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Israel – Flag Variant (1947/1948)

Last modified: 2023-01-21 by martin karner
Keywords: israel | shield of david | star: 6 points (blue) | magen david | star of david |
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[Full Magen David 1947 variant (Israel)] 8:11 image by Željko Heimer

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I found this flag in an old photo of Ben-Gurion taken in the opening ceremony of the Courage Road, the old Jerusalem highway linking Tel-Aviv with Jerusalem. It was taken on Kislev 5708 ("Tashakh"), that is November-December 1947, meaning before the establishment of the State of Israel. It looked like the current Israeli flag, with a change: the star of David in the middle was not a wire star, but a filled one. Also, the tint seemed darker than the current one, but one cannot tell, since it is black and white.
Amit Lev
, 17 June 1999

In my humble opinion this flag is not a proposal but a historical flag. Since 29 November 1947 (UN resolution) the Zionist Organization acted as a state inside the state, with government branches etc., and the Zionist flag was hoisted almost regularly. Since the UN resolution, the British stayed in their camps and left the country without their control. Even though 14 May 1948 was the declaration (of independence) day, we take the 29 November 1947 as the beginning of the independence.
Dov Gutterman
, 26 June 1999

The photograph of David Ben Gurion standing before a row of flags labeled could not possibly have been taken in 1947.
The ceremony in honor of the Courage Road could not have been held in 1947 as the road was built in the summer of 1948!
More commonly known as "The Burma Road" it was built by an American officer, Col. Mickey Marcus to relieve the British-Jordanian portion of the siege of Jerusalem.
Stan Brin, 22 November 2004

Stan is correct about the wrong date but mistaken with all other facts.
The "Courage Road" is not the "Burma Road" but the road connecting Ramlah and Shimshon Junction. This road (now Road 44) was the main road to Jerusalem until 1967 and was used since the mandate-era road was cut by the Jordanians and the Independence War's "Burma Road" was not suitable for regular traffic. Today it is used for local traffic as the main road to Jerusalem is by Highway No. 1.
However, The "Courage Road" was opened by Ben-Gurion on 7 December 1948 so it could not been a 1947 variant. The ceremony took place on Nahshon Junction (roads 44 & 3).
The "Burma Road" was not built by an American officer, Col. Mickey Marcus. It was built by the soldiers of Har'el Reginant commanded by Yizhak Rabin. Mickey Marcus (aka Mickey Stone or David Marcus) was nominated as the commander of the Central Front but was killed shortly afterwards by friendly fire, since he knew no word in Hebrew (as well the password) and the sentry that shot him didn't recognize him).
Dov Gutterman, 22 November 2004

On this news reel from British Pathé, labeled "Military Demonstration In Israel (1948)", this flag variant can be seen several times (e.g. at 1:21, 5:37, 6:00, still picture). According to the page about the history of the national flag of Israel the design with the "wire star" was determined on 28 October 1948 to be Israel's official national flag, almost half a year after the founding of the state. So we can assume that these pictures were made between the founding of the state on 14 Mai 1948 and the determination of the actual flag design on 28 October 1948. This is supported by the notes in the description section of the video, which seems to be contemporary. There the flag is mentioned as "Jewish flag" or "banner with Jewish star on it", but never as "Israeli flag". Given the opening date of the "Courage Road" (7 December 1948) we can dismiss the idea that the photo from Amit Lev is from that opening. It must be from an event that took place before 28 October 1948.
Martin Karner, 19 July 2020