Nov 24, 2014

Palestine [Larousse (1939)]

Last weeks, an image has been circulated in the internet, spreading a lot of lies. It's a photograph of the flags appendix of the 1939 edition of Larousse Encyclopedia [click to zoom]:

What's so polemic about it? In the second page, third row, third column, iy's possible to see a flag labelled as "Palestine", whose design is like below:

Many people have argued that it's an ultimate proof that, before United Nations, the British Mandate of Palestine had already a Jewish character. Firstly, it's not an absolute proof: although the Larousse is usually one of most reliable encyclopedias, its flag appendix isn't. In the same image, you can see other wrong flags, like that of Morocco and Soviet Union. Actually, the supposed Palestine flag also appeared in the 1933 edition, also unreliable.

But isn't still possible that this flag flew in the British Mandate of Palestine? Probably not. The only flag officially flown on the Mandate, apart from the Union Flag, was its civil ensign:

But they should have taken this flag from somewhere, shouldn't they? Yes, they should, but they could have invented as well. It's chronologically possible that this flag was inspired by the proposed flag of the 1924 Jewish Cultural Congress:

But the British Mandate of Palestine was still predominantly Jewish, wasn't it? Well, I'm not a specialist in the matter, but the Mandate also included the area of current Kingdom of Jordan, and, with the restrictions on Jewish immigrants, it's unlikely. Sorry, Internet...

Comments are welcome.

You can alo check the Flaglog post.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. You are a liar, you photoshopped the original image to discredit Larouse so that you could sell your anti-Semitism to the world. Here is the original image, showing a perfectly correct flag of the USSR.

    1. I didn't Photoshop any image, it's one of the very same images that went viral these days!

      As I pointed out in the post, this flag has appeared on at least two editions of Larousse: 1933 and 1939. What you have here is probably a third different edition (notice how Germany and Syria flags are from different periods). Anyway, it also contains many errors, so your basic argument is invalid: Venezuela flag went obsolete in 1905 (i.e. it's decades outdated); Colombia (number of star points) and Paraguay (central circle missing) are also wrong; and, finally, Morocco flag is still wrong, just differently wrong (correct flag has a pentagram, not a voided star)!

      Anyway, comparing Larousse scans against Larousse scans is useless. A much better proof would be a legitimate, well-sourced period photograph, or a remaining flag that could be dated (by radiocarbon or other more or less reliable method), just for instance. It's very unlikely only Larousse would have reported a national flag.

      P.S. It's always good to point out that, but I'm not antisemite or anti-Zionist, and I'm deeply sorry if I ever sounded like that.


Every comment is greatly welcome!