Saturday, September 15, 2012

Flag of Israel

Here is an interesting flag with an interesting history, as well as being a record breaker. The flag of Israel was adopted on October 28, 1948, five months after the country's establishment. It depicts a blue Star of David on a white background, between two horizontal blue stripes. The blue color is mandated only as “dark sky-blue“, and varies from flag to flag, ranging from a hue of pure blue, sometimes shaded almost as dark as navy blue, to hues about 75% toward pure cyan and shades as light as very light blue. The flag was designed for the Zionist Movement in 1891. The basic design recalls the Tallit, the Jewish prayer shawl, which is white with blue stripes. The hexagram in the centre is the Magen David or “shield of David. It became a Jewish symbol starting in late medieval Prague, and was adopted by the First Zionist Congress in 1897. In 2007, an Israeli flag measuring 660 by 100 meters and weighing 5.2 tonnes was unfurled near the ancient Jewish fortress of Masada, breaking the world record for the largest flag.




The blue stripes are intended to symbolize the stripes on a tallit, the traditional Jewish prayer shawl. The portrayal of a Star of David on the flag of the State of Israel is a widely-acknowledged symbol of Judaism. The Israelites used a blue colored dye called tethered; this dye is now believed to have been made from the snail Murex tranculus. This dye was very important in both Jewish and non-Jewish cultures of this time, and was used by royalty and the upper class in dyeing their clothing, sheets, curtains, etc.

In 1885 the agricultural village of Rishon LeZion used a blue and white flag to mark its third anniversary. A blue and white flag, with a Star of David and the Hebrew word “Maccabee”, was used in 1891 by the Bnai Zion Educational Society. Jacob Baruch Askowith (1844 - 1908) and his son Charles Askowith designed the “flag of Judah,” which was displayed on July 24, 1891, at the dedication of Zion Hall of the B’nai Zion Educational Society in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. Based on the traditional tallit, or Jewish prayer shawl, that flag was white with narrow blue stripes near the edges and bore in the center the ancient six-pointed Shield of David with the word “Maccabee” in gilt letters.

The white symbolizes light, honesty, innocence and peace. The blue symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven.

Some Israeli Arab politicians, as well as the High Follow-up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel have requested a re-evaluation of the Israeli flag, arguing that the Star of David at the flag's center is an exclusively Jewish symbol. However, many other nations have religiously exclusive symbols on their flags as well. For example, Muslim symbols are on the flags of Algeria, Turkey, and Pakistan, and Christian symbols are on the flags of Denmark, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Israel is also the only country with a Jewish religious symbol on its flag.

The Israeli Flag that stayed flying throughout the siege of Fort Budapest during the Yom Kippur War, which is currently preserved in the Israeli Armored Corps memorial at Latrun. Fort Budapest was the only strongpoint along the vaunted Bar-Lev Line to remain in Israeli hands during the war. The “Ink Flag” of 1948, which was raised during the War of Independence near present-day Eilat. This homemade flag's raising on a pole by several Israeli soldiers was immortalized in a photograph that has been compared with the famous photograph of the United States Flag being raised on the island of Iwo Jima in 1944. Like the latter photograph, the Ink Flag raising has also been reproduced as a memorial. The 2007 World Record Flag, which was unveiled at an airfield near the historic mountain fortress of Masada. The flag, manufactured in the Philippines, measured 660 x 100 meters (2,165 x 330 feet) and weighed 5.2 metric tonnes, breaking the previous record, measured and verified by representatives for the Guinness Book of Records. It was made by Filipino entrepreneur and Evangelical Christian Grace Galindez-Gupana as a religious token and diplomatic gesture of support for Israel.


Source: Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli_flag

This work is released under CC 3.0 BY-SA - http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

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