The flag of Medinat Yehudah was supposed to be one of the last points of discussion in Self-Liberation 101. When the course outline was first created in a flash of inspiration, it seemed like the entire course could be written out and published within weeks. Therefore, it made sense to propose a symbol for Judah after prior lessons had outlined for the reader the titanic scope and pressing necessity of the struggle for Jewish self-determination . Once the reader understands the doctrinal underpinnings of the struggle, the reasoning went, it is time to discuss specifics.
Since then, the author has discovered that it is not so easy to sum up a lifetime of knowledge in a few pages, to distill one man’s understanding of a complex and evolving doctrine into a single clear document readable and understandable by anyone who comes along. And while the writing of Self-Liberation 101 dragged out, events on the ground moved at their own pace. Thus the real world upsets the well-laid plans of mice and men.
Today, the building freeze is bringing things to a head like never before. It is no longer a matter of a few “outposts” or some “crazies” in Yitzhar and Kiryat Arba, or a few brutalized kids in Amona. The pogromschiks have come to Gush Etzion, to Ariel, to Modiin. Today they only issue “temporary” stop work orders and confiscate building materials. But it is clear to even a small child that this is only the beginning, that the “temporary” building freeze is in reality permanent, and that after the Civil Adminstration inspectors will come IDF kapos with orders to beat, expel, destroy, rape and, ultimately, kill. The Israeli White Paper is so egregious and so obvious in its Nazi intentions that the very Israeli government that issued it is beginning to look for loopholes in it in a belated realization of how far it has gone to delegitimize the Israeli State.
In response to this unbelievable outrage, there are finally glimpses of sanity in the camp of the Jewish People. The eyes of many are slowly opening. The eyes of a few are already open. One must strike while the iron is hot. Medinat Yehudah needs symbols. There must be a new flag for a new idea, a new set of symbols for a radical break with the past.
Now, as many readers already know, there are already plenty of proposals for a set of symbology. There is the provisional banner designed by committee some 20 years ago. Rav Kahane (z”l) gave his last speech before this banner.
There is the menorah banner popularized by the late Nachshon Walls (z”l). This banner has proven somewhat more popular. For example, the menorah banner appears, in modified form, in some of the ads run by Samson Blinded.
And, of course, there are numerous random flag designs floating around that never really went anywhere and in many cases were never serious at all, like this one, obviously inspired by a famous American predecessor and originally half-jokingly proposed by a blogger as “A new flag for Israel”:
However, none of the existing flags is adequate for our purposes. In order to understand why this is so, we need to consider what makes a good set of symbols for a political movement, especially one seeking to establish an independent state by force of arms.
The first requirement for a symbol is that it must have a high visual impact. What this means is that the symbol must be unique, simple, immediately identifiable and instantly, even unconsciously, associated by those who see it with a set of ideas and ideals. It must draw the eye. It must bypass reason to appeal to fundamental emotion. It must LOOK GOOD. In colloquial terms, the readers must “get” or “grokk” the symbol.
Symbols of this kind share certain basic properties. They tend to be graphically simple. They tend to be more or less symmetrical. They are monotone or, at least, they have a very simple color pattern. They are almost always centered in the visual field of the viewer. They produce a subconscious response.
Consider, for example, the Nike Swoosh.
A single line instantly identifies the product. The user “gets” the sensation of speed from the shape of the Swoosh. He immediately, unconsciously, associates the product with lightness and rapid motion. It is perfect for a sneaker company.
In the case of a commercial entity, a prolonged advertising campaign is used to associate the product with the symbol. For example, the Nike logo included the Swoosh for years, but only recently did they feel comfortable enough to eliminate the rest of the logo.
In the case of a political movement, especially one that is effectively illegal from day one, whose members can and will be arrested, tried and executed for sedition and treason under Israeli law, whose activists have already been murdered without trial by agents of the Israeli State on multiple occasions, the symbol itself must be a form of advertising. The symbol must, in other words, be comprehended by the viewer and associated with certain ideas before he ever reads a word of the movement’s political platform. Take the flag of Kach, for example.
