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Mar 15, 2019

The story of the Hungarian cockade

If you look anywhere on March 15th, you will see tricolor cockades on coats, jumpers and hats.

Cockades, originated from 18th century France and the United Kingdom, is made up of a knot of ribbons, or other circular- or oval-shaped symbols of distinctive colors which is usually worn on a hat. In the 18th and 19th centuries, they were used in Europe to show the allegiance of their wearers to some political faction, their rank, or as part of a servant's livery.

Hungarians tend to wear their cockades on March 15th, which marks the beginning of the 1848-49 revolution and freedom fight. According to the Hungarian tradition, the leaders of the radical youth Sándor Petőfi and Mór Jókai got cockades from their loved ones on the eve of the revolution. Unlike the French cockade, it wasn’t pinned on their hats, but on the heart side of the jacket or the coat.

Historically, the Hungarian cockade, in the form of a circular national tricolor ribbon with small straps, has become a symbol of citizens who praise the idea of national independence. Its aim was to communicate to oncoming people that the person who wore it shares the Hungarian revolutionary notions.