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Historical Flags (Palestine)

Last modified: 2005-04-09 by santiago dotor
Keywords: palestine | historical | unidentified flag |
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Before 1916

[Ottoman Palestine until 1916]
by António Martins

Palestine was part of the Ottoman Empire and used the Ottoman flag.

Santiago Dotor, 18 October 2000

Palestine and Transjordan 1916-1923

[Union Flag (Palestine and Transjordan 1916-1923)] 1:2
by António Martins

The British took Jerusalem in December 1916. The allied supreme council created a British mandate on 25 April 1920 and the League of Nations approved it 24 July 1922. The Balfour Declaration of 1917, providing for a Jewish national home, applied to Palestine, but not Transjordan. Transjordan was separated from Palestine as an autonomous state on 26 May 1923.

T.F. Mills, 16 December 1997

Palestinian Flag used in the 1936-1939 Arab Revolt

José Manuel Erbez reported in the Spanish Vexilologia mailing list a variant of the Palestinian flag used in 1938 during the Arab revolt (scan here). The flag displays a crescent and cross on the hoist triangle, probably representing the muslim-christian union against Jewish settlement. José Manuel Erbez mentioned the picture showing the flag appeared in a history magazine, I believe it is Historia y Vida, June 2002, p. 3, Mundo Revistas S.A., Barcelona. If I remember correctly (I had a look at the magazine weeks ago) there is some Arabic lettering on the bottom stripe. I would guess the flag was home-made.

The crescent and cross emblem recalls that used on a green flag in the 1919 Egyptian revolution (image in Smith 1975 [smi75c]).

Santiago Dotor, 25 June 2002

The Arab Revolt was between 1936 and 1939 and is known in Israel as Me'ora'ot TARTZAV-TARTZAT (i.e. 5696-5699 Events). The Arabs were organized in semi-military groups (known as "the gangs") with very loose connction between each other and between them and the Arab leadership in Jerusalem. There was no coordination or supreme command and each "gang" was led by a local leader. The "pose" in front of the camera and the flag, suggest this is one of the "gangs" and the flag is probably used by this gang. I saw some photos with flags used in this era, and those were all based on the same flag but bear different inscriptions and emblems. I guess that all bought or received the same basic flag and each gang added elements as it (or probably its leader) saw fit.

Dov Gutterman, 25 June 2002

Unidentified 1941 Palestinian flag

I recently bought an atlas from 1932 when I was in Frankfurt, Germany. Inside there was a loose map, entitled Der Nahe Osten (The Near East). The map was from the Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper and printed in 1941. Along the side of the map are short political histories and pictures of flags from the following nations: Egypt, Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Iraq, Iran, Yugoslavia, Palestine, Romania, Saudi Arabia, the Soviet Union, Syria, Transjordan and Turkey.

The flag for Palestine is a simple blue over white, which is similar to that on the Israel pages with the Star of David. Maybe the German paper used that flag and omitted the Jewish symbol?

Roger Moyer, 9 November 1996