|Adopted||28 May 1964 (PLO)|
15 November 1988 (State of Palestine)
|Design||A horizontal tricolour of black, white, and green; with a red triangle based at the hoist|
Variant flag of State of Palestine
|Use||State flag and ensign|
|Designed by||A horizontal tricolour of black, white, and green; with a red triangle based at the hoist charged with the national emblem in the upper hoist corner|
The Palestinian flag (Arabic: ) 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. This flag is derived from the Pan-Arab colors and it is used to represent the State of Palestine and the Palestinian people. It was first adopted on 28 May 1964 by the Palestinian Liberation Organization.
The flag is almost identical to that of the Hashemite Kingdom of Hejaz and the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party (both use a 2:3 ratio as opposed to the Palestine's 1:2) as well as the short-lived Arab Federation of Iraq and Jordan (which had an equilateral triangle at the hoist). It is also very 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). 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 Istanbul in 1909, based on the words of the 13th-century Arab poet Safi al-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.
Another version credits the Young Arab Society, which was 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. A modified version (changing the order of stripes) 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.
A pro-Palestinian banner at a demonstration in Trafalgar Square, London.
A large Palestinian flag in Barcelona.
Neturei Karta ultra-orthodox Jews with Palestinian flags.
A Palestinian girl wearing Palestinian flags in a protest on Nakba Day 2010 in Hebron.
Palestinian supporters in Nicaragua with a Palestinian flag.
Israeli and Palestinian flags sewn together. Credit: Lance Trumbull - EverestPeaceProject.org.