2021. március 29. 14:03
Ferenc Rákóczi II’s family played a decisive role in 17th-century Hungarian history. Their incredible political influence was accompanied by material growth and estates spreading over 1.3 million acres in 27 counties, most of them – almost 1 million acres – concentrated in the north-eastern part of the Kingdom of Hungary. The great prince could have lived a luxurious and carefree life, but his religious upbringing, morals, and sense of responsibility prompted him to engage in public affairs. He felt that privilege was accompanied by an obligation that he had to fulfil to God, his country, and the people who lived there. In his writings Rákóczi frequently referred to these obligations that were often in conflict with self-interest. At the beginning of the War of Independence he reacted to the people’s call as follows: “I must confess, this was against all rules of reason, but the impulsiveness of youth and patriotism enthused me. I could have turned back, and I had plenty of reasons to do so. But I was encouraged and inspired to earn the trust and love of my people, so I persisted.” (Rákóczi II 1942) This study examines the elements of the Rákóczi cult in Transcarpathia with regards to Hungarian national identity. The aim is to present the traditions of the so-called “Kuruc world” and the characteristics of cultural heritage using descriptive historical methods. The focus falls on certain defining elements of the cult, namely, the role of folk traditions in value formation and the stages of its development. The study draws on a wide range of sources including 18th-century diaries and memoirs, Hungarian historical works written in Transcarpathia, and authoritative monographs of Ruthenian studies which began in the 19th and 20th century.
The Character of Rákóczi in Folklore
The events of the Rákóczi War of Independence were mainly linked to the estates of Ferenc Rákóczi II in the current Transcarpathian region. It should be noted that the largest estate of the family was the one in Bereg county and, unsurprisingly, the revolution began in this region and persisted the longest in the counties of Ung, Bereg, Ugocsa and Máramaros (currently, these counties are partly situated in Hungary, Romania, Ukraine, and Slovakia). The commitment of the people of Transcarpathia to the cause of freedom is also shown by the fact that Ugocsa is referred to as a “Kuruc county” in the sources. The first lost and won battles of the War of Independence took place here, and two parliaments were also held in the region. Additionally, these counties provided loyal soldiers for the cause (e.g. Tamás Esze and Miklós Bercsényi) and supported the war with financial resources from the revenues of the salt mines in Máramaros. Historical eras dear to people are embellished and recorded in cultural memory. Besides glorious and difficult historical events (e.g. the Turkish occupation and the War of Independence in 1848–1849), stories about outstanding historical figures such as Saint Ladislaus (Szent László), the Hunyadi family, or Lajos Kossuth are also preserved in folklore. Both Rákóczi and the War of Independence enjoyed such special esteem among the people of Hungary, including the various nationalities living in the country at the time. Accordingly, several legends depict this period. The most typical themes in the stories are as follows. he legend about the flowers of Rákóczi shows that the people endowed their beloved hero with almost supernatural abilities. According to the story, his mother, Ilona Zrínyi, had a wonderful garden in Munkács (Mukachevo) Castle, in which, among other things, tulips grew. Once, the infant Rákóczi dreamed that his mother’s flowers were in danger. After saving them, a fairy gave him a protective golden trumpet as a reward for his good deeds. Later when the castle was threatened by the enemy, the boy blew into the instrument, the tulips became soldiers and defeated the enemy (Dupka–Zubánics 2019: 13). Another story, dating back to the time of the War of Independence, also suggests that Rákóczi was supported by divine forces. According to this, in July 1703, in the battle near Tiszabecs and Tiszaújlak (Vylok), his guardian angel, a Turul bird hovered over the prince and helped Rákóczi when the enemy knocked the sword out of his hand. It plucked out the attacker’s eyes and helped the Rákóczi with a weapon in his beak. To commemorate the story, a monument was erected on the banks of River Tisza, near the Tiszaújlak bridge in 1903. An artificial hill was constructed from a cartload of land brought from all counties of Hungary, and a Turul bird with extended wings and a sword in its mouth was installed on the top of a 18-meter-high column, which was partly made from public donations. The memorial was inaugurated in 1903 but was destroyed when the Soviet troops arrived in 1945. A tombstone was made from the stone material of the column to commemorate the deceased Soviet soldiers, while the Turul bird was relocated to the castle in Ungvár (Uzhhorod). The second Turul bird memorial, still standing, was inaugurated after a long dispute in 1989 (Dupka- Zubánics 2019: 19). Of course, most narratives