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flag of Israel
Symbolic of the traditional tallit, or Jewish prayer shawl, and including the Star of David, the flag was used from the late 19th century. It was raised when Israel proclaimed independence on May 14, 1948, and the banner was legally recognized on Nov. 12, 1948. A dark blue was also substituted for the traditional lighter shade of blue.

Location of Israel Religious Affiliation

Official name: Medinat Yisra`el (Hebrew); Dawlat Isra`il (Arabic); State of Israel (English).

Form of government: multiparty republic with one legislative house (Knesset [120]).

Chief of state: President.

Head of government: Prime Minister.

Population (1998): 5,740,000.

Population projection: (2000) 5,911,000; (2010) 6,847,000.

Natural increase rate per 1,000 population (1997): 14.0 (world avg. 15.7).

Gross national product (1996): U.S.$90,310,000,000 (U.S.$15,870 per capita).

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