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The 'Ink Flag' at Eilat (Israel)

Last modified: 2024-01-06 by martin karner
Keywords: ink flag | elat | eilat | umm rashrash |
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           images located by William Garrison

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On March 10, 1949, two Israeli brigades – Negev and Golani – converged on the police station of Umm Rashrash on the Red Sea, now known as the resort city of Elat, and occupied it without firing a shot. This act completed the occupation of the Negev Desert, allocated to their government by the United Nations partition plan and was the last operation of Israel's War of Independence. However none of the soldiers had remembered to bring a flag with them, so a soldier by the name of Micha Peri hand drew one by pouring blue ink on a sheet. The result was apparently a kosher Israeli national flag with one exception – Peri appears to have smeared the Shield of David device, and filled it in entirely [as on this 1947/1948 flag variant]. This design was never used again.
Stan Brin
, 1 January 1999

The flag is known as the Ink Flag. I found a good picture of it at the Elat website. The name of the police station was Umm Reshrash, and it was standing just where the city mall is today.
Dov Gutterman
, 2 January and 1 June 1999

This scene of raising the Ink Flag at Eilat (...) reminds me of the Iwo Jima scene. The original poster mentioned the man who made the flag, but the man who is more famous is the man who hoisted the flag. His name is Avraham Adan, known as Bren (like the machine gun). He rose to be a general, his last commission in the army was Commander of the Armory, some 25–30 years ago.
Nahum Shereshevsky
, 4 January 1999

A monument in remembrance of the event was erected in 1996 and a photo of the monument side by side with a photo of the hoisting of the ink flag can be seen at the bottom of
Dov Gutterman, 5 April 2005

Yhere was a piece at the daily "Yedi'oth Akhronot" about the ink flag of Elat.
It seems that the flag was painted by Pu'ah Barkol (later Ar'el), the secretary of Nahum Sarig (Commanding officer of HaNegev Brigade), who was assisted by Leon Sherman, Brigade's Communications officer.
Pu'ah told the reporter: "One day beforeour arrival to Um-Rashrash [today Elat], the brigade commander, Nahum, told me 'we must prepare a flag'.
We were a Palmakh brigade and we didn't dealt too much with ceremonies, so we didn't had a flag.
I had a white sheet and I painted it with a branch and cotton balls dipped in ink ...
We weren't used to see the flag so we had an argument how it should be painted: How far are the stripes are from the ends and does the Magen Davis is made with stripes or fully colored ...
Nobody thought about keeping the flag. It has duplicated but the original is long gone ..."
Dov Gutterman, 15 March 2009

When Israel captured the city of Eilat in March 1949, an Israeli soldier raised a hand-painted national flag of Israel (photo), which became known as the "Ink Flag" (degel ha-dyo). On 6 March 2019, a metal statue commemorating the 60th anniversary of this flag-raising was revealed in Eilat. (source)
William Garrison, 29 May 2023

See also:   Metal flag on Yom Kippur War memorial