are related to the Rákóczi War of Independence. Among other things, the heroic acts of the Kuruc soldiers, the events of the War, geographical names, the origins of famous memorabilia feature folk traditions. A common element in these stories is that the people and the Kuruc army joined forces and fought heroically against the Habsburg troops. On one occasion, for example, the fleeing Rákóczi was aided by the village blacksmith in Salank (Shalanky) who deceived the persecutors by putting the horseshoes backwards on the feet of Rákóczi’s horse. Another proof of mutual love between the prince and the people is the story according to which after the lost battle, Rákóczi, who was fleeing to Poland accompanied by a few Ruthenians, was aided by the people of Bovcár village. The prince, who was hidden from the enemy, had a well dug by his soldiers to express his gratitude. According to the story, Rákóczi also participated in the work, and then carved the following inscription on a stone: “Ferenc Rákóczi was here, he built the wall of this well.” Following this, the village took the name Bovcár, which in Hungarian means “the tsar was here.” This description demonstrates that people regarded the leader of the War of Independence as the true ruler of the people. One proof of Rákóczi’s positive treatment in cultural memory is a memorial wall built over the spring of Bovcár in 1896. The inscription on the wall reads as follows: “Here was Prince Ferenc Rákóczi II; 18 February 1711 – 1896” (Magyar 2000: 107). The legend of the Pudpolóc (Pidpolozzja) table is also an interesting story which confirms the persistence of historical memory. The village near the Verecke Pass (Veretsky Pass) hosted Rákóczi who fled to Poland after losing a battle in 1703. As a sign of distinctive respect and love, the prince spent the night on the table which the family kept. Later many visitors viewed the relic, and many aimed to buy it. The family was reluctant to sell for a long time, but in 1882 the county of Bereg bought it. A year later, the relic was moved to Sárospatak and became part of the local Rákóczi Museum. The building of this museum was also tendered by Munkács, but then Sárospatak received this opportunity (Magyar 2000: 103). Much of the folklore reveals how Rákóczi’s patriotism related to his homeland. According to one of the stories, when he first saw Munkács on the map as a child, he burst out in tears. Another story tells how Rákóczi had said goodbye to the vineyards around Beregszász (Berehove) before he went into exile: “My coffers lost, my lands, my vines, but dearest loss of all my wines.” Rákóczi knew and loved every corner of his homeland, and this bitter sigh implies the great sorrow the prince felt when he separated from the Bocskor Mountain and his vineyards which gave particularly succulent wine (Dupka–Zubánics 2019: 30). Traditions related to Rákóczi remained alive in some of the Ruthenian villages of Transcarpathia until the period between the two World Wars; here it was customary for everyone to take a seat at the family table on Christmas Eve. If, however, a family member was unable to attend, their chair was left empty and the table was also set for the missing person. In some of the above municipalities in Bereg county, the empty seat (head of the table) signified the tribute paid to Rákóczi's memory, symbolically waiting for their former lord to return. In order to understand the roots of this tradition, it is necessary to go back to the ancient past; to feed the ancestors and supernatural beings, it was customary for the Slavs to present such magical acts of sacrifice (Márkus 1972: 121–124).
The Cult of Rákóczi in Transcarpathia
Rákóczi’s figure became an integral part of the Hungarian “national narrative” over the past centuries; not only our image of Hungarian history would be incomplete without knowledge about the War of independence, but also our national consciousness and identity. The first work depicting the prince was Kelemen Mikes’s Letters from Turkey (Törökországi levelek), which gave an authentic and detailed picture about the leader of the War of Independence. Mikes’ work contributed greatly to the creation and recording of Rákóczi’s character in cultural memory. His figure became prominent in folklore and literature, as well as in academia and modern everyday life.
The cult of Rákóczi appeared in Transcarpathia during the era of dualism after the failed 1848/49 War of Independence, the suffocating era of neo-absolutism, and the Austro-Hungarian Compromise in 1867. The discovery and promotion of Kuruc poetry and culture can be associated with the distinguished literary historian, Kálmán Thaly, who visited Bereg county several times and gave lectures on the events of the War of Independence in the region. As a result of his dedicated work, the poetry of the Kuruc world was explored, the most important memorials were catalogued, and a statue of a Turul bird was erected in the Castle of Munkács during the millennium celebrations. On the 200th anniversary of the Rákóczi War of Independence, a monument was built in the main square of Dolha (Dovhe) to commemorate the loyalty of Ruthenians to the prince.
