Last modified: 2023-01-14 by martin karner
Keywords: high commissioner | british mandate of palestine | canton: union flag | disc (white): badge | garland | crown: royal | palestine high commissioner |
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|Official badge design, possibly used||Badge as actually used in 1948|
both images by eljko Heimer and António Martins
This flag should have been flown only when the High
Commissioner was afloat. The Union
Flag would have been the usual flag on land.
The shape of the crown was unusual for a British flag.
Nozomi Kariyasu's scan of the Palestine High Commissioner's badge is the official design which would have been surrounded by the standard green laurel leaf garland on a Union Flag. Approved by High Commissioner 17th July 1935, published as part of 1936 amendment (No.5) to Drawings of the Flags of All Nations 1930, discontinued 15th May 1948. The badge that was actually in use in 1948 was more like this scan. This is a reconstruction based on the flag flown on the High Commissioner's launch as shown in a black and white news-reel. The garland should be thicker than in the drawing, I presume that it would have been green, and the crown yellow.
David Prothero, 16 February and 17 October 1999, 18 August 2000 and 15 March 2001
British Union Flag 1:2 defaced in the middle with white disk
containing the badge and encircled with green garland. Badge
consists of a yellow crown (untypical for British crowns) below
which is inscribed in serif font in three rows 'PALESTINE HIGH
COMMISSIONER', the lower row being curved. The actual badge as
shown on David Prothero's scan and the one in Flaggenbuch 1939 are more
then very similar I cannot see any difference.
eljko Heimer, 17 February 2002
In 1932 the Palestine High Commissioner applied to the
Colonial Office for a distinguishing flag. He made some journeys
by launch, but had no defaced Union Flag
of the type normally used to identify a vessel in which a
commissioner was travelling. He did not consider that the badge
used on the ensigns was suitable, and
suggested a badge similar to those of the High Commissioners of
the Western Pacific and South Africa. These badges had an
imperial crown and appropriate initials, on a white disc
surrounded by a garland of green leaves.
The Colonial Office agreed that the badge on the ensigns was, "repellent", and were considering the adoption of a badge that had a crown in the centre with 'PALESTINE' above and 'H.C.' below, when it was decided that the Foreign Office would probably not agree to a badge which featured a crown. The status of the administration of a mandated territory was not entirely clear, and some were of the opinion that in Palestine the Colonial Office were agents of the League of Nations, and that the use of a royal crown was not appropriate. It was proposed instead that a simplified version of the design that had been used for the Public Seal, should be used as a flag badge. (...) The badge based on the Seal was [strongly opposed by the Jewish Agency] and abandoned and on 17th July 1935 the High Commissioner selected a badge, similar to that of the Western Pacific High Commissioner, that had been considered in 1932. The design of the crown is unusual, but is perhaps a simplified version of the standard Imperial Crown with the normally domed arches flattened to make more space within the white circle for the lettering.
The difficulty of fitting the crown and lettering into the available space may explain the version of the badge that appeared on the flag of the High Commissioner when his departure from Palestine was filmed in 1948.
David Prothero, 4 March 2002
image by eljko Heimer
The shape of the crown was unusual for a British flag. (...) I
would be interested if anyone can identify the style of the crown
which is not a Tudor/Imperial crown and unlike any other that I
have seen. It is similar to that of Henry VII (1485) as drawn in Neubecker 1977 page 171.
David Prothero, 16 February and 17 October 1999 and 18 August 2000
Initially I thought that the crown on the badge might intend
to represent that of some (English) Crusader king. I have carried
minor research and I believe the crown has no heraldic or
historical support. The appearance of the crown, the way the
pearls on the arches are represented, the lack of colour (all
yellow) etc. certainly makes it look like a crown on a medieval
seal. However, according to Fox-Davies
1996 who quotes in full a text on English crowns by Cyril
Davenport F.S.A., an expert on the subject, the first English
king to use a crown with crosses-pattée was Henry VI, and the
first to combine these with fleurs-de-lys was Henry VII, both
long past the times of Crusader dominion over Palestine.
Santiago Dotor, 2 February 2000