World Facts

What Do the Colors and Symbols of the Flag of Israel Mean?

The flag of Israel was adopted on 28 October, 1948.

A Brief History of Israel

Israel is a Middle Eastern nation with coastlines on the Red Sea and Mediterranean Sea. Human settlements in the region date as far back as the Iron Age. For centuries, the region that is modern-day Israel was conquered by various different powers. In 1947, the United Nations adopted a Partition Plan for Palestine. According to this plan, two independent states, one for the Jews and the other for the Arabs, was to be created. Although the Jewish Agency for Palestine agreed to the plan, it was rejected by Arab leaders. However, in 1948, the Jewish Agency declared the establishment of an independent Jewish state of Israel. Since then, several wars have been fought between Israel and the Arabs over control of the territory. Israeli–Palestinian conflicts continue to date.

History of the Flag of Israel

Five months after the establishment of the independent state of Israel, the country adopted its national flag. According to state legislation, the flag’s official dimensions are 160 × 220 cm and its proportions are 8:11. The flag was first designed during the 1891 Zionist Movement. In 2007, a flag of Israel measuring 2,170 ft × 330 ft and weighing 5.2 tonnes was displayed near Masada, an ancient fortress associated with Jewish history. The flag became the world’s largest flag, breaking all previous records.

Flag Design

The national flag of Israel features two horizontal blue bands (top and bottom) and a blue Star of David in the center, set on a white field.

Symbolism

Since Israel is a nation with a Jewish majority, symbols of Judaism are represented on the flag. The flag's basic design is based on the tallit, which is a fringed garment made of white cloth with black or blue stripes, and is traditionally worn by religious Jews. Therefore, the blue stripes and white field of Israel’s flag represent the stripes on the tallit. The Star of David, which is one of the main symbols of Judaism, is also featured on the flag.

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