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State Flag (Palestine)

Filastīn, Palestinian National Authority, As-Sulta Al-Wataniyya Al-Filastīniyya

Last modified: 2014-05-29 by zoltán horváth
Keywords: palestine | palestinian authority | al-falasteen | arab | plo | pna | league of arab states | triangle: hoist (red) | swords: 2 (crossed) | swords: 2 (white) | eagle of saladin |
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[State Flag (Palestine)] 1:2
image by Eugene Ipavec, 08 May 2007
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Yesterday, on a newscast on the situation in the Middle East, I saw a Palestinian flag behind Yasser Arafat, with some white and yellow drawings on the black stripe, near the red triangle. The flag was folded and the footage was short, so I only cought a glimpse of it. Could this be some kind of presidential standard or state flag – if such a thing exists for Palestine?
Jorge Candeias, 04 Dec 1997

On a black and white photo of president Arafat's visit to Hebron in September 1997 there were two crossed swords under Saladin's eagle in the upper hoist corner of black band of the Palestinian flag: what is the use of this other flag?
Armand du Payrat, 15 Feb 1999

The Official Flag is flown on official holidays only. The same basic layout of triband and triangle applies, the only exception being the eagle of Salahidin – also the official emblem of Palestine, Egypt, and many others – and the two swords.
Al Bitar (Palestinian Embassy at Bucharest), 15 Feb 1999

It's interesting that it would seem that the police, chairman and state flags are basicaly the same with only the symbol moved around the field to differientiate them.
Marc Pasquin, 15 Nov 2004

[high-quality photo of a state flag]; [another high-quality photo of a state flag]
contributors unknown, Nov 2005

So it seems we have reports of several kinds of defaced Palestinian flags used officially:

  • the flag with the emblem (eagle and swords) in the black stripe, identified by FOTW as state / official flag
  • the flag with only swords in the golden [sic] stripe, as shown by Peter Orenski, based on Album des Pavillons [pay00]
  • the flag with the "eagle and swords" emblem in the white stripe, but reaching into the other stripes, identified by FOTW as presidential flag.

I just happened to see a TV report about Israel and the Arabs (ARTE, 15 March 2006, 20.40h-21.40h). There again the third type was seen as table flag with Arafat.
So there are at least three possible solutions:

  1. the flags (or at least the flag usage) changed over time, for instance from Arafat to Abbas;
  2. two or three types are used simultaneously as presidential flags (because they don't care about the details);
  3. the state officials use the flag with the emblem in the upper hoist corner, the president uses the flag with the emblem in the white stripe, but occasionally the latter one is not available and the other one is used.

Marcus Schmöger, 15 Mar 2006


[State Flag Variant 1 (Palestine)]
[State Flag Variant 2 (Palestine)]
[State Flag Variant 3 (Palestine)]
[State Flag Variant 4 (Palestine)]

images by Eugene Ipavec, 08 May 2007

I have seen the Palestinian president's flag three times on German TV. Unfortunately the flags were, though not furled, standing in a row in the president's office and therefore hanging downward, so it was impossible to see their exact ratio. For reasons of design I chose the variant with a slim triangle at the hoist.
It is interesting that all the flags seemed to be different. I believe, I have seen at least one time one of those flags which have been described in FOTW by Armand du Payrat and Al Bitar on 15 February 1999. All flags have in common small images of the coat of arms on the black stripe in the upper hoist.

  1. The eagle is white with white crossed swords below. The flag was spotted on 28 March 2006 in "Heute" (news on ZDF/2nd German TV), when President Mahmoud Abbas gave his comments about Israel's elections.
  2. There is only an eagle in the full colour of the coat of arms but without swords and without a garland. This flag was spotted on 14 June 2006 in "Tagesschau" (news on ARD/1st German TV), when President Abbas talked to PM Hania about a referendum in Palestine.
  3. There is an eagle in the full colour of the coat of arms but with swords. This flag was spotted on 16 December 2006, when President Abbas was announcing elections before the end of term. [see also principal image at top of page]

Klaus-Michael Schneider, 07 Jan 2007

  1. Variant with large swords and small eagle; see photos: 1, 2, 3.

Eugene Ipavec, 08 May 2007