In the last two decades of dualism, the Kuruc movement, which permeated political life, succeeded in the endeavour to repatriate the ashes of Ferenc Rákóczi in 1906. Contemporary press dealt with the repatriation of the ashes of the exiles and the reburial in Kassa (Košice) in many articles and historical publications. The coffins were carried through the capital in a decorative procession and then transported to Kassa. The funeral took place on 29 October in Kassa. 15 000 people could view the ceremony from behind cordons in the streets, from their windows, and with a ticket in the mourning hall and the cathedral next to the train station. The ashes arrived at Kassa train station at 5.16 a.m. accompanied by 24 welcoming cannon shots and ringing bells. The guard of honour sent by the county legislatures watched the remains of the prince and his companions in the ceremonial hall set up for the occasion until the commencement of the memorial service at 8 a.m. After Kálmán Thaly’s memorial speech, a procession of 2,500 people marched to the cathedral, where invited ecclesiastical dignitaries, state officials, Kassa governors, and members of the press could take part in the service. The ashes were placed in the crypt privately by the clergy at 5 p.m. At the end of the ceremony, the crowd was able to pay tribute by the coffins temporarily exhibited in the cathedral. During these years, Rákóczi’s figure and the heroic behaviour of the Kuruc people became part of the national canon, which was largely due to folk memory that preserved the stories (Kincses 2018: 106–112).
After Trianon, the Rákóczi cult remained uninterrupted despite the unfavourable political conditions. 8 April, 1935 marked the 200th anniversary of Rákóczi’s death. The prince and the War of Independence were commemorated both in Hungary and in the formerly Hungarian areas. In Upper Hungary, then the south of Czechoslovakia, the cultural societies of Kassa, Pozsony (Bratislava), and Komárom organised the celebrations, while the Transcarpathian Hungarian Cultural Association in Szlovenszkó was the main organiser of the events. On 5 April, the on-site correspondent of the Prágai Magyar Hírlap (Prague Magyar Hírlap) reported that all the bells of Transcarpathia had sounded at 10 a.m. on the famous day. On 7 and 8 April, under the coordination of the Hungarian Association of Transcarpathians, large-scale celebrations took place: “Almost all the municipalities and towns of Transcarpathia are involved. Where there is a local organisation, there will be cultural evenings, matinees, and in many places, there will be theatre performances which portray and re-enact the events of the Kuruc times. In addition, a pilgrimage to the Rákóczi memorial column in Tiszaújlak is organised, and Romanian pilgrims take part too, bringing with them a flag received from Rákóczi.” (Prágai Magyar Hírlap 1935: 5) As part of the celebrations in Munkács, a torchlight procession to the Rákóczi Castle was launched on the evening of 7 April, where a wreath was laid down on the Rákóczi memorial plaque.
According to a retrospective report on 9 April, the anniversary of the prince’s death was celebrated in a truly impressive way. Besides the Hungarians, members of different nationalities, such as Saxons, Slovaks, Romanians, and Ruthenians attended the events. A fine example of the peaceful cooperation of diverse nationalities, based on common respect for Rákóczi, is a celebration held in Tiszaújlak, the site of the first victory of the Kuruc revolutionary fighters. A cavalry escort of 100 horsemen led the participants to the memorial where the speeches were held, and the wreaths were placed. The extent to which the local population has embraced the legacy of the Rákóczi War of Independence and how much it respected its leader is shown in the more than 3000 people who attended the event on 7 April (Prágai Magyar Hírlap 1935: 1).
Finally, this study aims to enumerate further important monuments, plaques, and statues that commemorate the Rákóczi War of Independence and its leader in different eras. We present some of the most important places where the number of memorabilia and venues related to Rákóczi is outstanding. The castle of Ungvár hosts a Rákóczi exhibition (a permanent exhibition of the Transcarpathian County Museum of Homeland Studies) pays tribute to the memory of the prince. The already mentioned Tiszaújlak monument, erected in 1903, and the Turul bird, which was removed in 1945, were placed here in the castle courtyard, and the word “Millennium” was inscribed on its base. Miklós Bercsényi, the former count of Ung County, the former lord of the castle, and the second most important character of the War of Independence has also received special attention in the city. His bust was installed in the fortress, and a work of art commemorating his second wife, Krisztina Csáky, was erected nearby. The city itself also has memorial plaques and sculptures that commemorate these three people.
