This page is part of © FOTW Flags Of The World website

Civil Ensign (Israel)

Last modified: 2002-10-26 by santiago dotor
Keywords: israel | star: 6 points (blue outlined) | oval (white) | law | construction sheet |
Links: FOTW homepage | search | disclaimer and copyright | write us | mirrors

[Civil Ensign (Israel)] 2:3
by Zeljko Heimer
Flag adopted 14th August 1960

See also:


The civil ensign is blue with a white oval off-centred to the hoist and a blue Magen David on it. Proportions 2:3.

Zeljko Heimer, 1 April 1996

Flag Legislation

Here is my translation, my comments in brackets:

Maritime Act (Vessels) 5720-1960 [adopted August 14, 1960]
Section 86
The flag is 180 cm long and 120 cm wide, its background is dark blue [Tkhelet Ke'he] with a white oval placed 15 cm from top, bottom and hoist. The oval is 90 cm in its long axis and 60 cm in the short axis. In its middle is a Magen David made of six blue [Tkhelet] stripes, 3 cm wide, which combined make two triangles whose bases are parallel to the horizontal sides of the flag. Each triangle's base is 30 cm and each one of its sides is 45 cm.

Dov Gutterman, 15 September 1998

Specifications and Construction Sheet

[Construction Sheet (Civil Ensign, Israel)] 120 cm ×180 cm
N.B. the star has the same shade of blue as the field
by Zeljko Heimer

In the first reading of the [above] passage, one gets the impression that something is not quite right defined. (...) There are actually only two questions that I might think of. (...) The first question regards the vertical 'distance' between the two triangles which form the Magen David. One could make this offset any distance, and obtain something that looks like a Magen David, but still there is only a correct one, that in which the outer small triangles are all the same. I guess that the law assumes this characteristic and thus omits mentioning it. One can visualise this (...) as a mesh of 12 triangles, 6 in the 'points' and 6 in the centre — on the construction sheet they are highlighted in green. The total dimensions of 120 ×180 cm are not indicated, in order not to overload the image.

Zeljko Heimer, 1 November 2000

[Possible variant (Civil Ensign, Israel)]
N.B. the star has the same shade of blue as the field
by Zeljko Heimer

A further question is whether the dimensions of the triangles are 'middle-line' or 'outer edge' dimensions. I guess the answer is that they are outer dimensions out of practical reasons. Otherwise the image would look like this one [il~civ!.gif], where the 'middle-lines' are highlighted in green. However in that case the horizontal width of the triangle is not 30 cm but approximately 34,25 cm.

Zeljko Heimer, 1 November 2000

Album des Pavillons 2000, page IS 2.1, shows the civil ensign with a single shade of blue (dark blue).

Zeljko Heimer, 15 January and 17 July 2001

When on 15 September 1998 I reported about the specifications of the Israeli civil ensign (merchant flag), I made a mistake. Since the 1948 proclamation about the national flag uses Tkhelet Ke'he (dark azure) for the stripes and Tkhelet (azure) for the Magen David even though both are the same colour, I checked again the appendix of section 86 of the Maritime Act (Vessels) 5720-1960 — only to find out that the same words are used there too. I made some telephone inquiries, with the same conclusion: there is only one shade of blue in the civil ensign.

Dov Gutterman, 23 August 2001

Incorrect Green Ensign on a stamp

[Incorrect green civil ensign on stamp (Israel)]
by António Martins

I came across this strange stamp from 1958 where —in order to be in the same color as the stamp— the artist made also a green civil ensign. Be sure, there has never been such an ensign. The stamp is one of four stamps that were issued in January 27th, 1958 under the name Maritime Stamps. The stamps show the ship Nirit and 3,225,000 stamps of this kind were issued, one fourth of them with the supplement that includes the "green ensign". All four stamps were designed by Mrs. M. Kroli. Another flag that was included in this series was the Zim houseflag (with blue stars instead of gold - also to resemble the stamp color).

Dov Gutterman, 2 June 1999

By looking carefully at the faulty Israeli stamp, I came to the conclusion it was not an error, but a kind of artistic licence. The stamps I prefer from a philatelical point of view are engraved, and you can feel their relief with your finger. This engraving technique allows only a limited use of colours (usually quadrichromy). Often, for the sake of aesthetic impression, only one colour is used. So if you saw a green ship on the Israeli stamp, you would immediately imagine that the real ship was not green, and the same must hold for the flag.

The modern techniques of offset and heliogravure are cheaper and more and more popular, especially for the massive release made abroad. In this case, colour errors are not artistic, they are simply mistakes. And the third kind of flag error on stamps is anachronism, e.g. showing the Canadian pale on World War Two commemorative stamps.

Ivan Sache, 5 June 1999

I agree it is not an error but an "artistic" use of the flag. It goes also for another flag on the same series of stamps which show Zim houseflag with blue stars (instead of gold) also to match the blue background of the stamp.

Dov Gutterman, 5 June 1999

CHANNELS :: Compare Country infoCountry guide & StudyFlagsMapsSightseeingTravel WarningsHotel Directory DESTINATIONS :: AsiaAfricaCaribbean Middle EastNorth AmericaSouth AmericaCentral AmericaOceania PacificEuropePolar Regions UTILITIES :: WeatherWorld TimeISD CodesTravel Links Link Exchange
DestinationsMonuments WONDERS :: AncientModernNatural | Privacy Policy