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Budapest (Hungary)

Budapest Fõváros

Last modified: 2023-07-03 by
Keywords: hungary | budapest | buda | pest | lion | castle | danube |
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1:2 variant
by István Molnár, 9 April 2001

2:3 variant
by Antonio Martins, 25 October 2000

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Description of the Flag

Horizontally divided red-yellow-blue with the city's coat of arms in the center. The blue shade is very bright and strong (like Sweden's) and the flag appears to be 3:2. The coat of arms has the same crest as on the national and the shield is red, a wave silver horizontally dividing two castles, representing Buda and Pest -- the castles are not regular heraldic ones, but a (styled) representation of actual monuments. Two golden lions rampant support the shield. Budapest is combined from two major parts: Buda - on the western bank of the Danube, and Pest - on the eastern bank of the Danube. Both parts were united in 1872 to one city.
Antonio Martins , 9 May 1997

There were several reports that the blue stipe was replaced by green one. It seems that this is not so.
Zeljko Heimer , 10 May 1997

The flag of the city of Budapest, Hungary, is shown here as being a horizontal tricolor of red-yellow-blue. However, in the Crampton book "The Complete Guide to Flags," the flag of Budapest is described as "3 horizontal stripes of red, yellow, and green with the city arms in the center" on page 64. Did the flag design change between the book's printing (1989) and the observations (1997)?
Randy Young, 29 January 1999

IIRC, some groups (if they were organized groups at all?) wnated Budapest flag to change from blue to green, due to the similarity, as they put it, with the flag of Romania and possibility of misinterpretation due to that. To my understanding the issue was rather irrational and nationalisticly coloured, and I guess that the officials did not take it seriously. In any case, flags with blue are still used, as I can testify, as well as some others that visited Budapest recently. As far as I know green version was never used. The issue was raised in early 90's.
Red yellow and blue are colours taken from the Budapest CoA, which is red with blue wavy bar and two castles one on each side (a bit different, one to represent Buda and other Pest, the two cities that Budapest is formed of, with Danube in the middle). Since blue wavy line represent river Danube, it is hard to interpret it as green.
However, I would not claim that "before my time" there was not a different flag for Budapest, as I lack full information.
Zeljko Heimer, 31 January 1999

Budapest came into existence in Fall 1873 out of three former cities: ?buda (lit. "Old Buda"), Buda, and Pest. The new flag for the new capital was designed based on the Hungarian red-white-green tricolor: white became yellow and green became blue. The red-yellow-blue tricolor with the city CoA remained the flag of Budapest until the end of WW I (probably until 1920), when it was officially changed to red-yellow-green with CoA. Namely, in Fall/Winter 1919, after the collapse of the Soviet Republic, along with the annexion of Transsylvania, the Partium, the Banat, and Eastern Hungary, Romanian troops occupied Budapest. Their blue-yellow-red tricolor became extremely unwelcome in the capital. For this reason, Governor Horthy (actually, he was elected in March 1920) ordered the above mentioned change of the blue color. After WW II, almost all county and city flags were abolished (an exception is Szeged, which used its city flag--Communist version--in the 1980s). After liberation, in or around 1990, the new city council decided to re-establish the original, 1873 flag. From that time on, the state flag or the national flag is (almost) always hoisted along with the Budapest flag.
David N. Biacsi, 4 Febuary 1999

The flag was adopted in 30th September 1990 by the Soviet of the Capital (before the elections of the councils).The correct flag (that I know) is the 1:2 version.
István Molnár, 12 October 2000 and 9 April 2001

The change of the colours (blue/green) was in 1930! The red-yellow-blue flag was used 1873-1930.
The red-yellow-green flag was used 1930-1946/1950. The present flag is the red-yellow-blue from 1989.
István Molnár, 19 October 2000

Variant Without the Arms

[Budapest flag]
by Antonio Martins, 28 Febuary 2001

The flag without the arms is also in use.
Zeljko Heimer , 10 May 1997

The official version is the 2:3
István Molnár, 27 May 2001

Vertical Flag

by István Molnár, 9 April 2001

Flag in Use

by István Molnár, 27 August 2001

Flying flag at the Conquest Statue, Opusztaszer NHP. Ratio: 3:1. The width of the CoA is the 1/3 of the width of the flag. The CoAs is on the 1/3 of the flag's height.
István Molnár, 27 August 2001

Coat of Arms

from <>, located by István Molnár, 12 October 2000

The CoA and the flag were adopted in 30th September 1990 by the Soviet of the Capital (before the elections of the councils).
István Molnár, 12 October 2000

Flags at St. Stephen (Szent István) Basilica

The St. Stephen (Szent Istvan) basilica construction started in 1848, stopped immediatly, was resumed in 1851 after the War of Independence, followed by the immediate death of the two architects, and even the dome collapsed during the works. The church was finally consecrated in 1905, and in 1931 it was awarded the title 'basilica minor' by the Holy See. The right hand of Stephen I, the first Hungarian king, the 'Holy Right', is preserved here in a shrine exposed in a side chapel close to the church entrance.
Three flags are displayed in the chapel:

- the Hungarian national flag with coat of arms and golden fringe, inproportion 1:2

- a vertical banner of proportion 2:1, vertically divided red and green, with a white Hungarian cross with curved edges. Flag has a golden fringe on the lower edge. Looks like a typical procession banner.

- a rectangular banner of proportion 1:2, horizontally divided yellow and blue, charged in the middle with Coat of Arms. I am not so sure of the charge, since it was rather dark.

The Holy Right is paraded by the faithful each 20st August, and I guess the three flags are involved in the ceremony.

Historical informations are from the Budapest guide, released by the Tourism Office of Budapest.
Ivan Sache, 14 October 2000

The "Hungarian cross flag" is the flag of the Saint Stephen Order of Knighthood (in Hungarian: Szent István Lovagrend). The yellow-blue flag is the flag of Budapest V. district - Belváros-Lipótváros.
István Molnár, 16 October 2000

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