Last modified: 2023-07-03 by dov gutterman
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Here is a page with approximately all historical Coat of Arms of Hungary. Shields are not really historicals and for 1868-1918 it shows the middle Coat of Arms.
István Molnár, 17 April and 1 July 2001
Countries on the used Coat of Arms:
1848-1849 small Hungary
1848-1849 middle Hungary, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Transylvania
1849-1860 no Coat of Arms
1867-1882 small Hungary
1867-1882 middle Hungary, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Transylvania
1882-1915 small Hungary
1882-1915 middle Hungary, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Transylvania, Fiume
1915-1918 small Hungary
1915-1918 middle Hungary, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Transylvania, Fiume, Bosnia
1918-1919 small Hungary (without crown)
1919 red star
1919-1946 small Hungary
1938-1944 middle Hungary, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Transylvania, Fiume, Bosnia (only on war flags)
1946-1949 small Hungary (without crown)
1949-1956 Rákosi Coat of Arms
1956-1957 small Kossuth type Coat of Arms
1957-1989 Kádár Coat of Arms
Since 1989 - small Hungary (with crown)
Istvan Molnar, 25 June 2001
The Coat of Arms of Hungary today was used before the 1848/49 Revolution and War of Independence too. It was used in different form in different shield. It was the "little Hungarian Coat of Arms".
After the dethronement - April 1849 - there used the Coat of Arms without the Crown, but it was not official.
After the defeat in the war of Independence, people of Hungary used this Coat of Arms (Coat of Arms without crown) as 'Kossuth Coat of Arms'.
In 1849-1867 Hungary was under direct Austrian occupation. After 1867, a compromise (between Hungary and the Habsburgs) made the Coat of Arms of Hungary became the Coat of Arms that is used today (as the little Coat of Arms).
In November 1918 the new government removed the crown. In April 1919 the red government removed the national symbols. After the fall of the communist regime the little Coat of Arms was renewed and it was used until 1946, except under the Szálasi regime.
In 1946-1948 the Coat of Arms of Hungary was the little Coat of Arms without the crown.
In 1948-1949 they used the little Coat of Arms in Baroque style shield (named Kossuth Coat of Arms).
In 1949-1956 they used the Rákosi Coat of Arms.
In 1956-1957 they used the Kossuth Coat of Arms but it was not official - I didn't find any resolution about it.
In 1957-1989 they used the Kádár Coat of Arms.
In 1989-1990 the people used the small Coat of Arms with or without the crown. The conservative parties (FKGP, MDF, KDNP) wanted the small Coat of Arms with the crown, the liberal parties (SZDSZ and FIDESZ (?)) wanted the small Coat of Arms without the crown. The Parliament of Hungary readopted the small Coat of Arms with the crown in 1990. Hungarian 'small' Coat of Arms (using in this shield form from 1886) was used therfore before 1848-1849, 1867-1918, 1919-1946, 1990-today.
Kossuth Coat of Arms (using in different shield form): 1849, 1918-1919, 1946- 1948.
Kossuth Coat of Arms (using in "classic" shield form): 1948-1949, 1956-1957.
Rákosi Coat of Arms: 1949-1956.
Kádár Coat of Arms: 1957-1989.
István Molnár, 5 April 2006
image from <www.fortunecity.com/victorian/wooton/34/hungary/kosscim.gif>, located by István Molnár
See also <www.fortunecity.com/victorian/wooton/34/hungary/kosscim.html>.
István Molnár, 11 November 2000
You can find a Kossuth Coat of Arms on the page of the Hungarian Freedom Fighters Federation <www.hungaria.org>. If you click on the shield, you can find a larger and beautiful one and a description:
"This is the so-called "Kossuth Coat of Arms", as introduced by Louis Kossuth, Governing President of Hungary, in 1849. The Kossuth Coat of Arms is based on the "Small Coat of Arms" of Hungary which was determined by a Royal Order in February 9. 1874, confirmed in 1895 and 1916. The two major differences between the Kossuth Coat of Arms and the Small Coat of Arms of Hungary are that the Kossuth Coat of Arms.
1./ has a more distinct shield-like outline
2./ does not carry the Hungarian Holy Crown on the top.
