In this section you can find the crests of almost 2400 settlements of Hungary with notes. Find the starting letter of the settlement in the list and click if you want to see it.
(The County of Zala)
The coat-of-arms of the town of Zalaegerszeg: erect in the middle of the base vert of a shield azure with the base curved to a point the repentant Mary Magdalene vested argent, aureoled or, holding in the dexter hand a laurel wreath argent above a twin-towered castle argent erect on a mound vert, as if protecting it. In the sinister hand a cross argent borne across the upper body and resting upon the sinister shoulder. In the base vert by Mary Magdalene's feet a three-stranded scourge argent, symbolising penitence.
No deed of gift with regard to armorial bearings is available as yet, and as far as we know, the oldest seal dates from 1662. On the host seal with a diameter of 30 mm a human figure is recognisable, holding the hands in an unnatural position. The protuberance round the head might as well be an aureole. In the place of the legend there are 22 runic marks, which must have substituted the letters. The figure on the seal is meant to represent Mary Magdalene, patron saint of the church of Zalaegerszeg; this motif can easily be identified on the base of 18-19th century seals. The first documented mention of Zalaegerszeg goes back to 1247, when the settlement already had a chapel built in honour of Mary Magdalene. The above-described seal later got lost, but the authorities had a new one made with an identical motif. This seal was to be used until the end of World War I. The seal bears a female figure vested in long clothes, stretching the dexter (right) hand protectively over a twin-bastioned castle, and holding in the sinister (left) hand a cross. In the lower field of the seal, in front of her dexter (right) foot a skull, wheras beside it a three-stranded scourge is borne. The legend reads SEAL OF MARKET TOWN ÉGERSZEG 1640.
These attributes are the standard representations of Mary Magdalene, whereby the dishevelled hair refers to the anointing of Christ with expensive ointment and its removal with her hair, the cross is a reference to Mary Magdalene's presence by the foot of the crucified Christ on Good Friday, while the act of carrying the ointment (in fact the myrrh) evokes her visit to the grave at daybreak at Easter. Because the scourge is a mediaeval symbol of penitence, it can be related to the skull, which also bears the same symbolic meaning. Moreover, in Mary Magdalene's right hand there is a church tower.
Accordingly, the town's coat-of-arms was designed on the basis of the old seal charge: shield erect, the base curved to a point. In the field argent on a base vert a nun habited azure, wearing a cross, holding in the dexter hand a tower proper. Round the head an aureole is borne. The figure is flanked on both sides by flowers reaching to the fess.
Due to the lack of a privilege, this coat-of-arms depicting the patron saint must be regarded as one chosen by the town in its own right, which later generations used by customary law. After 1950 no armorial bearings could be used for a long time, then in 1970 the town council first rejected, then accepted a coat-of-arms made by a graphic artist, who in his design completely ignored the conventions of heraldry.
In 1989 the town council of Zalaegerszeg initiated the changing of this coat-of-arms, which nobody liked. In agreement with the Department of Graphic and Applied Arts, a five-member committee set up in order to make a decision suggested that the old coat-of-arms be reinstalled, but they only succeeded in declaring the emblem of 1970 invalid. Following a long debate, on 22 June 1992 the general assembly of Zalaegerszeg adopted the present coat-of-arms which, although it contains most of the oldest motifs, is not identical with the 18-19th-century one, now regarded as archaic. The coat-of-arms adopted by the general assembly and still used is the following: standant on the base vert of a shield azure with the base curved to a point the repentant Mary Magdalene vested argent, aureoled or, holding in the dexter hand a laurel wreath argent as if protecting the twin-bastioned castle argent erect on a mound vert, in the sinister hand a cross argent borne across the upper body and resting upon the sinister shoulder. In the base vert by Mary Magdalene's feet a three-stranded scourge argent, symbolising penitence.