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March 16, 1973 - Image 32

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1973-03-16

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Page 12—Supplement to The Jewish News—March


Origin of Blue and White Flag of Israel

On Oct. 28, 1948, the Provisional Council of State
adopted the blue and white colors with the Shield of
David as

the flag of Israel. This was unfurled on May
11, 1949, at Lake Success in New York, when Israel
became the 59th member of the United Nations.
The design of the Israeli flag is the same as that
of the Zionist flag which was used at the First Zionist
Congress, held in Basle in 1897. A major role in working
out this design was played by David Wolfsohn, the dis-
tinguished Zionist leader who, in 1905, succeeded Theo-
dor Herzl as President of the World Zionist Organization.
Here is Wolfsohn's own account of the birth of the
Zionist flag:
"At the behest of our leader, Herzl, I came to Basle

to make preparations for the Zionist Congress, to assure
its success and to avoid any opening for detractors
Among the many problems that occupied me then was
one which contained something of the essence of the
Jewish problem. What flag would we hang in the Con-
gress Hall? . . . Then an idea struck me. We have a
flag—and it is blue and white. The talit (prayer-shawl)
which we wrap ourselves in when we pray: that is our
symbol! Let us take this talit from its bag and unroll
it before the eyes of Israel and the eyes of all nations.
So I ordered a blue and white flag with the Shield of
David painted upon it. That is how our national flag,
that flew over Congress Hall, came into being. And no
one expressed any surprise or asked Whence it came,
or how."


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