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Flag day (yes it’s a day) was created to honor the American flag. Who doesn’t remember learning about Betsy Ross in school? Apparently, there are parades happening today throughout the USA. In solidarity with the Stars and Stripes, here are some cool facts about the flag of the State of Israel.

  • The Israeli flag was first the flag of the World Zionist Organization, adopted in Basel, Switzerland in 1987.

  • There was a lot of controversy around accepting it as the official flag for Israel as some thought Israel needed it’s own unique flag - not one that was already hanging all over the world. Many designs were put forward, but the original Zionist flag won the day.

  • In 1948 the Provisional Council of State officially accepted it as the flag for the State of Israel. The design originated from David Wolfsohn who held up his talit (prayer shawl) and said to Theodore Herzl: “That which we wrap ourselves in to pray - that is our symbol”

  • The overall design with the stripes on the sides is meant to look like the tallit. The blue color is also taken from that talit, many of which are blue and white, and is also reminiscent of “techelet” the blue dye used in tzitzit.

  • The Magen Dovid (star) did not originally have religious significance. It was adopted as a symbol and was meant to be an alternative to the Christian cross in order to designate something as Jewish. The use of the star by the Nazi’s to single out Jews for persecution further inspired the Jewish community to adopt it as a symbol of enduring pride.

So wave your flag today and celebrate!

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Cevi