Berman’s Flags and Embroidery factory in Jerusalem, founded in 1944 by Polish refugee immigrants is still waving the flag almost 80 years later. According to Kalman Berman, the namesake grandson of the founders, Kalman and Hela Berman, and the current CEO, the company manufactured between 20-30,000 flags over the last two months in preparation for Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day. That number was around double the usual production run for a similar time period. He added that almost every Israeli municipality ordered multiple copies to help celebrate the day and the company also provides flags for the various official Yom Haatzmaut ceremonies and parades.
Berman’s flags are not the cheaper foreign made flags that are bought by the thousands for various events including preschool and school plays as well as public protests, as the company cannot compete on price, rather their product is of a much higher quality and their flags are available both in printed and embroidered versions.
The company originally started out producing embroidery for dresses and military patches for the British Mandate army then in control of Israel and switched over to flags after the founding of the state in 1948. The design of the Israeli flag was the symbol of the First Zionist Congress in 1897 and became the official state flag in 1949.
Berman’s ships flags around the world, from Australia to the Bahamas and include corporate as well as individual customers. Production is not only limited to Israeli flags either, and includes flags of other countries for soccer fans, flags for organizations and private events including weddings and parades. After the 9/11 attacks in the US, almost 1 million American flags were ordered and Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon even had a Berman made Israeli flag with him on his ill-fated shuttle flight in 2003.
Anytime a foreign head of state visits Israel, Berman’s is called upon to provide accurate and appropriate sized flags etc, and include trips by US presidents and the historic visit of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat on his peacemaking visit in 1977 as well as the flags of Abu Dhabi and Bahrain for the signing of the Abraham accords in 2020.
Two interesting side notes, the first is that the company’s employees reflect the diversity of Israeli culture and include Arabs, ultra-Orthodox Jews as well as various immigrants and the second is that Hadassah Berman, the mother of the CEO Kalman, also has a dream that someday one of their flags will make it to the moon. Given Israel’s amazing start-up nation culture, that might actually happen sooner rather than later.
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