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Hungary - Historical Military Flags (1919-1989)

Last modified: 2017-09-29 by zoltán horváth
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Overview

HONVÉD means soldier this is patriotic word. The word "katona" = soldier is neutral. The word "honvéd" = soldier means "the soldier who save our country". HON = homeland VÉD = save. The new Hungarian Army in 1848 was the Magyar Honvédség. The name of the Hungarian army: between 1867-1949 Magyar Honvédség, 1949-1989 Magyar Néphadsereg (Hungarian People's Army), 1989-now Magyar Honvédség.
The Budapesti Honvéd was the football-club of the army 1949-1989. Now the name of the FC. is Kispest-Honvéd FC
István Molnár, 25 November 2000

"VÉD" actually means to guard.  So, the term more correctly means "Home Guard". 
Georges Kovari, 27 November 2000

Antonio Martins asked: "Shouldn't the shade of red also be lighter, like in the hungarian national flag?"
The answer is no. This red is the "colour of the International Labour Movement". In Hungarian this red is "vörös", the red of the national flag is "piros".
István Molnár, 4 December 2000


Commander-in-Chief of the "Stromwache" (Generalkaptänsflagge der Stormwache), 1919-1944


image by Željko Heimer, 5 November 2001

Flaggenbuch [neu92] regarding to Hungary (pages 177 and 178): Commander-in-Chief of the "Stormwache" (Generalkaptänsflagge der Stormwache) - As merchant flag with white border with red and green wolf-teeth. This one has size specification as 100 x 150 cm, with border width 10 cm.
Željko Heimer, 5 November 2001

In fact it is spelt "Stromwache" on Flaggenbuch 1939, meaning "River Guard" in German.
Miles Li, 05 March 2016

The word "Strom" means in this context as a river.
Source: https://books.google.de/books/about/Donau_Marineure_und_die_k%c3%b6niglich_ungar.html?id=yGYAfAEACAAJ&redir_esc=y
In the Free State of Danzig there was also a Küsten- und Stromwache (Coast and River Guard). The guard was a branch of the Harbour Authority (Correct spelling: Flagge des Auschusses für den Hafen und die Wasserwege von Danzig)

I propose to publish also the Hungarian name of the authority.
There are the book: Haditengerészek és FolyamÖrÖk a Dunan 1870-1945 - Donau-Marineure und die kÖniglich-ungarische Stromwache 1870-1945
Jens Pattke, 06 March 2016

The correct term for Stromwache (as organization) is "Folyamõrség" in Hungarian. Folyamõr (or folyamõrÖk in plural) means member(s) of this force. But the term in German title of the book was the official name, it is "Magyar Királyi Folyamõrség" in Hungarian.
Zoltan Horvath, 06 March 2016


Senior Officer Afloat 1919-1944


image by Željko Heimer, 6 November 2001

Adopted: 1919. Abandoned: 1944. The senior officer's pennant is a tricolour trinagular pennant.
Željko Heimer

Flaggenbuch [neu92] regarding to Hungary (pages 177 and 178): Senior Officer Afloat. (Dienstaltersstander.) Triangular pennant horizontally divided in RWV. 60x80 cm.
Željko Heimer, 5 November 2001


War Pennant 1919-1944


image by Željko Heimer, 6 November 2001

Adopted: 1919. Abandoned: 1944. The pennant is in shape of a long tricolour triangle.
Željko Heimer

Flaggenbuch [neu92] regarding to Hungary (pages 177 and 178): Masthead Pennant - Triangular pennant of the national tricolour. 10 x 300 cm.
Željko Heimer, 5 November 2001


Bocskai István Hajdú Regiment (1920)

Flag of the Royal Hungarian Bocskay Istva'n 11th Haiduk regiment (Debrecen), 1920:
"After the shock of World War I and the revolutions the society had to face the consequences of the Trianon peace treaty as well. The country that had lost the two thirds of its territory and had become internationally isolated, grasped its glorious past and turned to its symbols. The tendency may be followed in connection with the National Army's and the Royal Hungarian Army's system of emblems.
The troop flag, the basic symbol of the army, was formed considering the traditions. The 1920 flag of the Bocskai István hajdú regiment recalls the Home Guard flags of 1848, even if the embroidered decoration made by patriotic women is unusual. With the 1938 flag decree the spirit of 1848 was restored and Holy Mary replaced on the flags, although tongues of flame were used instead of triangles in the trimming, following the Hungarian method of the l8th century. The claim of territorial revision was suggested by the use of the medium coat of arms of Hungary only however, this was quite obvious for those who were familiar with heraldry."
Source: Sword and Wreath. Hungarian Military Symbols of the Last Millenium. Exhibition Guide. Museum of Military History of Hungary; Budapest
István Molnár, 5 June 2001


Infantry Standard 1938


image by István Molnár, 24 June 2001

Description: "15. Infantry standard M 1938 -  This infantry standard was used in World War II. It was manufactured following the pattern of honvéd flags, however, in place of the trimming triangles (`teeth') there are tongues of flame, which had been applied from the l8th century on. The coat of arms on the flag is the Hungarian national arms used by the army between the two World Wars". Reconstruction based on this picture at <www.geocities.com/zaszlok/Muzeum>.
István Molnár, 24 June 2001

Here is photos of the Military Unit Flag 1938 M type and its reverse side. See also photo of Hungarian military flag (reverse side) and Regent Horthy.
István Molnár, 24 January 2002 and 1 February 2006


