Every nation has its own characteristic symbols or hallmarks that unite and identify the majority population living in the state. Like all nations, Israel has its own flag, emblem and national anthem to express its unique identity.
The Flag of Israel:
consists of a white rectangle with two blue horizontal stripes along its entire length featuring the Magen David (Shield of David) in the center in the form of a hexagram, a six-pointed star formed by two equilateral triangles. The design on the flag was patterned on the model of the tallit or prayer shawl
with the addition of the Magen David, a widely used sign that symbolises Judaism in the same way as the cross symbolises Christianity. The flag in its present form was conceived by the Zionist leader, David Wolffsohn who succeeded Theodor Herzl and became the principal symbol of the Zionist Movement. After the Proclamation of the State of Israel, the flag of Zion was adopted as the official banner by a proclamation of the Provisional Council of State issued on October 28, 1948.
To protect the flag's dignity, the Flag and Emblem Law was enacted by the Knesset on May 24, 1949. During the annual Independence Day it is prominently displayed at all public gatherings to celebrate the joyous holiday and it can be seen draped and fluttering from many automobile windows and home balconies.
The Emblem of Israel:
The most ancient symbol of the Jewish People is the menorah or seven-branched candelabrum. Its origin can be traced back all the way to the Tabernacle, the portable sanctuary used by the Israelites during the Exodus, as well as to the Jerusalem Temple built by King Solomon. In biblical days, the menorah was generally carved from gold, but silver was also
sometimes used. Of particular interest is the menorah found on the Arch of Titus in Rome. The panel on the wall of the arch features the menorah with a double octagon base carried in a triumphal procession by Roman soldiers following the brutal subjugation of Judea in 70 C.E. directed by General Titus.
The menorah was made the official emblem of the State of Israel in February 1949. Its design was patterned after the representation found on the Arch of Titus. The state menorah is flanked by two olive branches with the word "Israel" inscribed at the bottom of the menorah.
The menorah has been and remains the most important religious and national symbol of the Jewish People as evidenced by its wide use in synagogues, illustrated manuscripts, book plates, mosaics, frescoes and on the doors of tombs and tombstones, amulets, rings and other ornaments and artefacts. It is the historical link connecting the Jewish People and the reborn State of Israel to the earliest days of the founding of the Jewish nation in the First Commonwealth.