This is the so-called "Kossuth Coat of Arms", as introduced by Louis Kossuth, Governing President of Hungary, in 1849. The Kossuth Coat of Arms is based on the "Small Coat of Arms" of Hungary which was determined by a Royal Order in February 9. 1874, confirmed in 1895 and 1916. The two major differences between the Kossuth Coat of Arms and the Small Coat of Arms of Hungary are that the Kossuth Coat of Arms

1./ has a more distinct shield-like outline
2./ does not carry the Hungarian Holy Crown on the top.

The heraldic right side of the Kossuth 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. On the middle hilltop, from an open crown, the "apostolic" double cross emerges which was awarded by pope II. Sylvester to I. Saint Stephen, the first Hungarian king (1000 A.D.), in recognition of his mission to turn the pagan Hungarians to Christianity. The red background, the white "apostolic" cross and the green hills constitute the colours of the Hungarian national flag: red, white and green.

On March 15, 1848, the Hungarian Liberation Fight erupted against the Habsburg oppression. The first Hungarian Government was formed led by the first Hungarian Prime Minister, count Louis Batthyány. The "Small Coat of Arms of Hungary" was re-instituted, even though Hungary was a republic now. In December 1848, Habsburg Emperor Ferdinand V, reigning in Hungary as well, resigned and Franz Joseph became the new Emperor.
The Hungarian Government declared Franz Joseph's proclamation as being the Hungarian king illegal and, as a result, dethroned the Habsburg Dynasty from the Hungarian throne. Louis Kossuth was appointed as Governing President of Hungary.
Hungary was confirmed again as a republic and Louis Kossuth, as one of his new measures, established a new Coat of Arms for Hungary, which did not have the Hungarian Holy Crown on the top.
This formation is known the "Kossuth Coat of Arms" which later has become associated with the general idea of freedom fight for Hungary (e.g., the freedom fighters during the Hungarian uprising in 1956 also used the Kossuth Coat of Arms as their insignia).

It may be controversial why Louis Kossuth removed the Hungarian Holy Crown from the Small Coat of Arms of Hungary. It could be theorized that he wanted to emphasize that Hungary is not a kingdom anymore, but it probably would have been better if he does not touch the Holy Crown.
The Hungarians are, as they have always been, very sensitive about their crown. They do not necessarily look at the Holy Crown as the representation of the official state administration as a kingdom, but, according to the Holy Crown Theory, they consider the Holy Crown as the representation, the embodiment of entire Hungary, as a Father Land. Something which is above anything, be it an emperor, a king or the official state of administration; something which is from God, in which Hungary, as an entity resides.

Whatever was Kossuth's assumption for removing the Holy Crown from the coat of arms, he later overwhelmingly proved that, as every good Hungarian, he is aware of and respects the importance of the Holy Crown. He kept it in special care, protected by guards, rescued it from Budapest to Debrecen, in January 1849, and when the Hungarian Liberation Fight eventually fell in 1849, it was him who hid the Hungarian Holy Crown and the Coronation Jewels into a wooden box and dug it in a willow forest, near Orsova, Transylvania.

He showed that the Hungarian Holy Crown was as important to him as it is to all of us, Hungarians, because he knew what we all know that the Holy Crown is everything, the dearest for us all, something that we love, respect and protect with all of our power.

András Szeitz


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