Arpad-striped flagMon, 2010-05-03 19:46
The truth, sooner or later, comes to light regardless whom it may serve.
Since the antigovernment demonstrations are taking place on a regular basis, the waving of the red and white striped flag, which is the flag of the first Hungarian Dynasty, became very popular. This flag is popularly called the "Árpád-stripes". So the use of the oldest Hungarian flag from the eleventh century, next to the official Hungarian red-white-green tricolor, and the more and more accepted flag from 1956 of which the communist insignia was torn out caused an antipathy on the part of some people. This situation may be suitable to generate hatred, was exploited by certain political groups for their own interests. They started a defamation campaign against the Árpád-stripes flag, as they did earlier against other sacred symbols of the nation. I am convinced that the flag of the House of Árpád will overcome these attacks -- just like the Turul did (the mythological bird of Hungarian sagas), or the Holy Crown of Hungary have done. These symbols are part of our national heritage; they are parts of our Hungarian roots strengthening our self-esteem.
So the truth will win sooner or later, because the truth does not depend on to whom it could be an advantage.
During the past fifty years or so the history teaching in our country cannot be characterized as truthful or satisfactory to the need of Hungary. The country had even a minister of education, who wanted to abolish the final examination of history in the high schools. If the future generations do not know their own history, they will be "easier to handle", to manipulate and used by the political forces for their own interests.
The boundless and hateful debate over the Árpád-stripes flag, is fueled by the ongoing demonstrations for months now. My own knowledge in the history of the Hungarian flags was not deep enough, so I decided to search for facts especially around the so-called flag of the "Árpád-stripes".
The opponents of the flag alleged in unison that the Arrow-Cross (party) used the flag of the Árpád-stripes with a white space in its center, circular or rhombic in which they placed their green arrow-cross. According to them, the flag symbolizes the historical times when the Arrow-cross took power, killed innocent Jews or carried them to concentration camps simply on the ground of their religion. And this flag generates fear in those who survived this tragedy. They went even as far as to prohibit the use of this flag by the demonstrators, based on their preconceived notion that the demonstrators are actually neo-nazis and that is why they carry this flag.
The others defending the "Árpád-flag" declared also in unison that according to the rules of heraldic the flag used by the Arrow-cross is not identical to the royal flag of the House of Árpád being one of the historical flags of Hungary because the symbol used by the party (the so-called arrow-cross) makes it to an entirely different entity. According to the heraldic, the symbol appearing in a flag is the sign that turns the flag into another one.
I searched according to the above for the "/flag of the Árpád-stripes used by the Arrow-cross party/" which could fit the place of the flag of the arrow-cross, the party of F. Szálasi or which would be identical to this. I searched in libraries for weeks, looked through an endless number of photographs of museums depicting the flag of the "arrow-cross", have spoken with internationally renowned experts on the theme and was flabbergasted seeing the real facts.
Because I could not find anywhere that flag which was and still is the subject of the dispute.
I have found as the result of my search, however, two flags used by the "Arrow-cross" and which were not made known by the public to this day.
Written records describing the symbols of the Arrow-cross
The reign of the Arrow-cross party lasted from the 16th of October, 1944 to April 4, 1945. At that time the Soviet Army completed the occupation of Hungary. The symbols of the Arrow-cross were prohibited and destroyed from that time on. The flag of the Arrow-cross and their symbol were not state but a party's symbols, and because of it they were never described in the official Gazette of the Hungarian State. On this basis, the American pinstripes could be characterized as nazi or fascist, because some extremists to this day, still using the swastika in conjunction with it or with the American Coat of Arms.
Even the Arrow-cross party's internal papers are void of any official description of their flag, of their armband or of the signs, emblems or colors chosen by them. There is no description or explanation of their origin either.
The legitimate question thus arises -- what can be accepted as proof?
I have found during my research some photographs of the flag of the Arrow-cross. I have found also the book: "Szálasi's Journey through the Country" by Emil Csonka, in which there is a rich selection of pictures depicting clearly the flags used by the Arrow-cross. I also found three pictures in the Picture Library of the National Museum documenting the same.
The Arrow-cross used two differing flags during their reign -- both using a red background
1.- The earlier one was a red flag similar to the flag of the Germans at that time. It had a white circle in its middle and a green cross ending in arrows in it (the popularly called "arrow-cross".)
This flag may be termed characteristic and is visible on many photographs. There are pictures in the collection of the National Museum, which also proves this. –
2.- The flag in use later -- according to the information received from the Museum of Military History -- from 1942 onwards, is the "classic Arrow-cross flag" according to historians. This flag is rectangle lying on its long side divided into three equal parts. The part closest to the flagpole is red with a white rhombus standing on its apex in the middle. In the white field stands the green arrow-cross running out to the points of the white field.
In the center of the cross there is a white capital letter H. In the remaining two thirds of the red flag there are 4 horizontal white stripes equally spaced, thus it forms 9 equal stripes starting with red and ending with a red stripe. The classic Árpád-striped flag has eight stripes, four red and four white starting with the red and has no insignia of any kind. The Arrow-cross flag is shown in the picture from the National Museum.
The book by Emil Csonka: "Szálasi's Journey through the Country" contains some very interesting pictorial documents. There are a number of pictures showing the arrow-cross people marching in the street with their flags. The pictures in the book prove that the flag of the "Arrow-cross" cannot be mistaken for the flag of the "Árpád-stripes". It is clearly visible that the arrow-cross is in the red rectangle nearest to the flagpole and the rest of the flag is divided into alternating stripes of red and white starting and ending in a red stripe, i.e. the white stripes are set up on the red backing material.
