National Symbols

Wild TurkeyWho gets to decide this stuff? Was there a “blue ribbon” panel formed to come up with the lion for England? Sometimes opinion is divided. Two examples come to mind. Our Revolutionary “forefathers” settled on the Bald Eagle for our young Nation. But Ben Franklin argued that the Hohenzollerns, the Hapsburgs, the Romanoffs and the Grand Duchy of Fenwick all used the Eagle as a symbol and he cast his vote for the Wild Turkey. I concur. Brilliant recommendation, Ben.

The young Nation State of Israel faced a similar difficulty. It settled for the six pointed star: the “Star of David”. A symbol that went back to the Middle Ages. It was a hexagram of the first and final letters of King David of Ancient Israel.

But there were other voices that wanted the symbol to be the “Pearl of Esther”. Queen Esther, a Persian Jewish woman who married King Ashasuerus. She interceded on the behalf of her people to secure their safety. She is remembered as a woman of great faith and courage. Ashasuerus deeply loved her and showered her with jewels and treasures. Shown here wearing the famous “Pearls of Persia”.

Immigrants making their way thru Ellis Island would be asked to sign documents. Illiterate gentiles would make an “x” and have it witnessed. Jews, would not make an “x”, thinking that it represented the sign of a cross… rather they made a sign of the “Pearl of Esther”… a circle… The symbol was also referred to as a “kikel”… Yiddish for “circle”… and the origin for the epithet “kike”.

Ultimately it was decided that the Star of David would be easier for school children to draw than the Pearl of Esther.

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