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British Mandate of Palestine 1923-1948

Mandate Government of Palestine-Eretz Israel

Last modified: 2005-02-19 by
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[Union Flag (British Mandate of Palestine)] 1:2
by António Martins

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After the 1914-18 War the former Turkish province of Palestine was under British Military Administration until the League of Nations granted it to Britain as a Mandated Territory. The Colonial Office reluctantly took over from the Army in 1923. Some thought that it was not an appropriate responsibility for the Colonial Office, and that either the Foreign Office or a special Secretary of State should have taken charge. Nothing was done about a flag as it was not considered desirable that the territory should have a special badge.

1926. The Customs Service applied for an ensign to identify their launches.

1927. The Palestine Shipping Register was established and a defaced Red Ensign authorised.

1929. The existing Customs ensign was cancelled, Blue Ensign defaced 'PALESTINE' in a white circle adopted, together with Customs and Posts jacks.

1932. Palestine Police Flag proposal.

1932-1934. Proposals for a new badge.

1935. High Commissioner badge and flag.

1948. Departmental and High Commissioner flags cancelled on 15th May 1948, but the Palestine Red Ensign posed some problems.

Information about British Palestine flags is in the Public Record Office at Kew in documents ADM 1/8771/162, ADM 1/9162, ADM 1/21248, CO 323/1180/24, CO 323/1181/17, CO 323/1182/2, CO 1182/11, CO 323/1222/10, CO 323/1272/7, CO 323/1333/1, CO 323/1333, CO 323/1377/16, MINT 24/101, MINT 25/1, MINT 25/2.

David Prothero, 4 March 2002

Palestine Police Flag Proposal

There was a proposal to put 'P' on a white disc on the Union Flag for Palestine Police Frontier Posts, but as far as I know it was never implemented.

David Prothero, 15 February 1999

In 1932 the Colonial Office proposed the adoption of a Blue Ensign defaced with the badge of the Palestine Police, emphasising that it would be particularly appropriate for the Frontier Posts of Zuweira and Ain Hosb in Beersheba, and Metullah and Khalisa in the Northern District. The approval of the Admiralty, necessary because the Blue Ensign was a maritime flag, was not forthcoming. Three possibilities were considered and the final choice was, "A plain Union [Flag], the character of the station being shown elsewhere, e.g. by an escutcheon with the Police badge over the porch".

David Prothero, 16 February 1999

On 13 February 1932 the Commandant of the Palestine Police requested authorisation for a Blue Ensign defaced with the badge of the Palestine Police, for use at Police Stations. It was emphasised that the Union Flag in the canton would be particularly appropriate for use at Frontier Posts in the Northern District. The Admiralty refused the application, stating that the Blue Ensign was a maritime flag that should not be used on land. It was suggested that a white Palestine Police badge in the centre of a plain blue flag would be suitable, but it is probable that this was not adopted, and that Police Stations flew a plain Union Flag, with the character of the station shown by other means.

David Prothero, 4 March 2002