Before a word is said, one immediately identifies the movement with Jewish power and a willingness to use force. A teenager who has been pushed around by others all his life does not need to hear a Kahane speech or read a pamphlet in order to be instinctively drawn to the movement. The symbol itself draws him.
Another vital requirement for a banner for an illegal political movement is that it render well as graffiti. The bottom line is that spray paint is cheap, while cloth and paper are expensive. Cloth flags can be burnt. Flags on posters can be torn down. But a whole neighborhood covered in political graffiti cannot be readily removed as a form of propaganda. After all, what are the authorities to do? Run around with cans of paint all day to paint over all the graffiti, then post cops on every corner to ensure it is not repainted overnight? Sand blast every wall in the neighborhood every day? Fine or arrest homeowners and shopkeepers for failing to paint over political graffiti? Chase and arrest every kid with a paint can? Make spray paint, markers and chalk illegal? Demolish every graffiti-covered wall? The options range from the utterly ludicrous to the utterly counterproductive. When serious attempts are made to combat political graffiti, at best the authorities make themselves look ridiculous. At worst, they turn everyone in the neighborhood against them. It is possible to stop graffiti propaganda through mass slaughter and naked terror, but this does not bring the authorities any love. Worse, the economic and social disruption produced by state terror may be worse by far than any effects produced by the graffiti that started the brouhaha in the first place. This is why graffiti has been the tool of political propaganda before the word “propaganda” even existed. Archaeologists excavating Roman ruins still occasionally find political graffiti ridiculing Gaius Julius Ceasar for his relationship with Cleopatra. It has been over 2000 years since THAT particular political campaign.
What this requirement means is, first and foremost, graphical simplicity. The symbology of the movement must be so ridiculously simple that any kid with a spray can (or piece of chalk or a marker or whatever) can scrawl it on a wall in an instant alongside a political slogan and be off down the alley on fast teenage feet before he is caught by the authorities. If the symbology cannot be rendered in seconds by someone who possesses not an iota of artistic skill, yet remain instantly recognizable at a glance, it is a failure from the start.
Finally, the symbology for an independence movement must represent a clean break with the past. It cannot be a revision of the symbology used by the current occupying power. It cannot use the same color scheme. It must differ graphically to such an extent that the two cannot be readily mistaken for one another. This having been said, the banner of Medinat Yehudah must evoke not merely a difference from the State of Israel and clean break from it, but must also evoke the SUPERIORITY of the Jewish Idea over the bankrupt ideas of secular Zionism. Medinat Yehudah will not be a reformed Israel or an improved Israel or a “religious” Israel. It will be a completely new entity, with an entirely new political system, never before seen in modern times. It will not have anything in common with Israel either culturally or politically. It will be BETTER than Israel. It will be a true Jewish State. It will be a complete reboot. It will be a clean slate. It will be not what the State of Israel COULD be, but rather what the State of Israel SHOULD HAVE BEEN.
From this point of view, consider the banners that have so far been proposed, whether seriously or even jokingly.
The provisional banner designed by committee is glaring proof that a committee is the only form of life with multiple legs and no brain. It is a graphical mess. The color scheme is Israeli. We have royal blue on white, already making the point that Medinat Yehudah is a ploy whose only goal is to reunify with the State of Israel as soon as possible. Rendered in this color scheme, we have a disjointed new-age Magen David that visually falls apart on close examination and looks like a swirling whirlpool from a distance. It is rendered off center, near the hoist of the flag, apparently for extra gag effect. Imbedded in this swirly mess are tiny symbols, a lion’s head and a menorah, that only a skilled artist can quickly render by hand, on paper with a pencil. How in Heaven’s name can we expect a teenaged kid to render this mess on the run, using a can of spray paint? And to add insult to injury, the flag has a verse from the Torah on it, “A lion cub is Judah”(parshat Vayechi, Bereshit 49:9), making it a sacred object! This means that every time this flag is burnt, torn down or defaced, a hillul Hashem results by default. How is an activist who needs to quickly hide evidence to dispose of such a flag? Forget emergency disposal for a moment, how in Heaven’s name is our activist, presumably a believing Jew even if he dresses, eats and acts like an Israeli goy for purposes of camouflage, supposed to paint such a flag on, say, a trash bin? A dumber idea cannot be imagined!
