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Israel Flag's Meaning and How It Was First Designed

Israel Flag's Meaning and How It Was First Designed

By    |   Sunday, 12 October 2014 11:48 AM

On the Israel flag, the stripes, star, and color all bear meaning.

The design of the Israeli flag is simple, with two solid horizontal blue stripes with a blue, six-pointed Star of David between them on a white background. It was adopted by Israel on Oct. 28, 1948, five months after the state's official independence.

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The flag was designed for the Zionist Movement in the late 1800s, and is based on the Ashkenazi Tallit, the striped prayer shawl worn by Jews at morning prayers and during all prayers on Yom Kippur. The flag was adopted at the First Zionist Congress of 1897.

The Star of David is a Jewish symbol that represents the shield of King David, according to the Jewish Virtual Library.

The idea of blue and white as the national color scheme for Jews was first expressed in 1864 by Austrian Jewish poet Ludwig August Frankl (1810-1894). He wrote:

When sublime feelings his heart fill, he is mantled in the colors of his country. He stands in prayer, wrapped in a sparkling robe of white.

The hems of the white robe are crowned with broad stripes of blue; Like the robe of the High Priest, adorned with bands of blue threads.

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Blue and white are the colours of Judah; white is the radiance of the priesthood, and blue, the splendors of the firmament.

Businessman David Wolffsohn and Theodor Herzl were instrumental members of the early Zionist movement that brought people to Palestine in the hope of creating a Jewish state. As the second president of the Zionist Organization, Wolffsohn made what he thought was an obvious choice to adopt the tallit motif.

"We already have a flag, white and blue — the tallit that we wrap ourselves up in during prayer. This tallit is our symbol. Let us take the tallit out from its case and unfurl it before the eyes of Israel and before the eyes of all the nations!" Wolffsohn wrote, according to the Jewish Press.

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On the Israel flag, the stripes, star, and color all bear meaning.
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Sunday, 12 October 2014 11:48 AM
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