Last modified: 2023-01-21 by martin karner
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8:11 image by Željko Heimer
I found this flag in an old photo
of Ben-Gurion taken in the opening ceremony of the Courage
Road, the old Jerusalem highway linking Tel-Aviv with Jerusalem. It was taken on Kislev 5708
("Tashakh"), that is November-December 1947, meaning
before the establishment of the State of Israel. It looked like
the current Israeli flag, with a change: the star of David in the
middle was not a wire star, but a filled one. Also, the
tint seemed darker than the current one, but one cannot tell,
since it is black and white.
Amit Lev, 17 June 1999
In my humble opinion this flag is not a proposal but a
historical flag. Since 29 November 1947 (UN resolution) the
Zionist Organization acted as a state inside the state, with
government branches etc., and the Zionist flag was hoisted almost
regularly. Since the UN resolution, the British stayed in their
camps and left the country without their control. Even though 14
May 1948 was the declaration (of independence) day, we take the
29 November 1947 as the beginning of the independence.
Dov Gutterman, 26 June 1999
The photograph of David Ben Gurion standing before a row of
flags labeled could not possibly have been taken in 1947.
The ceremony in honor of the Courage Road could not have been held in 1947 as the road was built in the summer of 1948!
More commonly known as "The Burma Road" it was built by an American officer, Col. Mickey Marcus to relieve the British-Jordanian portion of the siege of Jerusalem.
Stan Brin, 22 November 2004
Stan is correct about the wrong date but mistaken with all
The "Courage Road" is not the "Burma Road" but the road connecting Ramlah and Shimshon Junction. This road (now Road 44) was the main road to Jerusalem until 1967 and was used since the mandate-era road was cut by the Jordanians and the Independence War's "Burma Road" was not suitable for regular traffic. Today it is used for local traffic as the main road to Jerusalem is by Highway No. 1.
However, The "Courage Road" was opened by Ben-Gurion on 7 December 1948 so it could not been a 1947 variant. The ceremony took place on Nahshon Junction (roads 44 & 3).
The "Burma Road" was not built by an American officer, Col. Mickey Marcus. It was built by the soldiers of Har'el Reginant commanded by Yizhak Rabin. Mickey Marcus (aka Mickey Stone or David Marcus) was nominated as the commander of the Central Front but was killed shortly afterwards by friendly fire, since he knew no word in Hebrew (as well the password) and the sentry that shot him didn't recognize him).
Dov Gutterman, 22 November 2004
news reel from British Pathé, labeled
"Military Demonstration In Israel (1948)", this flag variant can be seen several
times (e.g. at 1:21, 5:37, 6:00, still picture). According to the page about the history of the
national flag of Israel the design with the "wire star" was determined on 28
October 1948 to be Israel's official national flag, almost half a year after the
founding of the state. So we can assume that these pictures were made between
the founding of the state on 14 Mai 1948 and the determination of the actual
flag design on 28 October 1948. This is supported by the notes in the
description section of the video, which seems to be contemporary. There the flag
is mentioned as "Jewish flag" or "banner with Jewish star on it", but never as
"Israeli flag". Given the opening date of the "Courage Road" (7 December 1948)
we can dismiss the idea that the photo from Amit Lev is from that opening. It must be from an event
that took place before 28 October 1948.
Martin Karner, 19 July 2020