The city of Munkács holds and even wider variety of mementos of the Rákóczi War of Independence. Ilona Zrínyi inherited the castle in 1680, and when she married Imre Thököly, the fortress became a centre of resistance to the Habsburgs. The child Rákóczi, his mother, and sister lived through the siege led by General Caraffa between 1686 and 1688. After Ilona Zrínyi handed over the castle to the emperor, the family was taken to Vienna.
As the folk story quoted earlier reveals, Munkács was very dear to Rákóczi. In 1704 the prince reclaimed his former home, which remained in Kuruc hands until 1711. Munkács was the headquarters of the prince’s operations, he spent a lot of time in the fortress and he hired a French military engineer to fortify the building.
Unsurprisingly, there are several memorials dedicated to Ilona Zrínyi and her son in the castle. In 1993, the Rákóczi Museum in Sárospatak and the Ferenc Rákóczi II Literary and Cultural Circle had a memorial plaque installed in the inner courtyard in honour of the memory of the heroic woman. In 1999, the Sárospatak Museum also designed a Rákóczi memorial room in the fortress. In 2006, a group of sculptures was erected to commemorate mother and son in the upper castle.
In 1896, a 24-meter-high column with the famous Turul bird was erected on the north-eastern bastion of the fort as part of the millennium commemoration. After the Treaty of Trianon Transcarpathia became part of Czechoslovakia, the monument was demolished and then rebuilt in 2008. Further statues and memorial plaques in several places in the city depict Ilona Zrínyi and her son. The Rákóczy Castle (Fejér House), in which the prince stayed on several occasions, should also be mentioned.
Beregszász, which many consider to be the most important venue of the war of independence, is also an outstanding Rákóczi memorial site. On 22 May 1703, Tamás Esze unfurled the flag of the War of Independence here; this act was marked by a plaque on the local post office building. He was a serf in Tarpa who later became a Kuruc brigadier, received special attention in Beregszász and has a memorial plaque and a bust in the city, which was inaugurated in 2011 and was placed in the park in front of the former Casino. Rákóczi visited the city several times, and the War of Independence began in the square named after the prince. The former Bethlen-Rákóczi castle stood in the settlement; it burned down in 1686 and was probably restored by Rákóczi. The Bereg Country Museum is located in a building called Grófudvar by the locals, and it holds relics of Rákóczi. The memory of the prince is also preserved in the plaque placed on the former castle’s present lyceum part in 1996. A 1991 memorial plaque commemorates Mikes Kelemen. Beregszász is home to the Ferenc Rákóczi II Transcarpathian Hungarian College of Higher Education, where a statue was erected to commemorate Rákóczi’s mother in 2006, and another one to commemorate Rákóczi in 2008. On 17 December 2019, as part of the Ferenc Rákóczi II Memorial Year, Rákóczi’s equestrian statue was inaugurated in the city centre, thus fulfilling the wish of the citizens of Beregszász. 
Another famous location of the War of Independence is Salánk (Shalanky), where several buildings remind locals of the events of the era. The Rákóczi family had a castle here (now destroyed) and the last Kuruc parliament was held here in February 1711. According to the legend, the participants gathered in a very strange place in the forest at the top of Hömlőc Hill. The last documents of the War of Independence were written on the huge stone used here as a table, which can still be seen on the spot. 1935 marked the 200th anniversary of the prince’s death, and a memorial plaque was placed on the wall of the porch of the Reformed Church to commemorate the National Assembly. A notable memorial site in the settlement is the Mikes well, from where Kelemen Mikes took fresh water to his lord daily. This place was the site of turbulent times over the centuries, the well was filled in 1970 and then restored in 1991. At the same time, an obelisk was erected to mark the place and commemorate the last parliament.
