Together with the late Gerd Vehres in a Flag Museum exhibition
in May 2003
Anna and Zoltán Horváth
Budapest, May 2007
One year later in Lebanon
Zoltán Horváth - Székesfehérvár - Hungary
I was born in 1968,
in Siklós, in Southern Hungary, but I grew up in a very
small village in Baranya county called Kásád, just next to
the Croatian border (it was Yugoslavian at that time). Kásád is the southernmost
settlement of Hungary.
I am military officer (Lt. Col.) of
Hungarian Defense Forces,
but I graduated as a civilian surveyor (map-maker) and engineer (BSc) in 1989.
Later I studied in the George C. Marshall Center,
located in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany,
in 2003. After that I earned a second degree (MSc) in Security and Defense Policy in 2007 at the
National Defense University in Budapest.
Between 1989 and 1996, I worked in various positions
in the Military Mapping Service of Hungarian Defense Forces, after which I was appointed as a Staff Officer
to the Defense Staff (1997-2005), and then to the Ministry of Defense (2005-2007). After November of 2007,
I served as a military expert in the UNIFIL mission in South Lebanon.
After returning to home, I was assigned to a new position again in February of 2009,
as a Senior Staff Officer in the Joint Forces Command of HDF in
Székesfehérvár, my current hometown. Technically, I moved here because
I was assigned here. In 2010 I spent 6 months away in HQ KFOR
in Prishtina, Kosovo.
Because of studies and military service, I have lived in many places
in Hungary. Between 1982 and 1986 in Pécs, after that in my current
hometown until 1989. I had started my military career in Szentendre,
but moved to Budapest in 1994, where I lived until 2007. For a couple
of years, I lived in Siófok (2007-2009), except the brief period when
the military allowed me to be able to enjoyed the warm sunshine of South Lebanon for a year.
I am a father with 5 children (three sons and two daughters),
but only one of them live together with me, because I am divorced. (Four of the children live with my ex-wife.)
My spouse, Anna also has two sons living with us, so, we are a family of
Regarding my flag interest, as I remember, in my childhood I was always
drawing flags from various atlases and books that I found. I learned the term vexillology in 1992
when I purchased and read an English-language (but Czech published) book on flags in a bookstore.
Two years later, I was one of the founders of Hungarian Vexillological Association,
and edited our bilingual periodical "Zászlóvilág/Flagworld".
Since 2000, I haven't held any active positions in the association.
I became a member of FOTW mailing list in 2000, and ten years later, in
February of 2010, I was invited to be an editor, first of the NATO pages,
then gradually my areas of responsibilities increased to what they are now.
My main vexillological interest areas include national, civil,
state and naval flags and ensigns, flags of heads of state (monarchs, presidents, prime ministers, etc.),
flags of subdivisions (usually, the first level administrative units), and flags of international organizations.
Great moments of my life were those events when
prominent FIAV officials visited to Hungary, and I also had opportunity to meet
them. William Crampton and Jos Poels arrived in Hungary in summer of 1994, and I
also met FIAV President, Michel Lupant in August 2002 in Budapest.
I wrote a booklet entitled "Zászlók" (Flags) in 1995,
and another book titled "A világ zászlói"
(Flags of The World) in 2002. It was the first successful Hungarian-published flag book dealing
with vexillology and enjoyed wide distribution to the public. I have also written some other
minor articles on vexillology over the years. During my military mission in Lebanon in 2008,
I revised and then self-published a new edition of my former book and distributed it to some of my flag-friends.
This edition of my book had an enlarged format (A/4). It has been re-edited, once again, in 2010.
Currently I have a partially flag-related job with a mapping publisher
(who published my 2002 book). They publish various atlases and a
booklet entitled "A világ országai" (Countries of the World). The booklet is updated
every four years - normally in years of Summer Olympics - and I provide their flags, coat-of-arms,
international country codes (domain, sporting, and oval car sign), but the biggest part of the project
is to write and update all the country profiles. I have contributed to the 2004 and 2008 editions of
the booklet, and for my efforts I have been given two pages in their atlases to promote and popularize
vexillology, where I have written two-pages on flag history and usage.
Zoltán Horváth, 15 November 2013