Choosing The Emblem of Israel

After establishing the State of Israel and choosing its name, members of the People's Administration needed to choose an emblem. The general public was asked to submit proposals according to clear guidelines: the emblem needed to include the colors light blue and white (and other colors if they liked), seven stars (according to Herzl’s proposal for the flag), and a menorah with seven branches. Within a month, 164 participants submitted 450 proposals, but all were rejected. The winning bid by brothers Gabriel and Maxim Shamir came only after a second call for proposals. The brothers designed the emblem according to the guidelines but were asked to make a few changes: to add the name Israel to the emblem, to replace the modern menorah they had drawn with the image of the menorah from the Arch of Titus in Rome, and to take out Herzl’s stars.

Read more about the proposals that fell short in our blog The Librarians

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