In 2015 I made my second trip to Israel/ Palestine. This was in the middle of my NZ flag obsession, so I felt it appropriate to create a more serious flag for the region.
Through discussions my UTOPIA flag generated, I realised that the Palestinians wouldn't touch anything with a Star of David on it. This is also a serious identity issue for Arab Israelis living in Israel. So the symbolism needed to be neutral as well as the colours. Gold, the most precious element seemed most appropriate.
The olive tree is a powerful symbol in the region. A source of sustenance physically, economically and spiritually. The olive branch a symbol of peace and hope. And because of my designs for the New Zealand flag being based around the fern branch, it felt right to continue this theme with a flag for the Holy Land.
Within this design of two olive branches there are two important features. First it is the acknowledgement that both branches come from the same root. The Palestinians and Israelis are obviously geographically connected, but are also almost genetically identical. Not something either side is willing to admit, but a reality that they all share the same DNA from past generations living in this land.
Secondly there is the most important feature of this flag. I call it the Nexus leaf at the top of this symbol. The leaf that is shared by both branches. In any communication a connection needs to be found. No connection, no communication. If both sides say they want peace, but are not willing to see the others point of view. No resolution can be found. This is the hard road to peace that few are willing to travel, but it is the only way. As the walls in this region continue to be built, the possibility of peace diminishes. Bridges and pathways are the only solution. maybe a flag would help them realise this goal?