War Flag 1949-1989

The historical war flag of Hungary is the white with red and green wolf-teeth flags charged with the actual CoA and on the other side with St. Mary. Between 1949-1989 the field of the flag was red and the wolfteeth were white and green, and of course the reverse side there was no St. Mary. You could saw on the flag the "Kossuth-CoA" which is the CoA without crown.
István Molnár, 9 November 2000


1949-1956 Flag


image by István Molnár, 3 December 2000

This image based on a TV program about the Institut and Museum of the Military History. The coat of arms from Željko pages, but I corrected the blue colours. On the description: light blue, like the sky.
Those flags were used in 1949-1956.
István Molnár, 3 December 2000

1956 Uprising


imagr by István Molnár, 21 March 2001

Today I was in the museum "House of Terror", Budapest (see <www2.terrorhaza.hu>). I found the flag of the 26th infantry regiment (Nagykanizsa) from 1956 with hole.
István Molnár, 21 March 2001


1957-1989 Flag


image by István Molnár, 3 December 2000

I located a photo of Hungarian People's Republic-era military color at <www.bjkmf.hu>. The text is in Hungarian. A bigger image (144 Kb) is at <www.bjkmf.hu/history/feg.jpg>.
David Fowler, 24 September 1999

This is a guess, but I think it goes about a kind of military music school - or military orchestra or something. Anyway, it is showing how Hungarians maintained their flag tradition in communist times too.
Željko Heimer, 24 September 1999

I am Hungarian and can give information on the native language sources, in this case about the red 1960's military flag fringed in the national colours with the communist emblem in the middle, off of a Hungarian language website. Instead of a music school (probably mistaked the word Muszaki for music) it actually is a technical school, and this particular flag was the adopted flag of the 4th district weapons and military gas equipment plant belonging to this technical/ordnance school. Also the red color most likely signifies the communist era, and at that time all the traditionally white war flags with the red/green fringe were changed to red flags but maintained a nationalistic green and white fringe
Mark Kasaroczky , 3 December 1999

This image based on a TV program about the Institut and Museum of the Military History. The coat of arms from Željko pages, but I corrected the blue colours. On the description: light blue, like the sky.
Those flags were used in 1957-1989.
István Molnár, 3 December 2000

At EBay there is "Rare Hungarian Army Flag - Soviet Era: Here is a rare Hugarian army flag used during the Communist era.  It is double sided with the same image on a heavy cotton with elaborate and carfully stiched embroidery.
Photos here and here.
Rob Raeside, 8 June 2002

Fleet Patrol Flag


image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 9 March 2009

It is a red flag with a bordure of alternating white and green isosceles triangles. The coat of arms of the People’s Republic of Hungary is shifted to the hoist. Source: [ped79a]; p.45
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 9 March 2009

Senior Commander's Pennant


image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 9 March 2009

It is a red flag with green  triangles in each corner and a bordure of alternating white and green isosceles triangles. The coat of arms of the People’s Republic of Hungary is shifted to the hoist.
Source: [ped79a]; p.45
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 9 March 2009

When I googled some images about Hungarian military flags, I came across this picture. It was the Senior Commander's Pennant in pre-1990 period.
It was reported as Supreme Commander Pennant by Klaus-Michael in 2009, but I think this title is misleading, because it was the former Senior Commander's Pennant.
Zoltan Horvath, 04 October 2014


Munkásőrség (1957-1989)

Flag of one organisaton of the Munkásőrség (1957-1989) ia at <mek.oszk.hu>. Munkásőrség (Magyarországon) was  the paramilitary Workers Militia/Guard.
István Molnár, 26 January 2006

Here is a photo of the symbol of the Munkásőrség taken by me at the Hungarian National Museum.
István Molnár, 20 February 2006


Flags at the Museum of the Hungarian Military History

Here are photos of flags from the 20th century that I took during my visit at the Museum of the Hungarian Military History:

  • The flag of the Szekely Division (1919) and the detail of this flag. The inscription: KOLOZSVÁRI MAGYAR NEMZETŐRCSAPAT (HUNGARIAN HOMEGUARDS TROOP OF KOLOZSVÁR)
  • The flag of the 31st Red Regiment (1919). The inscription: VILÁG PROLETÁRJAI EGYESÜLJETEK! (ALL PROLETARS OF THE WORLD UNITE!)
  • The flag of the 3rd International Red Regiment (1919). The inscription: 3 SZÁMÚ ÖNÁLLÓ NEMZETKÖZI VÖRÖS EZRED (3rd SEPARATED INTERNATIONAL RED REGIMENT)
  • The flag of 1st Hussar Regiment ("I. FERENC JÓZSEF" 'jászkun') (1921)
  • Government Guards - Udvarlaki Őrség (before 1944) - The flag, the detail, the edge and a corner.
  • Revisionist (?) flag before 1944 (??) from the Royal Hungarian Armed Force's Museum, Toronto, Canada. The inscription: "ÉLETÜNKET ÉS VÉRÜNKET - NAGYMAGYARORSZÁGÉRT (OUR LIFE AND BLOOD - FOR GREAT HUNGARY) and the detail of this flag.
  • Military flag 1957-1989. The insciption: "ÉLENJÁRÓ SZÁZAD (LEADING COMPANY}"
  • Memorial flag (country flag type) from the Royal Hungarian Armed Force's Museum, Toronto, Canada. The inscription: MAGYAR A MAGYARÉRT - STUTTGART 1953. MÁRC. 15. (HUNGARIANS FOR HUNGARIANS - STUTTGART 1953. MARCH 15).

István Molnár, 17 March 2006