Today in history: The symbol of Israel

Today in 1949, the new symbol of the State of Israel was adopted – a Menorah with two olive leaves on its sides.

Two months after the Israeli Declaration of Independence in May 1948, the ‘People’s Council’ established the “Symbol and Flag Committee”, whose role was to establish a flag and a symbol for the State of Israel. The flag was chosen easily and quickly, on the basis of the classic flag of the Zionist movement; but the selection of the symbol was more complicated, and after it was agreed that the symbol would include a Menorah, the committee published requests in the press for proposals from the public. Finally, the committee accepted the proposal of the brothers Gabriel and Maxim Shamir, well-known graphic designers: A square Menorah (the relief known from the Titus Gate in Rome) on the side of which are two olive leaves – a symbol of Israel’s aspiration for peace, and under that the writing “Israel”. In their emblem, the Shamir brothers aimed at the prophecy of the Zechariah: “I saw and behold a golden Menorah, with a bowl at the top and seven lamps on it, with seven channels to the lamps. And two olives on it, one on the right and one on the left.” (It is not known if the brothers were actually aiming for the prophecy. Zachariah, in the book, does not know what is the meaning of what he sees – and perhaps the brothers fulfilled his prophecy.)

Photo Source: Wikipedia

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