In the 19th century, the Hungarian community developed an economic, social, political, and cultural framework which was necessary for national development and for the creation of national identity. Hungarian national consciousness was organised around the concept of “cultural nation”, an idea which effectively encompassed the characteristics of “Hungarianness” in the Carpathian Basin through national language, historical traditions, and culture. The dual nature of Hungarian national consciousness (cultural nation, state nation) was emphasised in the research of Jenő Szűcs, and the famous political theorist, István Bibó, wrote that the nation-state concept was problematic because of multilingualism and the differences in the development of the different regions over the centuries (Szűcs 1984: 30–31; Bibó 2011: 23–24). Because of power shift after World War I and the Treaty of Trianon, some of the Hungarians became minorities, which defined the directions of the evolution of the Hungarian nation. As a result, cultural nationalism became the dominant attitude in Hungarian communities.
The process of becoming a unified nation was connected with socio-economic factors and may be traced back to the period between 1867 and 1918; during the Austro-Hungarian Compromise, Hungary was a unified country and the Hungarian state aimed to create a unified nation state through national ideology and education. Although this period did not eliminate the previous regional differences, especially the differences and peculiarities resulting from centuries of parallel economic and cultural development between Hungary and Transylvania, it undoubtedly lessened their significance. After World War I, different trends in the process of nation-building took place compared to the pre-War era.
Nation-building can be defined as the institutionalisation of national principles and the formation of a community identity. On the one hand, each community forms an image of itself that provides a framework for self-interpretation. These sets of rules become the norm, and the given group defines itself by making its own system of ideas the starting point of any interpretation of the world. On the other hand, the established idea is always forced to justify its demands through itself at the political level of social contact (Kántor 2000: 219-241). The reflexivity of politics is developed not only within the framework of the nation-state, but also in the process of minority nation-building.
Until 1918, the make-up of an “ethnic Hungarian nation” and “political Hungary” meant that the nation was smaller than the country, and after the Trianon peace treaty, the country became smaller than the nation. After Trianon, a quarter of the Hungarian nation – more than three million people – became nationals outside Hungary. Those three million Hungarians remained parts of the nation, but the national existence of these communities in the diaspora became uncertain and maintaining ways of contact became highly complicated in post-war Central Europe. As a result, the Hungarians of the neighbouring states were forced to redefine their national identity, as their rights and opportunities changed. The identity research of recent years underlines the fact that the consciousness of the “unified Hungarian nation” formed before 1918 still exists in the Carpathian Basin. Those who considered themselves Hungarians also considered themselves to be part of the Hungarian ethnocultural framework, which meant the use of a common language (Brubaker 2011:34- 43; Veres 2008:36). However, we must see that the centuries-old separation has led to the formation of certain regional phenomena detectable in Transcarpathia too. The head of research at the Spectrum Social Research Workshop wrote in the mid-1990s: “The “homeland image” of Hungarians in Transcarpathia is quite contradictory, as they have lived six decades of their minority existence in several social contexts.” Having analysed the patriotism of Transcarpathian Hungarians, the author concluded that the Hungarian population of the region had created its own narrowed concept of patriotism, “according to which the homeland was not a country, but a broken piece of the real homeland, a narrower region: the homeland, the area where people live according to their own traditions, where they use their mother tongue, to form a community with their own fellow Hungarians” (Kovács 1996:18).
Identification with the national community can be grasped in the context of individual identity. Individual identity is all the knowledge and abilities of the person by which he or she asserts his or her own values and interests in a system of social communication and action. The identity of the individual is organised in increasingly complex ways in complex societies, and information influences from outside, called ideologies, which have their own moral, intellectual and ideological contexts, play a role in this. The individual’s value system, attitudes, behavioural patterns, moral and thought patterns are shaped by ideologies that come from the world of social institutions (school, media, organised communities). National identity is based on the process whereby individuals develop behavioural habits and attitudes in their own micro-universe as a result of the social implementation of national ideology, which allows them to function as a group that distinguishes members of a community in a specific way as part of individual identity. Members of the symbolic universe called “nation” are more or less familiar with the scenarios and behaviour patterns by which they can act as participants in national “rituals” (Csepeli 1992: 108-120).
