According to legend, every drop of blood of the Maccabees that fell to the ground was absorbed into the land, and from it sprung the beautiful flower Dam HaMaccabim (Blood of the Maccabees), named for its blood-like red blossom.
This legend is a testimony to the everlasting connection between the People of Israel and the Land of Israel, and to generations of our fighters who have sacrificed their lives to protect our land and our nation as one.
The Israeli people have experienced so much loss over the years, and yet, we are not a sad people. As the legend of the flower goes, the blood of the Maccabees has seeped deep into the very fiber of our being and we have channeled our losses into a national culture of growth, bringing forth new life and innovation in every aspect of our society. That is why the State of Israel chose the Dam HaMaccabim flower as the national symbol of mourning.
The Dam HaMaccabim is depicted here just prior to its blossoming, its red florets still closed – symbolizing the heroism of the young men and women who have been taken from us before their time. The English name, “Red Everlasting”, symbolizes how the memory of the fallen, like the color of the flower, never fades.
In an age of political and national strife, it is often the memory of our fallen loved ones and the legacies they left behind, which imbues us with a yearning for peace and unity – in Israel and in the Diaspora. In the gaping void created by the loss of so many of our youth, we have come to realize that our profound commonalities are far greater than that which divides us.
Our goal is to always remember that we are all part of one living human tapestry. We seek to strengthen the inseverable bond that has united the Jewish people since the beginning of time. We the people of the Land of Israel and those of us who live across the globe stand as one. Our fates are inextricably bound together and we remain undeterred in our determination and in our perseverance to build a bright and secure future, while incorporating the memories of our past.
In 1955, the Dam HaMaccabim was officially chosen as the national symbol of Israel’s Memorial Day, inspired by the western tradition of wearing memorial flowers on one's garments, and it has remained so ever since. Currently, the Commemoration Department of the Ministry of Defense distributes approximately four million stickers imprinted with the image of this flower. The sticker was created as a necessary substitute, since the Dam HaMaccabim is a delicate and protected flower that only grows in Israel’s wilderness and has never been available for mass production and distribution.
Our goal is to revive this natural and fitting symbol, and to convey its powerful and heartfelt message by distributing it to the public on Memorial Day. This delicate flower, worn by millions, will remind us all of our past and of our present, and how our future depends so heavily on the underlying commitments we made to this land and to our people so long ago.
Dam HaMaccabim is a wildflower protected under Israeli laws of preservation and has never been grown for mass distribution. After two years of research and development of its cultivation, growth advancement and preservation techniques, we now possess the knowledge necessary to overcome challenges and carry out the vision for our project.
In 2018, we started with a preliminary, small-scale growth of flowers in a designated field on the Carmel mountains in the North of Israel. After successfully distributing 50,000 flowers for Memorial Day in 2019, we hope to double that number in 2020.
Our plan is to expand our operations every year, so that by 2022 we will be able to grow about three million flowers per year. During the process, we will continue to assess and to improve our cultivation methods. This meticulous process is completed without causing any harm to the echo system of the natural flower or to its surroundings, and is executed with the assistance of Israeli experts in natural preservation.
After harvesting the field, the flowers go through a long process of preservation and preparation for packaging and distribution in the form of a pin that can be fastened to clothing.
How You Can Be a Part of the Legend
After years of research and development, we are currently growing 100,000 flowers with hopes of distributing them in preparation for Israel’s upcoming Memorial Day, beginning in the evening of April 27, 2020. By ordering the Dam HaMaccabim pins to be worn in your community, you can show the world that you are a part of this living legend; that you are proud of the strong Jewish state that we have built, and of the global Jewish community that has been created, despite the hardships and sorrows endured.
Just as when we pray we face Jerusalem, we want Jews all of over the world to hold the Dam HaMaccabim flower as an integral part of the commemoration of Israel’s Memorial Day, with a reminder pinned to the chest of where we came from, the sacrifices that were made, and the beauty that we can achieve together.