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The National Symbols of Israel ... Do you know them?

Posted by Iris Hami on Aug 22, 2013 2:02:30 PM

Israel_flagPersonally, I love to find out and know how certain things came to be; the evolution of ideas, symbols and icons. In Israel, it is fascinating to discover why National Symbols were chosen and more important why they are appropriate to the people represented and symbolized.

The flag of Israel is the official flag of the State of Israel, which represents the state, its sovereignty, its institutions and its citizens, both in Israel and worldwide. This flag has a white background and two horizontal blue stripes, and a blue Star of David in the middle.
The flag was conceived during the period of the First Aliyah and was adopted as the flag of the Zionist movement since the movement's inception in 1897. The flag was officially chosen as the flag of the State of Israel on 28 October 1948, and it was favored over other flag proposals, mainly due to the popularity it gained among the Jewish population In Israel.
The two blue stripes represent a Tallit, a Jewish prayer shawl,and both sides of the split Red Sea that the Jewish people walked through as written in the bible.
The Star of David represents the Jewish identity of Israel, as well as the culture and history of the Jewish people.
Personally I just love the Blue and White. It’s very crisp and clean. Our flag is an honest flag with little pretense and no nonsense.

The emblem of Israel is an Escutcheon which contains a Menorah in its center, two olive branches (see national tree) on both sides of the Menorah and at the bottom the label "Israel".
The emblem was designed by the brothers Gabriel and Maxim Shamir and was officially chosen on 10 February 1949 from among many other proposals submitted as part of a design competition held in 1948.
I personally think that our emblem is a brilliant piece, once again in a simple display of blue and white, the emblem is clear, intelligent, pragmatic and straight forward. Rather like we are.

"Hatikvah" is the national anthem of Israel. The anthem was written in 1878 by Naphtali Herz Imber, a secular Galician Jew from Zolochiv (today in Lviv Oblast) who moved to the Land of Israel in the early 1880’s.The poem was subsequently adopted as the anthem of Hovevei Zion and later of the Zionist Movement at the First Zionist Congress in 1897. The text subsequently underwent a number of other changes. "Hatikvah" is one of only a few national anthems in the world which is in a minor scale (the others Mila Rodino" (Bulgaria) and "Meniñ Qazaqstanım" (Kazakhstan), although some Asian countries do not recognize this tonality such as Japan and Napal) which sounds mournful, but as the title suggests, the song is optimistic and uplifting.
The anthem's theme revolves around the nearly 2000-year-old hope of the Jewish people to be a free and sovereign people in the Land of Israel, a national dream that would eventually be realized with the founding of the modern State of Israel in 1948.
I personally think it is one of the most beautiful musical masterpieces ever written. I also believe that music resonates with the energy of the universe bringing either a positive or negative vibration. Our anthem, “Hatkvah” feels like a soothing lullaby of peace and hope. It’s all good!

The national colors of Israel are officially blue and white as seen on the flag of Israel. The origin of the combination of these colors is from the Bible, in which they are mentioned in several instances.
Blue and white are also the traditional team colors of the Israel national sporting teams.
As with the American red, white and blue, Israel’s national colors are primary, clean and strong. No other colors blend to create red, white and blue. They stand alone. I love to see the blue/white with silver trimmings at Hanukkah time too. I also love the color blue, but that’s just me.

The Hoopoe was chosen as the national bird of the State of Israel in May 2008 in conjunction with the country's 60th anniversary, following a national survey of 155,000 citizens, outpolling the White-spectacled Bulbul.
The Hoopoe was declared as the national bird of the State of Israel on 29 May 2008 by the president of Israel Shimon Pares.
If you are not as familiar with the Hoopoe as I am, let me just say that this colorful bird is the perfect choice for Israel. Found across Afro-Eurasia, the bird, like we are from a very rare and special species. The Israeli Hoopoe is best known for its distinctive crown. Pretty much says it all.

In September 2007 the Cyclamen, more exactly Cyclamen Persicum was elected as the national flower of the State of Israel and as its official representative in the botanical exhibition "We Are One World" held in Beijing.
The Cyclamen won over by a small margin over the Anemone Coronaria (6509 compared with 6053 votes) in a poll conducted among visitors of the popular Israeli website Ynet
Again, the perfect choice. Hardy, tolerant and able to bloom at any time of the year, the Cyclamen is delicately beautiful with distinctive foliage and a very solid (tuber) foundation.

In September 2007 the olive was elected as the national tree of the State of Israel and as its official representative in the botanical exhibition "We Are One World" held in Beijing.
The olive won by a large margin over the Ouercus Calliprinos in a poll conducted among visitors of the popular Israeli website Ynet.
It is almost a given to me that the Olive Tree would be and should be ours. Not only for all of the positive impression given the Olive over the centuries but also the enigma of the tree and the beginning of the many legends inspired by it. Our national tree simply had to be this tree. I think it is very, very spiritual indeed.

The Canaan dog is the national dog of Israel. The Canaan Dog is a member of the Pariah-type of dog, a sub family of the Spitz group of dogs. The Canaan dog has been very common in the Southern Levant region, from Sinai to Syria.
The breed was recognized by the Israeli Association of Dog Handlers 1963 and in 1966 the breed was also recognized as Israel's national dog breed by the Federation Cynologique Internationale.
I agree with the choice as Canaan’s are loyal, agile, hard-working and excel in obedience, confirmation and herding. Pretty much sums up the average Israeli. Except for those like me and the agile part.

Topics: Christian Travel, Culture and Heritage, Enlightenment, Facts about Israel, Fun stuff, group travel, Israel Travel