13 October 2014

Flying Camels

A cornucopia of adopted mascots.
Exploring a legend sometimes turns ugly ...

The first modern adoption was born from a general disbelief among their neighbours that the infant country of Israel could actually produce an air force. "Only when camels can fly" went the mockery. Jewish aviators created the logo with glee.

Found myself intrigued by the information that the Israeli Air Force's 1st Squadron had originally used a flying camel as their logo. So did El Al Airlines. Equally interesting were two similar but rival ancient tales, recounted in variations. According to one, the prophet Mohammed and the Archangel Gabriel flew from Jerusalem to Mecca on a baraq, a winged camel. Another said it was Abraham who was thus transported to Mecca. 


The Israeli Air Force 100 Squadron still uses this one.

And then. Another air force crest. Hmmnn, it's RAF, 45th Squadron. What kind of cultural appropriation is this? Unless it harks back to the RFC and their Sopwith Camels.

Simple enough for a wee flying camel tangent. Should have stopped myself there.

More images and usages uncovered a variety of flying camels. A trade fair logo. Medals for the Levant Fair. Then a book. A movie. Another book. More books! ... seems the concept has tremendous appeal for illustrators and kiddies of all ages.  

A leather goods studio. An ad design agency. A sculptor. A yoga position. A yoyo, fer god's sake. Some people are definitely goofier or more obsessed than I. Also something to do with figure skating. Camel toes (not elaborating on that, having a pair of Gap pants two sizes too small; no, wait, that's not flying). Restaurants. Comic books. Artistic licence going amok. No idea I was in such unimpressive company.

To the point of nightmarish. A berserk winged camel creature from a bad drawing saying "kill, kill, kill!" (not illustrated here). That was it for me. Evil attitude. Too surreal.

This is about when my mentee Rahmi (Junior Camel Correspondent®) felt compelled to defend his legendary ancestor and flex some literary muscles. He has a way to go yet: keyboard adaptation and the roman alphabet are tricky. His first report is bound to show up sooner or later.

Patience; he's cool.

© 2014 Brenda Dougall Merriman 

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