The SONS OF JACOB/ISRAEL flag was envisioned through an understanding of who was Israel, the man, and what was his legacy. Israel also known as Jacob, was the son of Isaac (Genesis 25:24-26). Isaac was the son of Abraham, through Sara (Genesis 17:19, Genesis 21:1-7). Israel’s given name was Jacob. However, Jacob, after wrestling with a man from nightfall “till daybreak,” demanded a blessing from God (Genesis 32:24). The blessing Jacob received was to be renamed Israel. Jacob (hereinafter referred to as Israel) was renamed Israel because, “you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome (Genesis 32:28).”
Israel fathered twelve sons with his two wives and two concubines (Genesis 32:22, Genesis 49:1-28). These twelve sons are considered the forebears of the twelve tribes of Israel. It is both logical and respectful to have this historical and biblical fact somehow represented in a flag of Israel.
The current flag of Israel contains two blue stripes, whose meaning, if any, we are not aware of. Also on the current flag, there is the Star of David, representing King David and the Jewish religion. Hence, there is nothing in the current flag of Israel that has any symbolism representing the person, Israel.
This Sons of Jacob/Israel flag has a direct connection to the historical and biblical Israel. Each stripe on the flag represents each of the twelve sons in the order of their birth. Reuben, the first born is represented by the first stripe. Simeon, Levi, and Judah (in red to represent blood) are sons two, three, and four, represented by stripes two through four. Zebulun, Issachar, Dan, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, were sons five through ten, represented, by stripes five through ten, respectively.
Joseph, the eleventh son, was sold by some of his brothers to an Ishmaelite (Arab) caravan of merchants (Genesis 37:28), when he was a young man. Joseph had been Israel’s favorite son, and was the first son born to Rachel, the wife whom Israel loved more than his other wife, Leah (Genesis 29:30). Joseph, his brothers, and Israel, were reunited some years later in Egypt, due to famine in Canaan, where the Israelites were settled. Israel blessed Joseph’s first two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, born to Joseph in Egypt. Joseph claimed Manasseh and Ephraim as his own sons (Genesis 48:5). Hence, the eleventh stripe on this flag is divided in half, representing Manasseh and Ephraim, sometimes known as half-tribes. Manasseh and Ephraim though, are actually full tribes.
Levi, the third son, was to be replaced amongst the original twelve tribes. The Levites are to be a separate tribe amongst all the people of Israel (Numbers 3:12). Therefore, though represented on this flag with a blue stripe, Levi is not to be counted amongst the twelve tribes.
Manasseh and Ephraim, are considered as separate and independent tribes, thereby reconstituting the twelve tribes of Israel.
Last born was the twelfth son, Benjamin, represented by the twelfth stripe. Benjamin was the second and last son born to Israel and Rachel (Genesis 35:18).