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The Israeli Flag and Its Place in the Jewish Community

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Israeli FlagPeoples and nations alike are so often tied to mythologized, seemingly larger-than-life figures, the values their legend claims to represent, and the symbols and iconography associated with them. The United Kingdom immortalized both the legendary King Arthur and historical Richard the Lionheart as larger-than-life statues, William Wallace still looms large for Scots across the realm, and America has come to mythologize both George Washington and the creation of the original American flag as used by the Thirteen Colonies.

Even so, few figures can match the magnitude and symbolic resonance of King David and the Star which now not only bears his name, but flies in Judea today as the standard of the Israeli nation. Indeed, it might be seen as the only logical choice for the flag of a Jewish state, as the Star of David has come to be taken as the international symbol of the Jewish people from Tel Aviv to Leipzig, London, Los Angeles and back again. The flag is that of the Israel, but the Star of David and the tradition, perseverance, unity and—as the Israeli national anthem states—the “hope of two thousand years” it represents is indeed an ideal in which Jews from all over the world can share and take solace.

We at yourholylandstore.com are proud to pay homage to the Israeli flag as a uniquely “Jewish” flag, with all the history both recent and ancient alike wrapped up in that banner adorned by Blue, White and, most importantly of all, the Star of David.

The comedian and incredible wit Eddie Izzard famously satirized the propensity of nationalism to tie itself to flags, and yet this oh-so-Jewish flag, like so many others before and since, really does reflect the history and nature of the people it represents. The American flag has thirteen Stripes for the original Thirteen Colonies and fifty Stars, one for each state in the Union. The flag of the United Kingdom “unites” the centuries-old flags of England, Scotland and Ireland. For all of that, however, the Israeli flag, as a Jewish flag representing the Jewish people, takes its seemingly simple iconography from even more iconic elements. Blue and White have been the “colors” of the Jewish people for millennia, and may be seen as representing Divinity and Purity, respectively. On a secular level, these may again may be seen as the traditional colors of the Jewish people, the colors that have been used by and associated with them through good times and bad, and so have become as distinctly and forever “Jewish” as England’s Red Cross is definitely “English.” There is a sense of continuity and solidarity in those colors, in the tallit-like layout of the two blue stripes set alongside the white middle, and especially the Star of David itself, which like the legendary king for whom its named has come to stand not just for Israel and Jewish communities not merely as people, but indeed, a People—Distinct, singular, and even in moments of division, united in that common sense and millennia-old, ever-evolving ideal of “Jewishness” the Star of David represents.

Turkey and Pakistan feature the Sickle and Star of Islam. Many nations—including the United Kingdom—feature the Cross so central and iconic in Christianity.

But there is one state that flies the one singular symbol of the Jewish people, has done so through war, trial, hardship and support from all across the Diaspora, and it is in that sense of unity and community that the Israeli Flag and its Star of David truly becomes the Jewish flag for the Jewish state and, even more importantly, the Jewish People—then and now and forevermore.

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