Flag of Mandatory Palestine

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Union Jack
Palestine maritime ensign

During the British Mandate for Palestine from 1920 until 1948, the de facto flag was the Union Jack or Union Flag of the United Kingdom, but several localized flags existed for Mandate government departments and government officials. The only Palestine-specific flag not restricted to official government use was the Palestine ensign (red with the Union Flag in the canton, and a white circle on the fly with the mandate's name inside it), which was flown by ships registered in the British Mandate territory during the period 1927–1948. This flag had an extremely limited use on land, and was not embraced by either the Arabs or the Jews of the Palestine mandate territory. It was based on the British Red Ensign (civil ensign) instead of the Blue Ensign (used as the basis for the flags of nearly all other British-ruled territories in Africa and Asia), since it was only intended for use at sea by non-government ships.[1][2]

Zionist Flags in Mandatory Palestine[edit]

1925 article in Filastin (newspaper), setting out objections to the flying of the Zionist flag under the guise of it being the flag of the HaKoah football team, given the ban against the Arab flag. It concludes by stating that the only official flag of the state is the Union Jack.
Palestinian Flag according to flag chart from Nouveau Petit Larousse Illustré, 1924

The use of Zionist or Hebrew flags was common in the Yishuv, as the body of Jewish residents in Palestine was known before the establishment of the State of Israel, and such flags were often flown by such Yishuv institutions as The Jewish Agency or the Histadrut. However, the Yishuv constituted only one of the country's main ethnic communities - the other such community, the Palestinian Arabs, being strongly opposed to the Zionist movement and to this movement's flag(s) and having quite different flags of their own. Thus, Hebrew flags were never recognized or given an official status by the British authorities, which throughout the vicittudes of their Palestine policy always asserted an impartiality as between Jews and Arabs - the only official Flag of Palestine being the Union Jack and its derivatives, as noted above.

Still, the French dictionary Le Petit Larousse Illustré contained a world flag section which, from 1924 to 1939, showed the flag of Palestine as a yellow Star of David on a Blue and White background.[3] It is unknown on which basis Le Petit Larousse Illustré chose this flag as representing Palestine. While what would become after 1948 the Flag of Israel also includes the Star of David and a Blue and White background, these elements are arranged in a completely different way. The "Larousse Flag of Palestine' resembles the flag used by HaKoah Vienna FC and the Palestine-based, Zionist-oriented Hofiya Shipping Company in 1933-4[unreliable source?].[4]

See also[edit]