World's Largest Israeli Flag
World's Largest Israeli FlagS. Cohen/Arutz Sheva

Upper Nazareth Mayor Shimon Gapso this week unfurled the world's largest Israeli flag, proudly flying it over his home town. In an interview with Arutz Sheva, Gapso said that he considered it a great honor to be able to be the one to fly such a large flag over his town. The flag's presence in the Galilee town would make it clear that Upper Nazareth was a Jewish town, he said – in a part of the country where Jews were not necessarily the dominant group.

“Thanks to the flag, anyone who comes from the towns and villages in this area will see they have come to a strong and solid Jewish town,” Gapso said. “The Israeli flag is a unifying force, and there is nothing more important than flying the flag.”

The flag, hoisted for the first time on Wednesday, flies at the northern entrance to the city. The flag's dimensions: 16 meters wide by 8 meters high (approximately 48 ft. by 24 ft.) - and is visible for kilometers around.

Leftists have accused Gapso of “inciting” against the many Arabs living in towns and villages in the area by flying the flag, but the mayor does not agree. “Just the opposite,” he says. “The flag is a symbol of the state, which all Israelis are citizens of, without regard to religion, race or gender. The flag shows our national pride, even if our neighbors don't like it. There is no better symbol for Upper Nazareth than the Israeli flag. If the 'capital of the North' cannot fly the largest Israeli flag, then who will?”

The flag wasn't cheap - “because of the size, it was a special order,” Gapso says – but residents strongly approved of the acquisition, at least based on calls to a hotline the city set up Wednesday. Hundreds of residents called in to express their approval and support, telling operators that they were proud to be Israelis, and that the flag helped them expect their emotions, Gapso said. “It's about time that Israelis are proud to be Israeli,” he said. “In the U.S., the first thing kids do when they come to school is express their support and love for the country with the Pledge of Allegiance. We have what to learn from them.”