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Hungary - Houseflags of Hungarian Shipping Companies

Last modified: 2023-06-10 by zachary harden
Keywords: hungary | houseflags | mahart | balatoni hajozasi |
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image by Ivan Sache, 14 October 2000

A white pennant with the Hungarian national flag in the middle, extending all over the pennant length, and a black anchor over the national flag, shifted to hoist. The flag flies over the Mahart building in the center of Budapest (Pest side). It can also be seen very often in touristic leaflets, used as logo on a blue rectangular background.
Mahart seems to have a kind of monopoly on sailing in Hungary, so I suspect it is a national company or the privatized avatar of the former national company during Communist period. In that sense, it would have been a kind of unofficial civil ensign
Ivan Sache, 14 October 2000

MAHART = MAgyar HAjózási RT means Hungarian Shipping Co. Ltd.
Information about MAHART (in English) at <>.
István Molnár, 15 October 2000

Balatoni Hajózási RT

image by Ivan Sache, 24 May 2009

Balatoni Hajózási (Balaton Shipping Co.) was founded on 21 September 1846 with the launching of the steamboat "Kisfaludy". The company operates today 26 motor passenger ships serving 22 ports around Lake Balaton. Most important, the ferry service between Szántórév and Tihanyrév links the northern and southern shores of the lake. The company also owns one hotel and several marinas. For more details see: <>.
The flag of Balatoni Hajózási is horiztonally divided blue-white-blue- white-blue-white-blue with a red canton covering three horizontal stripes and c. 40% of the flag width, charged with the yellow letters "BH". The stripes and canton are outlined in yellow, except along the hoist.
The flag is shown on a photo available on Flickr (August 2007). It is confirmed by another photo shown on the website of the shipping company.
Ivan Sache, 14 October 2000 and 24 May 2009

Balaton Hajózási RT is indeed a division of Mahart and also a yacht-club. MAHART Lake Balaton Shipping Co. Ltd site also at <>.
István Molnár, 15 October 2000

Hungarian Levant Steamshipp

image by Zeljko Heimer, 24 December 2018 (based on badge scan by Márton Pelles)

On Facebook collector's page Fiume - Collectibles there is a thread discussing some Hungarian shipping companies, prior to WWI, some based in Fiume/Rijeka, others in Budapest. The tread started with posting of a officers hat badge of the Magyar Keleti Tengerhajózási Részvénytársaság - Hungarian Levant Steamshipp Co. ltd. (This seems to be the official English title, based on the company shares certificate. The company had the seat in Budapest. The badge includes the company's house flag, but in much simplified form appropriate for the media, which I tried to draw, but the more knowledgeable in the tread pointed me to the correct form of the house flag - being the tricolour with a white disk entering the top and bottom stripe, containing the company emblem - an anchor, over which is inscribed with the company initials "M. K. T." topped with the Hungarian coat of arms with St. Stephen's crown, within a wreath of laurel branches, and beneath, in a semicircular ribbon inscribed "Tenggere magyar" (which, if I am not much mistaken means "Hungarian Sea" or, if you wish, "The sea is Hungarian").
Zeljko Heimer, 24 December 2018

Adria Royal Hungarian Steamship Company

image by Zeljko Heimer, 24 December 2018 (based on badge scan by Márton Pelles)

Further, Pelles posted also detailed photo of the Adria Royal Hungarian Steamship Company which had the seat in Società Anonima di Navigazione Marittima Adria. The emblem in the flag as we know it from western sources is much simplified for of the actual emblem, which includes, in front of the red initial "A", a rather complex red anchor inscribed at the crossbar "ADRIA", together fouled with a red cord, all topped with St. Stephen's crown in its proper colours, and on a red arched ribbon beneath white inscription "Hazának Használj" (Be useful to your country).
Zeljko Heimer, 24 December 2018

Indeficienter (1912-1914)

image by Zeljko Heimer, 24 December 2018

As Pelles states "There were in time after each other three Indeficienter Ltd. This one is between 1912-1914". At Indeficienter Sea Navigation Co. Ltd., we have another company of the same name, established in 1901 (which ceased to exists, obviously prior to 1912, but I do not know where the third one comes in the time line, not important for the time being though...) The 1912 Indeficienter used a similar flag to is predecessor, and similar to number of other Hungraian shipping companies, alternating the central emblem in the Hungarian tricolour - in this particular case it being a black initial "I" entering both red and green stripe.

Impresa Fiume-Venezia-Ancona di Leopold Schwarz (1884-1901)

image by Zeljko Heimer, 24 December 2018

From quoting "History of the Ungaro-Croata" by József Horváth
The Fiume-Venetia Society owned by Lipót Schwarz and Girolamo Prister was established in 1884. In the beggining they worked with a single small wooden hull steamer but after they had managed to sign a contract with the state their fleet was extended so passenger and freight forwarding could start on the Fiume-Ancona line as well. At the time of Ungaro-Croata’s creation they worked with two bigger and a smaller steamer of which two sank due to collisions. Only one of the ships could be refloated and sold. To make up for the loss a large cabin steamer was purchased. Lipót Schwarz headed the company alone since 1895 which got a new name, too: Impresa Fiume-Ancona e Fiume-Venezia. With support of the government a new ship was ordered from England, then a few years later another even larger one from Germany. The company was wound up in 1900 and its assets were brought into Ungaro-Croata in June, 1901. The four ship handed over represented a total of 2610 BRT and 3275 Hp.
The drawing of the company flag Márton Pelles posted from his research in the State Archives in Rijeka, (Državni Arhiv u Rijeci, 46, Pomorska oblast za Ugarsko-Hrvatsko primorje u Rijeci), showing a flag with white and red "wolf-teeth" border (6 outward pointing white "teeth" along the vertical and 11 outward pointing white "teeth" along the horizontal edges, white rhomboid pieces in the corners), the central pert green-red vertical bicolour with a white lozenge throughout including a blue emblem - a fouled blue anchor between the initials "L" and "S".Zeljko Heimer, 24 December 2018

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