The "Arrow-cross Flag" upon which the present polemics are based cannot be found in any of the documents available. We can arrive through the Google search program on the internet to Wikipedia showing a drawing of such a flag, but this can not be taken as serious proof.
The Encyclopedia of Flags by Alfred Znamierowski is a serious study trying to depict all the flags of the world. This book shows also the flag of the Arrow-cross party, which is red with a white circle in its center. In this white circle is the arrow-cross but this is black not green.
In a study of Tibor Dömötörfi in the periodical "História" from 2003 he summarizes the theme: "The state Coat of Arms of the Hungarists helped to power by the Germans in October 1944 was the "small shield with the Crown where they placed a capital H below it and the arrow-cross. The plans of the "Arrow-cross" contained also the idea of regularly using the flag of the Árpád-stripes as "old Hungarian national flag" together with the national tricolor, but they never had the time to introduce this. The use of arrow-cross flags and banners became a habit from 1930 onwards. These had two types." (p. 38 of the quoted.)
The two flags mentioned by him are identical to the ones described by us earlier.
The arrow-cross flag described as "classic" was the lying rectangle divided in three and the armband used from 1942 according to the Museum of Military History. They used two types of armbands. Their form followed the described flags.
When we study the initials of the "Képes Krónika" (the Pictorial Chronicle of the second half of the 1300s) we often see the Coat of Arms of the House of Árpád or their flags by the kings. It appeared first on the shields and later on the flags. The field of the Árpád-stripes of the flag or shield representing the royal family shows only eight stripes on every occasion.
The Árpád-sripes can be seen on the shields, on the flags, on the garments worn or on the decorations of the tents. The history of shields, armor, flags and seals shows - for me at least - that the specific sign or figure in the shield or flag turning this symbol into an individual creation can or may not run out to the edge of the item, i.e. it may not touch the outer border of the coat of arms in a flag -- according to the rules of heraldic.
This is a very important point in the analysis of the arrow-cross flag. Their flag used from 1942 on also shows so-called Árpád-stripes, but the party's symbol is not set into the striped part of the flag. Furthermore, the rectangle forming the first third of the whole flag is the red field bearing the symbol of the Arrow-cross party, but the symbol cannot be considered as the sign of the party or as the coat of arms because it fills the whole area of the red field. It is touching the upper and lower edges of the red flag. It is a flag on its own. The so-called
Árpád-striped two thirds of the flag is the continuation of the red background on which four white stripes are applied. Thus this arrow-cross flag should not be mistaken for the Árpád-stripes.
Summarizing the documented facts one can conclude that the two types of the arrow-cross flags are not the same or may not be taken for the flag of the Árpád-stripes. It is important also in the evaluation that during the latter part of the Kádár regime - which could not be characterized as a free system - between 1984-1986 - the line of historical flags of Hungary was accepted. It included the striped flag of Árpád. And it was not considered even by mistake as a flag used by the arrow-cross people. János Kádár could not be termed anti-Semite by any measure. In his time even a series of postal stamps were brought into circulation, honoring the historical flags of Hungary. Amongst them was the 40 fillér denomination depicting the flag of the Árpád-stripes.
Finally we can state that the flag with the Árpád-stripes is a historical flag, it was never the flag of the Hungarian Nazis (the Arrow-cross party). Likewise the flag of the Arrow-cross party with the mounted white stripes on it is not the flag of the House of Árpád. The two flags are separate and different. Therefore, it could not be, and should not be considered as one and the same flags.
*The historical flag of the Árpád-stripes is the flag of that Hungarian royal family that gave more saints to Christianity than any other European Dynasty. The protection and honor of this flag, the acceptance of the historical facts would be the proper end of the discussion.*
I propose to all who do not wish to believe me, they should study the facts. I hope, I could help a little all those who did not know this part of history or all those who were misled by false allegations.
The use of the swastikas as national symbols or on flags
While there is a concentrated effort to smear the flag of the House of Árpád, there is no mention of the fact that back in the 1930-s there was an organization in the United States of America, which used the swastika on the red-white pinstripes. Not only that, the swastika was painted on some military airplanes, and was used as a symbol on the uniform of some military units. In the Soviet Union, the swastika appeared on some banknotes, and designated for a certain military ranking. Once Hitler instituted its use, they stopped to the use of it in those two countries. No one mentions ether, that Mussolini has used the Italian Fasces, which is a Roman symbol – twigs held together by hand –, today it is used by a large European country. So the double standard should be stopped, and criticism should be applied evenly. If the 900 hundred year old Hungarian striped-flag (eight stripes) could be smeared as nazi or fascist, because the Hungarian Arrow-Cross party used similar, but not same striped (nine strips) flag, in conjunction wit other symbols as it was described, then this kind of outrageous and baseless reasoning could be applied to the American flag, too. The most disheartening of the whole sorrow affair is that some of the elected Hungarian officials are also taking part in this distasteful campaign.
I should mention also that the swastika is an ancient symbol. Its use goes back to the Neolithic, representing the Sun and the rebirth of nature.
On national holidays and demonstrations, the flag of the House of Árpád is being used for two reasons: It is the oldest known Hungarian flag, so it stands for the history of the country. The other reason is, because large segments of the Hungarian population are dissatisfied with the present government, which is led by a self-admitted liar. The anti-Jewish connotation of the demonstrators is false and baseless.
Translated by Szabolcs v. Hajdú (20th May 2007.) and Homicsko Krisztián and Radics Géza (2007.aug.)