The palm branch is a symbol of victory, triumph, peace, and eternal life originating in the ancient Near East and Mediterranean world. The palm (Phoenix) was sacred in Mesopotamian religions, and in ancient Egypt represented immortality. In Judaism, the lulav, a closed frond of the date palm is part of the festival of Sukkot. A palm branch was awarded to victorious athletes in ancient Greece, and a palm frond or the tree itself is one of the most common attributes of Victory personified in ancient Rome.
In Christianity, the palm branch is associated with Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem, celebrated on Palm Sunday, when the Gospel of John says of the citizens, “they took palm branches and went out to meet Him” (12:13 HCSB). Additionally, the palm has meaning in Christian iconography, representing victory, i.e. the victory of the spirit over the flesh (Revelation 7:9).
Since a victory signals an end to a conflict or competition, the palm developed into a symbol of peace, a meaning it can have in Islam, where it is often associated with Paradise.