According to the Hungarian Constitution, the flag
of Hungary is a red-white-green tricolor. Red stands for strength,
White for faithfulness, and Green for hope. However, the tricolor
with the coat of arms in it is more or less used as the de facto
national state flag. The Coat of Arms, including the Crown of St
Stephen, were formally re-adopted as the "lesser arms"
by in 1990, while their inclusion on the flag was made official
under restricted circumstances in 1995.
heraldic right side of the 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.
After 1920, only theMátra range remained in Hungary. On the
hilltop, from an open crown, the "apostolic" double cross
emerges which was awarded by pope II. Sylvester to Saint Stephen,
the first Hungarian king (1000 A.D.), in recognition of his mission
to turn the pagan Hungarians to Christianity.
After the illegal communist takeover in 1948, the hated Rákosi
regime established a new flag, replacing millenia-old Hungarian
symbols with the Soviet-style communist red star and hammer.
of the first acts of defiance by Hungarian Freedom Fighters in 1956
was to tear out the communist symbols, leaving a "Hole in the
Flag." Others used the Kossuth Arms which symbolized Hungarian
democratic aspirations as seen in the earlier struggle in 1848.
These Kossuth Arms would appear on the sides of tanks fighting on
the side of a free Hungary.
After the brutal repression of the Hungarian revolt, a new puppet
government was established under Bela Kadar who established a new
flag, with a slightly "lighter" Soviet flavor.
In 1989, the communist regime finally collapsed for good. The Hungarian
tri-color and the historic coat of arms are back.
"October 23, 1956, is a day that will live forever in the
annals of free men and nations. It was a day of courage, conscience
and triumph. No other day since history began has shown more clearly
man’s eternally unquenchable desire to be free, whatever the
odds against success, whatever the sacrifice required." –
Senator John F. Kennedy, later USA President, Jan.1961-Nov.1963,
on the first anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution.
AHF's work regarding the tragic events nearly 50 years
ago, dates back to the early days of the revolution and
thereafter assisting tens of thousands of refugees. In 1956 the
American Hungarian Federation activated the second Hungarian Relief
program for the refugees of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, providing
$512,560.00. With the support of the American Hungarian Federation,
over 65,000 refugees arrived in the USA. Get involved and help us
continue our tradition of helping our community!
For more information about AHF, please contact email@example.com