Flag of Israel

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The flag refers to the state symbols of the country. Particular attention is paid to the choice of colors for the cloth and their combinations, as well as the possibility of using a coat of arms or emblem. The colors of the flag reflect the political system, important events in history, the struggle for independence and the features of the geographical location of the state. The image placed on the flag can carry information about the cultural characteristics of the country, the directions of religion, as well as the occupation of the local population.

This is what the modern flag of Israel looks like:

Флаг Израиля
Israeli flag

History of the flag of Israel

Before the emergence of the state, there were no Jewish symbols; nevertheless, some communities had their own distinctive signs. In 1354, King Charles IV of Bohemia allowed Jews living on the territory of Prague to have their own flag. It was a red cloth with a six-pointed star in the center.

This case has been documented as the first ever appearance of the hexagram as a symbol of the Jews.

In 1460 the Jews living in the Hungarian capital received their flag. The main background of Israel was also painted red, but the number of stars was increased to four. At the same time, two stars were depicted as six-pointed. In the battle for Prague in 1648, local Jews were able to repel the city from the invasion of the Swedes. For their self-sacrifice, the Jews were granted a red flag with a yellow star of David, which had an image of a smaller copy of itself on it.

The history of the modern flag of Israel begins in the city of Rishon Le Zion. Then in 1885, in honor of the feast of Tu Be Av, social activist Israel Belkind and his associate Fani Meerowicz produced another version of the flag. The white cloth had double blue lines at the top and bottom edges, with Magen David in the center.

According to the second version, a lion was placed in the center of the flag of Israel as a symbol of the tribe of Judah.

In 1896, the political Zionist Theodor Herzl, in the book he wrote entitled The Jewish State, mentions his version of the symbolism of Israel. He says that the Jewish people do not have a flag, but certainly need one. Herzl believed that a people leading a multitude of followers needs to have its own distinctive sign.

The variant was a cloth of white, which he associated with clean and new life. The flag also had seven stars on it, symbolizing the seven-hour work day. According to Herzl, the Jews were to be part of a renewed country with the symbol of labor.

Later, David Wolfson, who headed the Zionist Organization, presented a design of the flag of Israel that was closer to the modern version. The idea of a white coverlet for prayers, the talit, was the basis of the fabric that was invented. In the center of the flag according to the idea of the figure of Zionism was to depict the shield of David.

Флаг Израиля
Banner of the Jewish Brigade

This version of Israel’s national symbol was adopted in September 1933 by the participants of the Zionist Congress. By decree of Winston Churchill, the new flag became the basis for the official banner of the Brigade of Jews, which operated during World War II.

From 1920-1948 Mandatory Palestine used in limited use a flag based on the British Red Flag (Eng.) with the name of the Mandatory Territory in a white circle on the right side of the cloth.

Флаг Израиля
Flag of Mandatory Palestine

The Israeli flag was approved on October 28, 1948. At that time the state had already been officially in existence for five months. The adoption of the national symbol was delayed due to the fact that a careful selection was made among many designs. At first they liked the flag made in the form of three vertical stripes of blue and white with a Star of David in the center.

However, they preferred horizontal lines, which were associated with the sky and the sea.

It is interesting that one of the first to suggest the return of white and blue as the national colors was Ludwig August von Frankl, who lived in the 19th century. A physician by training, he was a journalist, wrote and composed poetry extensively, and also worked as a teacher.

Флаг Израиля
Flag of the Israeli Navy
Флаг Израиля
Merchant Navy Flag

Description of the flag of Israel

The Israeli flag is a white cloth with horizontal blue stripes around the edges. The white and blue parts of the symbolism are in proportion to each other as 3:5:16:5:3. In the center of the flag, without touching the upper and lower stripes, is an image of the Star of David. The star consists of two equilateral triangles whose bases are parallel to the horizontal blue stripes of the flag.

Colors of the Israeli flag

The national flag of Israel contains two colors: blue and white. The main background of the cloth is white, while the horizontal stripes and the star symbol in the center are blue.

Meaning of colors and flag symbol

According to history, the flag of Israel has colors reminiscent of the talit cloak that Jews use during prayer. The history of the combination of white and blue goes back to ancient times, as told in the Torah, the holy book of the Jews. The book records that God, in creating the commandments, conveyed a request through Moses for the Jewish people to always wear tzitzit. The tzitzit was a bundle in the form of a brush sewn to the corners of the talit, into which a blue thread was woven.

At the same time blue itself was associated with the sea and the sky. The hexagram in the center of the white background was also colored in this color.

The Star of David reflects the six positive qualities of the Jewish people: modesty, sincerity, chastity, generosity, humility, and unselfishness.

The so-called shield of David dates back to the time of the Jewish king Solomon, and according to some sources the star was brought by one of his pagan wives. According to another version, the symbol originated in India, but no one knows how it came to be in Israel.

Uri Ofir, a researcher of Jewish heritage, claims that the configuration of the star resembles the shape of a flower that was placed under each of the seven lamps of the Temple Minor. According to the scholar, the flower represented nothing less than a white lily, as mentioned in the Aramaic translation of the ancient Onkelos Bible.

About 170 designs were considered in the creation of the design of the modern national flag of Israel. Some designs included yellow and orange, as well as the color purple and scarlet, which represents royalty. However, the use of yellow on the flag was immediately abandoned – it was the color of the Jewish stars that Jews were forced to wear during the Third Reich.

General information about Israel

Official language Hebrew
Capital Jerusalem
Territory 20,770 km2
Population 8,972,000 people
Currency new shekel ₪

(ILS code 376)

Phone Code +972

Map of Israel

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