Star of David, Star of Solomon, or Star of Sheriff?

How the hexagram became a Jewish symbol.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Michael Vadon and Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Michael Vadon and Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia.

Observation
July 13 2016
About the author

Philologos, the renowned Jewish-language columnist, appears twice a month in Mosaic. Questions for him may be sent to his email address by clicking here.


As someone living in a country that has the Star of David on its flag, the furor over the Trump campaign’s re-tweet of an anti-Hillary Clinton graphic image strikes me as farfetched. Taken by itself, the original tweet’s image of a solid red hexagram wouldn’t have made me think of such a star had I spent a whole day staring at it. It simply doesn’t look like one. The six points of a Star of David are the vertices of two interlocking and fully visible equilateral triangles, the sides of which are clearly delineated; in an ordinary hexagram like that shown in the tweet, this is not the case. Saying that every hexagram is reminiscent of a Star of David is like saying that every circle calls to mind a nuclear-disarmament symbol, even though the latter is bisected, as is no other circle, by a vertical line met by two shorter lines running symmetrically to it from the circumference.

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More about: Anti-Semitism, Donald Trump, Gershom Scholem, Hillary Clinton, Star of David