The State of Israel's national flag features a dark sky-blue Star of David and two stripes on a white background. The six-pointed star originated in ancient cultures and only later emerged as the symbol of the Jewish people. The name "Star of David", according to Gershom Shalom, stems from legends that spread among the bearers of secrets in the Middle Ages, regarding the special powers of King David's shield which saved the People of Israel in battle. The blue color was derived from the biblical verse, "let them attach a cord of blue to the fringe at each corner" (Numbers 15, 38). White and blue, along with gold and purple, were the colors of the High Priest's robes (Exodus 28) as well as the colors of the Temple curtains (Exodus 26).
One of the earliest appearances of the Star of David as a Jewish symbol was in Prague, from which it spread during the 17th and 18th centuries to Moravia, Austria and other countries. The first known mention of a blue and white national flag appeared in the poem "Judah's Colors" (1864) by Austrian Jewish poet Ludwig August Frankel. The first Hovevei Zion societies used the Star of David as a national symbol.
Four Milestones in the History of the Flag
Prague, 15th century
The flag of the Jewish community of Prague was first raised in 1490. This flag originally featured the Ten Commandments, which were replaced in the 1530's and 40's by a Star of David with an illustration of a Jewish hat at the center.
Ness Ziona, 1891
On 1 January 1891 a "Triple Holiday" was celebrated in Wadi Hanin (Ness Ziona), marking the laying of the cornerstone for the "workers colony". Many guests were invited to participate, including the leaders of the Jewish Yeshuv. Michael Halperin, a legendary guard and visionary, appeared leading the "Mahane Yehuda" mounted company that he founded to protect the newly established communities in Eretz Israel. He pulled a folded flag from under his cape and waved it high. The blue and white flag featured an embroidered gold Star of David and the words "Ness Ziona".
"The State of the Jews" Herzl, 1896
In his book "The State of the Jews" (1896), Theodor Herzl described the flag of the state of the Jews as "white with seven gold stars. The white cloth symbolizes new, pure life; the stars are the seven golden hours of our work day, for the Jews are going to work the new land".
The State of Israel, 1948
When the State of Israel was established, a contest was held to design the national flag, however all the proposals were rejected. On 28 October 1948, the provisional government announced its choice of the Zionist Movement flag as the national flag of Israel.