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South Command (Israel)

Pikud Darom

Last modified: 2008-09-20 by dov gutterman
Keywords: south command | pikud darom | idf | israel defence forces |
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image by }eljko Heimer and Eugene Ipavec, 16 August 2008

I was watching some documentary on TV today, when a scene from the early years of Israel was showed, with an unidentified flag. The report was about proclamation on Israeli independence in 1948, and some military parade was shown, where in front of units this flag was carried - very similar to Israeli naval ensign with some device in fly end, much in the way the defacement was made in British tradition. The flag passed away from the screen too fast to recognize the defacement, but I believe it was shaped as a lion in a cricle.
}eljko Heimer
, 20 June 1998

I searched in my archives and in a wonderful article from Zvi Ruder in Raven, some similar flags are quoted. The lion appear in many military flags and is named the lion of Megiddo. One of the flags or standards of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is blue-purple with white triangle with the base in the hoist and within a blue Magen David; in the fly a badge (but no the lion; seems a fox, ed.]).
Jaume Ollé
, 2 July 1998

The fox is the emblem of Southern Command, representing Samson's Foxes. (To complete the picture, Northern Command has a deer on its emblem). These three animals can be seen in flags/badges of many army units that are associated with the commands. But all of them are ground forces.
Nahum Shereshevsky
, 3 July 1998

At <>, there is a photo showing three jeeps with the the three regional commands flags of the time with explanation: "An Israeli army military parade around 1949-50, in which the flag of the three main regional commands are visible on each of the three jeeps: Southern Command ('Pikud Darom'; left), Central Command ('Pikud Merkaz'; center) and Northern Command ('Pikud Tzafon'; right).
So, the flag that Željko saw was a early version of the Central Command flag.
Those flags were replaced at unknown date with the current flags which are crimson with the national flag at the canton and the commands emblem on the fly. The flag is fringed in gold.
Dov Gutterman, 14 August 2008

The Emblem

image by Eugene Ipavec, 16 August 2008