The hussars' wings increased in elaborateness in direct proportion to their success on the battlefield. It was like they were defying logic to stop their winning spree. The practice started from mere paintings of wings on their shields and eventually ended up in the massive structures you see below, which were created by gluing eagle, swan, ostrich, or goose feathers onto a wooden frame that arched over the rider's back. Presumably, somewhere in the middle stage, there was a guy who just flapped his arms really hard as he rode into the fray.
"FEAR THE SEAGULL!"
Historians aren't quite certain what the wings were for, aside from looking bitchin' airbrushed onto the side of a van. Some say that the unnatural sound created when the hussars attacked at full gallop, feathers fluttering, unnerved their opponent's horses, who must have thought they had accidentally stepped on the eggs of some terrifying new type of bird. Others guess that the wings served as protection against lasso attacks. But we know the truth: Some guy drew a pair on his Trapper Keeper while bored in war class one day, and every other hussar was like "That looks rad."