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Budapest - Flag between 1989 and 2011 (Hungary)

Last modified: 2023-06-03 by zachary harden
Keywords: hungary | budapest | buda | pest | lion | castle | danube |
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1:2 variant
image by István Molnár, 9 April 2001

2:3 variant
image by Antonio Martins, 25 October 2000

Use of flag is abandoned on 24 February 2011 by Mayor of City of Budapest

See also:

Other Sites:

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 stripe was replaced by green one. It seems that this is not so.
Željko 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?) wanted 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 nationalistically 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 coat of arms, 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.
Željko Heimer, 31 January 1999

Budapest came into existence in Fall 1873 out of three former cities: Óbuda (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 coat of arms remained the flag of Budapest until the end of WW I (probably until 1920), when it was officially changed to red-yellow-green with coat of arms. Namely, in Fall/Winter 1919, after the collapse of the Soviet Republic, along with the annexation 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 February 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

Plain Flag

[Budapest flag]
image by Antonio Martins, 28 Febuary 2001

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

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

Vertical Flag

image by István Molnár, 9 April 2001

Other Variants

image by István Molnár, 27 August 2001

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

image by Johnny Andersson, 23 April 2007

I came across this variant of the flag at <>. Colours in my image are approximate. Size of the arms is almost the height of the yellow stripe.
Johnny Andersson, 23 April 2007

Flags on the ceiling of Párizsi Nagyáruház in Budapest

image located by Santiago Dotor, 13 January 2013

I recently came across this picture of a painting (by Lotz Károly) on the ceiling of the Paris Department Store (Párizsi Nagyáruház) of Budapest. To my surprise, it shows two flags, one in the Hungarian colours but another in the Romanian colours, horizontally placed however. I have searched for such a flag in the Hungarian pages of FOTW unsuccessfully. Any idea what it can be?
Santiago Dotor, 13 January 2013

That was the old, recently replaced flag of Budapest.
Alex Danes, 17 January 2013