MK Feiglin: I Started Flag-on-Car Custom
Deputy Knesset Speaker, MK Moshe Feiglin (Likud) told his Facebook followers that the Yom Haatzmaut tradition of affixing flags to the windows and roofs of cars began as an act of defiance and self defense that he initiated 20 years ago, when he moved to Samaria.
"Have you ever wondered where the strange custom of sticking flags on cars came from?", he asked.
"Okay, it is time to reveal the secret.
"The person to blame for that wind-tattered flag that is stuck on your car window – is yours truly.
"When I first came to live in Samaria, 20 years ago, I was amazed to see my neighbors protecting their cars with a range of metal mesh nets, against the rock barrages of the First Intifada. They looked like mobile cages.
"I tried to explain to them that such behavior will only encourage rock throwing, but their natural inclination to protect their families was stronger than that argument.
"One night, I remained awake, and by the morning, a sail-sized flag was flying from the roof of my car. In the morning, I opened the car window, put my elbow out like a car driver, and drove slowly to work through riotous Kalkilya.
"My neighbors were already preparing to say Kaddish over me, more or less. But when I persisted in the matter, it turned out that for some reason, it was I who was not being struck by rocks, not they.
"Slowly, other neighbors began joining the initiative. People who drove without a flag felt more threatened than those who drove with one.
MK Feiglin's wife, Tzipi, also took part in this "flag warfare."
"When we did a reserve stint in Shechem, Tzipi drove through the entire city of Shechem – alone – with an Israeli flag, in order to bring the company a fresh supply of her famous cookies (now you know the secret of my strength…).
"The Head of Central Command at the time was Amram Mitzna, who now sits with me in the Knesset plenum. At first, IDF jeeps also began to spontaneously fly Israel flags. But Mitzna gave an order forbidding this, and citizens flying flags were stopped at IDF checkpoints. I had neighbors who painted a large flag on their cars – the kind of flag one cannot remove… in the end, he gave up.
"I realized later that if I want the phenomenon to spread, I need to provide the public with a simple mechanism. Not everyone will improvise a flag-hoisting mechanism. It started with an unwieldy metal contraption, continued with all sorts of inventions, until today's familiar flag-on-a-stick was reached. At that point, all sorts of merchants took over independently – and that is the story of Israel flags on cars on Yom Haatzmaut."