutism: The War in Italy and the Hungarian Émigrés
  7. ^ Halasz, Ivan; Schweitzer, Gabor (16 March 2011). "National and State Symbols in the Hungarian Legal System (Excerpts)" (PDF). Legal Compass: 3.
  8. ^ The Fundamental Law of Hungary
  9. ^ Magyarország Alaptörvénye
  10. ^ The Constitution of the Hungarian Republic
  11. ^ a b Law 1995/LXXXIII
  12. ^ Law 2000/XXXVIII
  13. ^ Volker Preuß. "Flagge Ungarns" (in German). Retrieved 2002-12-10.
  14. ^ Miniature in Chronicon Pictum (c. 1370).
  15. ^ a b Horváth, Zoltán (1995), A zászlók kialakulása és fejlődése a kezdetektől napjainkig (The formation and development of flags from the beginning to the present day), 9–14.

External links

Armenia–Hungary relations

Armenia–Hungary relations refer to the diplomatic relations between Armenia and Hungary.

Flag of Ghana

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Flag of North Rhine-Westphalia

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Flags of Europe

This is a list of international, national and subnational flags used in Europe.

Gallery of sovereign state flags

This gallery of sovereign state flags shows the flags of sovereign states that appear on the list of sovereign states. For other flags, please see flags of active autonomist and secessionist movements, flags of formerly independent states, and gallery of flags of dependent territories. Each flag is depicted as if the flagpole is positioned on the left of the flag, except for those of Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia which are depicted with the hoist to the right.

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Hungary at the 2011 World Aquatics Championships

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Hungary at the 2013 World Aquatics Championships

Hungary competed at the 2013 World Aquatics Championships in Barcelona, Spain between 19 July to 4 August 2013.

Hungary at the 2018 Winter Olympics

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Index of Hungary-related articles

This page list topics related to Hungary.

List of Hungarian flags

This is a list of flags used in Hungary. For more information about the national flag, visit the article Flag of Hungary.

List of flags by color

This is a list of flags by color. Each section below contains any flag that has any amount of the color listed for that section.

List of flags by design

This is a list of flags, arranged by design, serving as a navigational aid for identifying a given flag.

National symbols of Hungary

The national symbols of Hungary are flags, icons or cultural expressions that are emblematic, representative or otherwise characteristic of Hungary or Hungarian culture. The highly valued special Hungarian products and symbols are called Hungaricum.

Outline of Hungary

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Hungary:

Hungary – landlocked sovereign country located in the Carpathian Basin of Central Europe, bordering Austria, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, and Slovenia. Its capital is Budapest. Hungary is a member of OECD, NATO, EU and a Schengen state. The official language is Hungarian (also known as Magyar), which forms part of the Uralic family. It is one of the four official languages of the European Union that is not of Indo-European origin.

Following a Celtic (after c. 450 BC) and a Roman (9 BC - c. 4th century) period, the foundation of Hungary was laid in the late Ninth Century by the Magyar chieftain Árpád, whose great grandson István ascended to the throne with a crown sent from Rome in 1000. The Kingdom of Hungary existed with minor interruptions for more than 900 years, and at various points was regarded as one of the cultural centers of the Western world. It was succeeded by a Communist era (1947–1989) during which Hungary gained widespread international attention regarding the Revolution of 1956 and the seminal move of opening its border with Austria in 1989, thus accelerating the collapse of the Eastern Bloc. The present form of government is a parliamentary republic (since 1989). Hungary's current goal is to become a developed country by International Monetary Fund standards, having become already developed by most traditional measures, including GDP and HDI (world ranking 36th and rising). The country's first ever term of EU presidency is due in 2011.Hungary was one of the 15 most popular tourist destinations in the world in the past decade, with a capital regarded as one of the most beautiful in the world. Despite its relatively small size, the country is home to numerous

World Heritage Sites, UNESCO Biosphere reserves, the second largest thermal lake in the world (Lake Hévíz), the largest lake in Central Europe (Lake Balaton), and the largest natural grassland in Europe (Hortobágy National Park).

Prime Minister of Hungary

The Prime Minister of Hungary (Hungarian: miniszterelnök) is the head of government in Hungary. The Prime Minister and the Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Parliament, to their political party and ultimately to the electorate. The current holder of the office is Viktor Orbán, leader of the Fidesz – Hungarian Civic Alliance, who has served since 29 May 2010.According to the Hungarian Constitution, the President of Hungary is required to nominate the leader of the political party who wins a majority of seats in the National Assembly of Hungary as Prime Minister. If there is no party with a majority, the President holds an audience with the leaders of all parties represented in the Assembly and nominates the person who is most likely to command a majority in the Assembly, who is then formally elected by a simple majority of the Assembly. In practice, the leader of the party winning a plurality of votes in the elections is usually named Prime Minister. The Prime Minister has a leading role in the executive branch in accordance with the Hungarian Constitution. The Prime Minister selects Cabinet ministers and has the exclusive right to dismiss them. Cabinet nominees appear before one or more parliamentary committees in consultative open hearings. They must then survive a vote by Parliament and be formally approved by the President.

State flag

There are two separate meanings for the term of state flag in vexillology; either the flag of the government of a sovereign state, or the flag of an individual subnational state.

Tricolour (flag)

A tricolour or tricolor is a type of flag or banner design with a triband design which originated in the 16th century as a symbol of republicanism, liberty or indeed revolution. The flags of France, Italy, Romania, Mexico, and Ireland were all first adopted with the formation of an independent republic in the period of the French Revolution to the Revolutions of 1848, with the exception of the Irish tricolour, which dates from 1848 but was not popularised until the Easter Rising in 1916 and adopted in 1919.

War flag

A war flag, also known as a military flag, battle flag, or standard, is a variant of a national flag for use by a country's military forces when on land. The nautical equivalent is a naval ensign. Under the strictest sense of the term, few countries today currently have proper war flags, most preferring to use instead their state flag or standard national flag for this purpose.

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