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Al-Falasteen, Palestinian National Authority, Al-Sulta al-Watanieh al-Filistinieh

Last modified: 2005-02-19 by santiago dotor
Keywords: palestine | palestinian authority | al-falasteen | arab | plo | pna | league of arab states | triangle: hoist (red) | swords: 2 (crossed) | swords: 2 (white) | palm tree | eagle of saladin |
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[Palestine] 1:2
by Santiago Dotor

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The flag specifications laid down in a decree of 1 December 1964 said that the triangle's length is half of its height. So it is 1/4th of the flag's length, and Album des Pavillons 2000 is correct. The colours are not specified in that decree. (...) The flag's ratio is 1:2. As far as I know the decree is still in force or even was confirmed in 1994. You can see the flags with such triangles in every TV report and on photographs. The triangle is nearly always the same [shape], even when the flag is shorter (2:3 or whatever).

Ralf Stelter, 23-24 January 2001

There are basically three of our flags. The Common Flag is flown on a daily basis in representative offices such as ours, and is a triband (from top to bottom: black, white, green) with red triangle pointing to the middle of the white band. The other two are the Official and the Presidential flags. (...) In reference to the colour, this remains uncertain as there are no real specific colours. The green for instance could vary from turquoise to forest green.

Al Bitar (Palestinian Embassy at Bucharest), 15 February 1999

State Flag

Yesterday, on a newscast on the situation in the Middle East, I saw a Palestinian flag behind Yasser Arafat, with some white and yellow drawings on the black stripe, near the red triangle. The flag was folded and the footage was short, so I only cought a glimpse of it. Could this be some kind of presidential standard or state flag — if such a thing exists for Palestine?

Jorge Candeias, 4 December 1997

On a black and white photo of president Arafat's visit to Hebron in September 1997, in upper hoist corner of black band of the palestinian flag there were two crossed swords under Saladin's eagle: what is the use of this other flag?

Armand du Payrat, 15 February 1999

The Official Flag is flown on official holidays only. The same basic layout of triband and triangle applies, the only exception being the eagle of Salahidin —also the official emblem of Palestine, Egypt, and many others— and the two swords.

Al Bitar (Palestinian Embassy at Bucharest), 15 February 1999

History of the Flag

The Palestinian flag represents all Palestinian Arab aspirations regardless of party. It belongs to the Arab Revolt grouping of Arab flags and is a deliberate copy of the Jordanian flag (minus the star), which presumably represents the historical link to 1920-23 when Palestine and Transjordan were one territory. I think the flag was adopted in 1964 at the creation of the PNC and PLO, possibly a little later. It was definitely in use by 1974 when the Arab League declared the PLO the sole representative of all Palestinians and the UN granted the PLO observer status. There was no single Palestinian authority prior to 1964 that could have created a flag.

T.F. Mills, 13 December 1995

From the PASSIA (Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs) home page:

Sharif Hussein designed the current flag as the flag of the Arab Revolt on June 1916. The Palestinian people raised it as the flag of the Arab National movement in 1917. In 1947, the Arab Ba'ath Party interpreted the flag as a symbol of the liberation and unity of the Arab nation. The Palestinian people readopted the flag at the Palestinian conference in Gaza in 1948. The flag was recognized by the Arab League as the flag of the Palestinian people. It was further endorsed by the PLO, the representative of the Palestinians, at the Palestinian conference in Jerusalem in 1964.
See Origin of the Pan-Arab Colours for the full text. Quoted source: Mahdi Abdul Hadi, Evolution of the Arab Flag, Amman, February 1986.