What did the Banners of the twelve tribes look like?
Here is how the Midrash describes the banners of the twelve tribes: There were distinguishing signs for each prince; each had a flag (mappah) and a different color for every flag corresponding to the precious stones on the breastplate (lit. “heart”) of Aaron. It was from these that governments learned to provide themselves with flags of various colors. Each tribe had its own prince and its flag whose color corresponded to the color of its stone. Reuben’s stone was ruby, the color of his flag was red, and embroidered thereon were mandrakes. Simeon’s was topaz and his flag was green, with the town of Shechem embroidered thereon Levi’s was smaragd and the color of his flag was a third white, a third black, and a third red; embroidered thereon were the Urim and Thummim. Judah’s was a carbuncle, and the color of his flag resembled that of the heavens, embroidered on it was a lion. Issachar’s was a sapphire and the color of his Flag was black like stibium; embroidered thereon were the sun an