The historical legacy of Transcarpathia shows that the Kuruc era, the Rákóczi War of Independence, and Rákóczi’s life are of particular significance in the history of the people in these regions; Rákóczi’s character was the source of the rich, almost mythological, collection of stories in which his figure transcends historical boundaries. Transcarpathia has been important for many reasons: the Castle of Munkács was an important venue, Ilona Zrínyi protected her children and homeland here, Miklós Bercsényi set out to fight for the country’s independence in this region, and Rákóczi's Turul bird, which became a symbol of the Hungarian community’s desire for freedom, is also related to Transcarpathia. Folk traditions and heroism in battles are all part of national mythology. Stories with intense emotional elements deliver a sense of strength, especially when the majority of a country’s population (Hungarians, Ruthenians, Romanians) identify with them, and when individual and community needs are met. The Rákóczi cult represents a consciousness-forming force that defined the national identity of large communities in the regions populated by Hungarians. In the history and consciousness of the Hungarian community in Transcarpathia, Ferenc Rákóczi II lives as he put it in his Memoirs: “The sole purpose of my actions was driven by the love of freedom and the desire to liberate my country from foreign shackles. I was encouraged and strengthened by the intention to earn the trust and love of the people” (Rákóczi II 1942: 48).
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 This study was written with the help of the Public Cultural Research Program of the National Institute of Culture.
 This study draws on the research the Culture Research Group of the Mihály Váci Cultural Centre in Nyíregyháza conducted in Transcarpathia in 2020.
 The period is a popular field of research in Hungarian historiography. For a selected bibliography see R. Ágnes Várkonyi–Domokos Dániel Kis (2004): A Rákóczi-szabadságharc. Nemzet és emlékezet. (The Rákóczi War of Independence. Nation and Remembrance). Budapest, Osiris Kiadó. 793–795.
 Köpeczi–R. Várkonyi 1973.
 Várady–Sternberg 1981; Csatáry 2002, 2008, 2012.
 Bonkáló 1940; Hodinka 1937; Udvari 1994.
 Dolha (Dovhe) 7 June 1703, and Tiszabecs–Tiszaújlak (Vylok) 14–16 July 1703.
 Huszt (Khust) 1706, Salánk (Shalanky) 1711.
 Historical research usually places the Kuruc era between 1671 and 1735. See Romsics 2019: 131–165.
 Upon the suggestion of the Transcarpathian Community College Association, the Rákóczi cult in Transcarpathia became part of the Foreign National Depository of the Collection of Hungarian Values in 2013.
 The Turul is a mythological bird resembling a falcon; it has been a Hungarian national symbol for centuries.
 In Hungarian “Kerekhegyem, Kalmárom csak a Bocskorom sajnálom.”
As for 18th-century sources, the writings of Ferenc Pápay, Gáspár Beniczky, and Ádám Király Szathmáry gave authentic characterisations of Rákóczi’s figure. See. Köpeczy–R. Várkonyi 1973.
Rákóczi's Lamentations, known as the Rákóczi Song became important and was considered the first national anthem for a long time.
The figure of Rákóczi and the Kuruc world were discovered in the poetry of 19th-century Hungarian romanticism, for instance in the poetry of Ferenc Kölcsey, Mihály Vörösmarty, János Arany and Sándor Petőfi, who depicted figures of Hungarian heroes fighting against the Austrians.
 The reburial ceremony in Kassa was an important event for the Rákóczi cult in Transcarpathia. Between 1918 and 1945 the area was part of Czechoslovakia, and many people visited the prince’s tomb.
 In 1906, the exiles of the Rákóczi War of Independence were reburied in three places. On 29 October Ferenc Rákóczi II, Ilona Zrínyi, József Rákóczi, Miklós Bercsényi, Krisztina Csáky, Antal Esterházy and Miklós Sibrik were buried in Kassa; on 30 October Imre Thököly in Késmárk (Kežmarok); on 15 November Adam Vay arrived to his final to resting place.
Tamás Esze unfurled the “Pro libertate” flags on 21 May 1703 in Tarpa and Vári, and then on 22 May in Beregszász.
The Hungarian Parliament declared 2019 a Ferenc Rákóczi II memorial year; see decree 32/2018. (XI. 27.) OGY.
The history of the Rákóczi statue in Beregszász dates back to 126 years ago. In 1893, at the time of the 190th anniversary of the beginning of the Rákóczi War of Independence, the people of Bereg county aimed to erect an equestrian statue in memory of the Great Prince. After Tarpa and Vári, they wanted to commemorate the breaking of the Kuruc flag in Beregszász on 21–22 May 1703, during which the infantry and equestrian companies were formed.