Independence Day posters have become a tradition, ever since the first poster was prepared in honor of the State of Israel's first anniversary. The annually printed posters decorate the country and contribute to the festive atmosphere. The themes and values emphasized in the Declaration of Independence, such as immigration, settlement, building of the country, devotion to the country and the Jewish people's historic right to its Land, are portrayed in many of the posters. In recent years, it has become customary for the poster to present the theme chosen by the Ministerial Committee for Symbols and Ceremonies as the central theme for that year.
Studying the posters which have appeared during the 60 years of the State of Israel's existence allows us to follow both the changes in the themes that reflected focal points of public interest as well as the development of artistic design in Israel.
The designer derived his inspiration for the poster from the verse "They who sow in tears shall reap with songs of joy" that appears in the "Song of Ascents" in the Book of Psalms, chapter 126. The sowing, black-clad figure represents the Jewish people in the Diaspora and illustrates the verse "Though he goes along weeping, carrying the seed-bag" while the red, festive figure raising a sheaf tied with blue and white ribbon represents the establishment of the State and illustrates the end of the verse "he shall come back with songs of joy, carrying his sheaves".
The poster presents an idea taken from the Prophet Isaiah's apocalypse. The young boy, who symbolizes the State of Israel in its second decade, is growing flowers in a pot made of an army helmet which is no longer necessary, thus illustrating the verse "And they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks".
The Temple menorah (candelabrum), with the word "Jerusalem" integrated into its branches and the two lions which symbolize the city of Jerusalem are positioned in the center of the poster. This was the first Independence Day after the liberation of Jerusalem in the Six Day War and the return to the Old City and its holy sites was the focal point of that year's Independence Day celebrations.
The peace agreement with Egypt, which was signed one month before Israel's 31st Independence Day, is expressed in this poster. The church steeples and mosques characteristic of Arab towns and the synagogues and water towers characteristic of Jewish towns stand peacefully and serenely one next to the other, as in the verse "I shall confer peace and quiet on Israel" (Chronicles I, 22:9) which was integrated into the menorah in the lower section of the poster.
On its 41st Independence Day, Israel marked 40 years since the start of the mass immigration during which some 680,000 people were absorbed into the country. The designer integrated figures of the throngs of new immigrants making their way down the ship's gangway, hands held up toward the Heavens in prayer and joy, into the poster. The ship is designed in the shape of a large Star of David and illustrates the enormity of the Zionist act that was the absorption of the immigrants.
The 58th year was dedicated to the development of the Negev and the Galilee. In that spirit, the designer designed the Independence Day poster with a large heart at its center, part of which is green with an abundance of rivers and part of which is yellow and adorned with palm trees, illustrating the message "The Negev and the Galilee are in all of our Hearts."
Based on_" Independence Day Posters" edited by Nurit Gavzeh Braverman, Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, Publicity Center/Publications Services, 1998.