|Variant flag of Palestine|
|Variant flag of Palestine|
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The flag is a tricolor of three equal horizontal stripes (black, white, and green from top to bottom) overlaid by a red triangle issuing from the hoist. These are the Pan-Arab colors. The flag is almost identical to that of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party, and extremely similar to the Flag of Jordan and Flag of Western Sahara, all of which draw their inspiration from the Arab Revolt against Ottoman rule (1916–1918). Prior to being the flag of the Palestinian people, it was the flag of the short lived Arab Federation of Iraq and Jordan. The flag of the Arab Revolt had the same graphic form, but the colours were arranged differently (white on the bottom, rather than in the middle).
The flag used by the Arab Palestinian nationalists in the first half of the 20th century is the flag of the 1916 Arab Revolt. The origins of the flag are the subject of dispute and mythology. In one version, the colours were chosen by the Arab nationalist 'Literary Club' in Constantinople in 1909, based on the words of the 13th-century Arab poet Safi a-Din al-Hili:
Ask the high rising spears, of our aspirations
Bring witness the swords, did we lose hope
We are a band, honor halts our souls
Of beginning with harm, those who won’t harm us
White are our deeds, black are our battles,
Green are our fields, red are our swords.
(Safi al-Din al-Hili, poet).
Another version credits the Young Arab Society, formed in Paris in 1911. Yet another version is that the flag was designed by Sir Mark Sykes of the British Foreign Office. Whatever the correct story, the flag was used by Sharif Hussein by 1917 at the latest and quickly became regarded as the flag of the Arab national movement in the Mashriq.
On October 18, 1948, the flag of the Arab Revolt was adopted by the All-Palestine Government, and was recognised subsequently by the Arab League as the flag of Palestine. A modified version (changing the order of stripes) has been used in Palestine at least since the late 1930s and was officially adopted as the flag of the Palestinian people by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1964. On November 15, 1988 the PLO adopted the flag as the flag of the State of Palestine.
On the ground the flag became widely used since the Oslo Agreements, with the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in 1993. Today the flag is flown widely by Palestinians and their supporters.
In 1967, immediately following the Six Day War, the State of Israel banned the Palestinian flag in the occupied Gaza Strip and West Bank. A 1980 law forbidding artwork of "political significance" banned artwork composed of its four colours, and Palestinians were arrested for displaying such artwork.
Since the signing of the Oslo Peace Accords in 1993, the ban has been abolished.
Use of other flags
Flag of Hamas
The flag of Hamas consists of white Arabic text on a plain-green background. It is used in the Gaza Strip along with the Palestinian flag. The Arabic inscription on the flag, written in the calligraphic Thuluth script, is the shahada or Islamic declaration of faith:
- لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا الله مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ الله
- Lā ʾilāha ʾillā l-Lāh Muḥammadur rasūlu l-Lāh
- "There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of God."
- Coat of arms of Palestine
- Kingdom of Hejaz
- Flag of the Arab Revolt
- Flag of Arab Federation 1958
- Flag of Jordan
- 1920 flag of British sponsored Kingdom of Hejaz in the Arabian peninsula
- Tamir Sorek, The orange and the ‘Cross in the Crescent’: imagining Palestine in 1929, Nations and Nationalism, Vol 10 (2004) 269-291.
- United Nations Security Council: The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question (S/PV.5077)
Mr. Terje Roed-Larsen, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General: "[Arafat] with the trademark kaffiyeh epitomized Palestinian identity and national aspirations, even more than the Palestinian flag or the national anthem."
- Flags of the World: Palestine
Quote: "The Palestinian flag represents all Palestinian Arab aspirations regardless of party."
- AmericanDiplomacy.org: Palestinian Psychological Operations: The First Intifada by Jamie Efaw
Quote: "An example of a common, obvious symbolism came in the form of the Palestinian flag. [...] the flag and the colors transmitted the message to all target audiences the underlying theme of the entire Intifada—Palestinian nationalism. The flag, the symbol of Palestinian nationalism, was ubiquitous in the occupied territories."
- Kifner, John (October 16, 1993). "Ramallah Journal; A Palestinian Version of the Judgment of Solomon". The New York Times. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
- Dalrymple, William (October 2, 2002). "A culture under fire". The Guardian (London). Retrieved May 21, 2010.
- "The watermelon makes a colourful interlude". The Age (Melbourne). September 12, 2004.
|40x40px||Wikimedia Commons has media related to Flags of the Palestinian National Authority.|
- Palestine at Flags of the World
- The Meaning of the Flag at the website of the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs