Friday, October 19, 2012

Symbol of the 1956 Revolution

This coat of arms is officially known as the "Kossuth Coat of Arms". It was introduced by Lajos Kossuth who was the famous politician and freedom fighter of the 1848 Hungarian Revolution. During the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, this coat of arms was used again by freedom fighters. It became the official symbol of the Hungarian revolutionaries. This coat of arms or shield was often painted onto the side of tank turrets and artillery pieces during the revolution to identify Hungarian forces.

Old news reels of the revolution in 1956 show the common usage of the shield. This shield gives Hungarians a sense of national pride especially during times of conflict and turmoil. It replaced the much hated communist "Rákosi badge" and was eventually somewhat incorporated into the new "Kádár badge" without the cross and Árpád stripes after the revolution. There is some debate why Lajos Kossuth removed the Hungarian Holy Crown from the top of this coat of arms. Some think that he removed the Holy Crown because Hungary was no longer a kingdom at the time of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848.