The heraldic right side of the Kossuth Coat of Arms is divided by red and white stripes seven times representing the seven Hungarian tribes that arrived in Transylvania in 896 A.D. and are called the "Árpád-stripes". The four white stripes represent the four main rivers of the historic Hungary: Duna, Tisza, Dráva, Száva. On the heraldic left side, the three green hills represent the three main mountains of the historic Hungary: Tátra, Fátra, Mátra. On the middle hilltop, from an open crown, the "apostolic" double cross emerges which was awarded by pope II. Sylvester to I. Saint Stephen, the first Hungarian king (1000 A.D.), in recognition of his mission to turn the pagan Hungarians to Christianity. The red background, the white "apostolic" cross and the green hills constitute the colours of the Hungarian national flag: red, white and green. On March 15, 1848, the Hungarian Liberation Fight erupted against the Habsburg oppression. The first Hungarian Government was formed led by the first Hungarian Prime Minister, count Louis Batthyány. The "Small Coat of Arms of Hungary" was re-instituted, even though Hungary was a republic now. In December 1848, Habsburg Emperor Ferdinand V, reigning in Hungary as well, resigned and Franz Joseph became the new Emperor. The Hungarian Government declared Franz Joseph's proclamation as being the Hungarian king illegal and, as a result, dethroned the Habsburg Dynasty from the Hungarian throne. Louis Kossuth was appointed as Governing President of Hungary. Hungary was confirmed again as a republic and Louis Kossuth, as one of his new measures, established a new Coat of Arms for Hungary, which did not have the Hungarian Holy Crown on the top. This formation is known the "Kossuth Coat of Arms" which later has become associated with the general idea of freedom fight for Hungary (e.g., the freedom fighters during the Hungarian uprising in 1956 also used the Kossuth Coat of Arms as their insignia).
It may be controversial why Louis Kossuth removed the Hungarian Holy Crown from the Small Coat of Arms of Hungary. It could be theorized that he wanted to emphasize that Hungary is not a kingdom anymore, but it probably would have been better if he does not touch the Holy Crown. The Hungarians are, as they have always been, very sensitive about their crown. They do not necessarily look at the Holy Crown as the representation of the official state administration as a kingdom, but, according to the Holy Crown Theory, they consider the Holy Crown as the representation, the embodiment of entire Hungary, as a Father Land. Something which is above anything, be it an emperor, a king or the official state of administration; something which is from God, in which Hungary, as an entity resides.
Whatever was Kossuth's assumption for removing the Holy Crown from the coat of arms, he later overwhelmingly proved that, as every good Hungarian, he is aware of and respects the importance of the Holy Crown. He kept it in special care, protected by guards, rescued it from Budapest to Debrecen, in January 1849, and when the Hungarian Liberation Fight eventually fell in 1849, it was him who hid the Hungarian Holy Crown and the Coronation Jewels into a wooden box and dug it in a willow forest, near Orsova, Transylvania.
He showed that the Hungarian Holy Crown was as important to him as it is to all of us, Hungarians, because he knew what we all know that the Holy Crown is everything, the dearest for us all, something that we love, respect and protect with all of our power.
András Szeitz, University of British Columbia
image by Željko Heimer
The "Rákosi Coat of Arms" was used in 1949-1956. see Rákosi's Flag (1949-1956)
István Molnár, 11 November 2000
image by Željko Heimer
The "Kádár Coat of Arms" was used in 1957-1989 (1990). see Kádár's Flag (1957-1989)
István Molnár, 11 November 2000
Here is a scan of this Coat of Arms from a book called "Flaggor i färg" (swedish title) though it is written by a Dane. The danish title would be "Flag i farver". The english title would be "Flags in coulor". The author is called Christian Fogd Pedersen. The copy that I have was printed in Sweden in 1981 by the publishing house Almqvist & Wiksell Förlag AB, Stockholm, Sweden.The first issue was printed in Denmark in 1978 by the publishing house Politikens Forlag, Křbenhavn(Copenhagen), Denmark.
Björn Mattsson, 15 June 2002
image by István Molnár, 2 December 2002
16 October 1944 - 8 May 1945 - Hungary was under direct German controll. The Hngarian Quisling was Ferenc Szálasi, "the leader of the nation".
This version of the Hungarian Coat of Arms was in official use from 27 January 1945 to 8 May 1945 only in the German occupied Hungarian territories later in Germany.
This version of the Coat of Arms was in official use on the State Seal. Around the Coat of Arms there is an inscription: 'MAGYARORSZÁG NEMZETVEZETOJE' means 'THE LEADER OF THE NATION OF HUNGARY'.
Resolution: 23/1945.M.E - This resolution modified the 3970/1915. M.E. resolution about the Hungarian State Coat of Arms and The Hungarian State Seal.
Source: Hivatalos Közlöny 6. szám 1945. január 27., Sopron - in Gosztonyi Péter: A magyar honvédség a második világháborúban (The Hungarian Army in the WWII); Európa Könyvkiadó, Budapest, 1995
István Molnár, 2 December 2002