Flag of Hungary: Wikis


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Flag of Hungary
See adjacent text.
Use Civil flag
Proportion 2:3
Adopted October 1, 1957
Design horizontal tricolour of red, white and green
See adjacent text.
Use Civil and state flag
Proportion 1:2
Adopted December 21, 1949
Design The official Hungarian state flag does not contain the Hungarian coat of arms, but that is often used at solemnial celebrations.
See adjacent text.
Use War flag
Proportion 3:4
Adopted 1950
See adjacent text.
Use Civil ensign
Proportion 2:3
Adopted 1946
See adjacent text.
Use Naval ensign
Proportion 3:4
Adopted 1946

The flag of Hungary (Hungarian: Magyarország zászloja) is a horizontal tricolour of red, white and green. In this exact form, it has been the official flag of Hungary since October 1, 1957.


Current Flag



Today's flag of Hungary stems from the national freedom movement before 1848 which climaxed in the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, which was not only a revolution against the monarchy and to constitute a republic, but also a national movement against the Habsburgs. Thus, the tricolour feature of the flag is based on the French flag and the ideas of French revolution, while the colours red, white and green were taken from the historical coat of arms. The coat of arms first appeared in the form, which is but for minor details basically the same as nowadays in the mid-15th century, marshalled from arms that first appeared in the late-12th and early-13th century as arms of the Árpáds, Hungary's founding dynasty. According to other data, the recent form of the Hungarian tricolor had been already used from 1608 at the coronation of Mathias II of Hungary.

So the Hungarian flag has its origins in the national republican movements of the 18th-19th century (concerning its form, the tricolour) and in the Hungary of the Middle Ages (concerning its colours).

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.


As described above, the red-white-green tricolour has emerged as sign of national souverenity during the 1848/49 revolution against the Habsburgs. After the revolution was defeated, the flag was prohibited by the Austrian Emperor.

Only after the Compromise of 1867 did the red-white-green tricolour became not only legal, but also the official flag of Hungary. The flag had the so called minor arms of Hungary with archeangels 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 might have taken place. Basically, the red-green-white tricolour had stayed the same for sure, differences might have occurred 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[citation needed] that from 1920-1944 or 1945 the tricolour displayed the minor arms of Hungary, but without help was used.

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

In 1949 the new Stalinist Hungarian arms were placed on the flag as the badge.

During the anti-Soviet uprising in 1956, revolutionaries cut out the Stalinist emblem and used the resulting tricolor 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 some years ago, that the coat of arms should be part of the state flag, while the national flag should remain plain (as is the status quo). This has legally not been implemented, though in case of most state use the arms are legally permitted on the flag (see below).

Exact Description and Legislature

The constitution does not state anything about the width:length ratio of the flag. However, (According to FOTW, see External Links) there is a law from 1957 which appears to be valid. It states that sea-going 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 the 1995 or 2000 law (see External Links)) of flags used on government building is 1:2.

Summarized this would mean:

  • 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 the pertainance to the nation, private persons can use the arms and the flag, keeping the limitations contained 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)
  • FIAV 000010.svg Unknown or unspecified; Hungary is landlocked, probably no state vessel.
  • 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) )


Hungarian flag 1867-1918, i.e. while part of Austria-Hungary  
Hungarian flag 1940[citation needed]-1945 with the Hungarian coat of arms which were re-adopted for use in Hungary's modern-day flag but in 1:2 size ratio.  
Hungarian flag between 1946-1949 and 1956-1957 with the Kossuth[citation needed] coat of arms.  
Hungarian flag 1949-1956, bearing the Communist Rákosi coat of arms.  
This flag, from which the Rákosi era coat of arms has been cut out, became the symbol of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution  
Unofficial Hungarian flag from 1957-1989 officially never included the Kádár era coat of arms; however, it was often depicted in this way  


Arpadflagga hungary.png

Flags with Árpád stripes were used in the Middle Ages by the Árpadian kings of Hungary. The Árpád stripes also appear in the flags of the Angevins and Matthias Corvinus. They were revived and used by the cavallery of Francis II Rákóczi.

Similar flags

Sovereign nations

  • The flag of Italy resembles the colors, but has its bands aligned vertically and starts with green. The order of colour is often confused when decorating merchandise and are actually Hungarian rather than Italian.
  • The flag of Bulgaria uses the same colors, but in a different order, replacing the blue of the Pan-Slavic colours with green.
  • The flag of Iran has the colours reversed (green white red) and wears the seal of Iran and some kufi text.
  • The flag of Tajikistan is also a horizontal tricolour of red, white and green, which are also the Pan-Iranian colors, but shows the emblem of Tajikistan in the middle white stripe, which is wider than the other two stripes; furthermore the green colour is a lighter green.

Non-sovereign entities

Obsolete flags

  • The flag of Ghana during the period from 1964 to 1966 was a horizontal tricolour of red, white and green, bearing a black five-pointed star.

External links



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