The rattlesnake banner is better. It still has an Israeli color scheme, which of course makes sense for a flag proposed, however tongue-in-cheek, for a “new Israel” with a pair of cojones. But at least it has a symbol that does not make the viewer gag. The problem is, not only is the rattlesnake impossible to quickly render in graffiti unless one is a skilled artist, but it is a symbol that means absolutely nothing to the average Hebrew-speaking Jew in the Holy Land. The author, for one, would love to hoist a rattlesnake banner at the very first armed standoff with the Israelis, right before the first shot is fired. But the only Jews in Eretz Yisrael who would “get it” are American olim who know about Lexington and Concord.
Nachshon Walls’ menorah banner is the best attempt of all, which is why it has become the most popular design. But it suffers from similar problems. The colors are Israeli. The menorah is a tricky thing. Simplify it too much and it looks bad. Make it complicated and it does not render well as graffiti. And it requires a good eight blasts of paint to render even the simple menorah design Nachshon chose for the flag in the photograph, the one he sewed together while sitting in Israeli prison for the “crime” of defending Jews from Amalek. So with all due respect to Nachson, may he rest in peace, for his heroism and self-sacrifice, his design does not work either.
So we must start over, with a blank slate. The first issue to address is the color scheme.
The Zionists chose royal blue on white because, on the one hand, it represents the tallit they never wore because they never went to schul, and, on the other hand, because royal blue is the symbol of SECULAR authority. The tallit design is simply a fraud designed to attract the vast majority of pious Jews to the godless socialism of the Zionists. The choice of royal blue is more interesting.
Royal blue is the symbol of the absolute sovereign power of the Hebrew kings, the power that went awry from the start with Saul and, with the exception of a few righteous monarchs like David and Solomon, was never anything other than an exercise in lawlessness, corruption and tyranny. Our history is replete with secular kings killing their relatives, worshipping idols, murdering prophets, establishing idolatrous cults and otherwise acting as utter degenerates. It is for this very reason the Book of Shoftim is replete with warnings against having an earthly king. Even when the Jewish people have become so corrupt that there is no way forward except to appoint a human to hold absolute power, the prophet Samuel begins by berating the nation for asking to establish an earthly monarchy when Hashem should be the sole King of the Jews.
As even a blind man can see from the events of the past twenty years, the Zionists chose well. They are indeed following precisely in the footsteps of the likes of Yerovoam ben Nevat. They even named their State “Israel”, just like Yerovoam. Just like Yerovoam, they have elevated corruption, nihilism and selfishness into an art form. And just like Yerovoam, they bar Jews from worshipping on Har HaBayit. Certainly the Israeli cult of St. Rabin the Holy is a worthy successor to Yerovoam’s golden calves. The Zionists have even resurrected human sacrifice. Only instead of Molech, they sacrifice our children to the Peace Idol. They even call them “sacrifices for peace”. Surely Medinat Yehudah should have nothing to do with the Zionists’ royal blue!
So, if we must absolutely reject royal blue, what colors should we pick? Let us pick the colors of our faith.
Let us pick black, the color of piety, of modesty and self-negation in the name of a higher ideal, the color that our ancestors have worn for centuries to underline their adherence to Hashem.
Let us pick white, the color of purity and simplicity, the color worn by the bride to the chuppah. Surely the Jewish Nation is the bride to Hashem. Should not our banner be white?
Let us pick gold, the color of treasure, for we hold the greatest treasure in the universe, the Holy Torah, a unique, priceless gift from the Creator Himself. Surely our treasure is worth more than all the gold in the universe!
