Romania is the only country in which displaying Hungarian symbols on Hungarian national holidays is sanctioned, stated Zoltán Miklós, member of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (known by its acronym of RMDSZ) and member of the Chamber of Deputies of Romania, in his speech at a plenary session of parliament (via Maszol).
The red-white-green cockade, flags and heart-shaped ornaments certify that the Hungarian community living in Romania belongs to the Hungarian nation and that the Hungarian community has the right to use its symbols without retaliation, he added.
His remarks come hot on the heels of the RON 10,000 (EUR 2,000) fine imposed by the Kovászna/Covasna County prefect on the mayor of Sepsiszentgyörgy/Sfântu Gheorghe for placing Hungarian flags and symbols on the city streets in March. In addition, the Hargita/Harghita County prefect fined the Székelyudvarhely/Odorheiu Secuiesc mayor RON 5,000 (EUR 1,000) for the same action.
The RMDSZ politician highlighted that March 15 is a Hungarian national holiday and provides the opportunity for some county prefects to fine the mayors of cities who place Hungarian symbols on the streets.
“Just like in previous years, the prefectures of Kovászna/Covasna and Hargita/Harghita counties fined the mayors of Sepsiszentgyörgy and Székelyudvarhely, claiming they violated law no.75, of July 16, 1994, which stipulates that the flags of other states may be displayed on Romanian territory only if accompanied by the national flag,” he said.
In his speech, he drew his colleagues’ attention to the fact that on March 15, Hungarians celebrate one of the defining moments in the nation’s history. On March 15, 1848, Hungarian revolutionaries – mostly students and young intellectuals – took to the stairs of the National Museum in Budapest and recited Sándor Petőfi’s now-famous poem, “National Song,” and announced their 12 demands to the oppressive court in Vienna.
“On this day, the red-white-green colors become the expression of ethnic identity as the main symbol of the Hungarian community, wherever they might live in the world, and therefore are not the official flags of the Hungarian State. These symbols are devoid of any state content,” he added.
Therefore, these symbols don’t break any law; instead, they become the symbol of the rightful implementation of the minority protection agreement, which gives the right to national minorities to preserve the fundamental elements of their identity.
According to the RMDSZ politician, such fines are primitive and destructive gestures by prefectures and contradict the messages sent by the president and prime minister of Romania on March 15 to the Hungarian community living in Romania.
In his view, the only way to eliminate unnecessary tensions fostered by unnecessary fines between the Hungarian and Romanian communities is by making this law unequivocal. The contradiction between the law and its application guidelines must be resolved, he emphasized.
Title image: Hungarian symbols on the streets of Sepsiszentgyörgy/Sfântu Gheorghe. Image source: Transindex