This flag was the flag of the Árpád House, the House of the first Hungarian kings.
The first known member of the Árpáds was Prince Ügyek. His son, Álmos and Álmos's son Árpád werethe leaders of the Hungarians at the time of the Hungarian Conquest in the Carpathian Basin at the end of the 9th century. The Árpáds reigned in Hungary till 1301.
The Árpád stripes: 7 divided red/silver or red/white stripes.
When the House of Árpád became extinct and the Angevins came into power, they wanted to emphasize their legitimacy and their relation to the previous royal house by using the Árpáds' flag, the red and white stripes. They combined this flag with their own, using a flag that resembles the one currently in use, but with the Angevins' fleur-de-lis in place of the cross.
In modern Hungarian politics, the far-right Magyar Gárda publicly demonstrates with the Árpád banner as a symbol of Hungary's past.
The Árpád stipes in Coat of arms of Hungary
The arms have been used before, both with and without the Crown of Saint Stephen, sometimes as part of a larger, more complex coat of arms, and many of its elements date back to the Middle Ages.
The herald is split to two parts:
- On the right side is the so-called Árpád stripes, four silver and four red stripes. It is usually said that the silver stripes represent four rivers (Duna, Tisza, Dráva, Száva).
- The left side consists of a silver double cross on red base, situated inside a small golden crown, the crown is placed on the middle heap of three green hills, representing mountain ranges (Mátra, Tátra, Fátra), (strictly in this order) as written in István Werbőczy's 'Tripartitium', but this is not explained there. The first explanation of the hills are from a Portuguese jesuit Antonius Macedo in his work "Divi Tutelares..." from 1687, writing: "mons essurgit numero triplex qui tres praecipuos eiusdem regni monti significat", but not naming them. Later in 18th century, two other Jesuits, József Koller in "Cerographia" and Timon "Imago Novae Hungariae" state that "Alteram scuti partem Montes Regni praecipui, iique summi insigniunt. Nomen illis: Tatra, Matra, Fatra vulgare passim (...) atque omnium est cognitum". Timon adds, that the double cross is ancient symbol of Kingdom of Hungary, to which the three hills were connected. Finally, a not well-known theory for the triple hills is that it symbolizes the hills of Calvaria (Golgota), where Jesus was crucified.