And how should we arrange these colors upon our flag? Let us turn to our Holy Torah, to the Word of Hashem Himself: “To your descendants have I given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates” (parshat Lech Lecha, Bereshit 15:18). “Hashem appeared to him [Isaac] and said… …for to you and your offspring will I give all these lands, and establish the oath that I swore to Abraham your father” (parshat Toldot, Bereshit 26: 2-3). “The Land that I gave to Abraham and to Isaac, I will give to you [Yaakov]; and to your offspring after you I will give the Land.” (parshat Vayishlach, Bereshit 35:12). There is no need to quote further. The Torah is replete with repetitions of the full boundaries of the Land. It is this that must appear upon our banner – the Kingdom of Hashem, Lord G-d of Abraham Isaac and Yaakov, from the river of Egypt to the Euphrates, in the boundaries dictated by the Holy Torah. Let our banner demand what is ours by right, and let us make no apologies about it!
From this concept we derive the basic design of our banner – two broad black stripes upon a white field, to represent the two rivers, and two thin golden lines within the black lines, to show the boundaries decreed by Hashem in His Holy Torah. Within these boundaries must rest a symbol to represent our State. But what symbol should it be? The Magen David, symbol of secular authority all but forgotten by Jews for two millennia and used as a symbol of secular power by everyone from medieval Turkish sultans to sheriffs in the American Wild West? Surely not! This is the symbol the Zionists picked, for the same reasons they picked their royal blue. The menorah perhaps? It is too complex. The Lion of Judah? Again the same problem arises. So what should we choose?
If we seek for our symbol to possess simplicity full of meaning, surely we can do no better than Hebrew letters. And if we seek a set of Hebrew letters, let us turn to a symbol already in widespread use, one that every Jew immediately recognizes at a glance, one that symbolizes everything Medinat Yehudah stands for and one that the Israelis simply cannot ban. Let us turn to the Chai, the symbol of life itself.
Medinat Yehudah is the only hope of Jewish survival in the Holy Land. Medinat Yehudah is the Kindom of the Holy Torah, of the Word of Hashem that gives Life Eternal. Medinat Yehudah is Life! Let our banner say this clearly and let those who stand in opposition to us be identified unequivocally with the side of Death, Corruption and National Suicide. Let the Israeli kapo who raises a hand to tear down our banner see clearly that he is tearing down Life. Let the Israeli henchman who tries to erase our slogans see clearly that he is erasing Life. Let the line be drawn once and for all between the godless Sons of Darkness and Suicide under their unclean banner of royal blue, and the Sons of Light and Life, who cling to Hashem under the banner of Life! And let every man choose, for in this battle none can remain neutral.
This, therefore, is the banner of Judah. It is simple. It is direct. It is uncompromising. It states exactly what we fight for. Even a child can draw it. Even a child can comprehend it. Every Jew knows at a glance what it means. None can mistake it for the flag of Israel. With the thin gold lines all but indistinguishable at any distance greater than a few steps, it renders into graffiti in seconds, with only four blasts from a black spray can.
This, dear readers, is the banner we should adopt. Whether you choose the political side of the struggle for our national liberation or the military side; whether you ambush Israeli kapos as part of a heroic Marighella Cell or struggle to turn a helpless suburb into the self-sufficient fortress that is a proper settlement as part of a traditional national liberation movement; whether you choose to raise funds for the struggle in the lands of our exile or make aliyah to fight for your country, make this YOUR banner. Tear down the blue and white Israeli abomination from your home. Tear all loyalty and allegiance to the godless Zionist Entity from your heart. Take this banner and raise it on every hill, over every home in our trampled country. Bind it upon your heart and upon your soul. Bring it to the hearts and souls of your friends and neighbors.
We are Jews, not Israelis. Our country, your country and mine, dear reader, is Medinat Yehudah, not the State of Israel. We have waited two thousand years for its rebirth. Let us wait silently no longer. Your country needs you. Will you answer the call?