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Paras to lose their Pegasus symbol.

A shake-up of Britain's airborne troops will see the famous Pegasus symbol of the Parachute Regiment scrapped later this year.

The flying horse insignia of the feared Paras, immortalised during battles since the Second World War, will be replaced with a new emblem when they are merged into the 16th Air Assault Brigade in September.

But the Paras will still keep their maroon beret and steel wings cap badge when they become part of the new brigade, which will comprise three helicopter regiments, medics, engineers and gunners.

Defence chiefs insisted the Pegasus symbol actually applied to all members of the UK's 5th Airborne Brigade - of which the Paras are a part - and its abolition did not represent a "slap in the face" for the famed flying force.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: "The Pegasus insignia will be replaced with a new emblem to reflect the unique and ground-breaking nature of the 16th Air Assault Brigade.

"It is emphatically not a slap in the face to the Parachute Regiment. The symbol applies to all members of 5th Airborne and because of the other regiments joining the new force it would have been unfair to keep it."

The insignia of the 24th Air Mobile Brigade, known as The Griffin, will also be scrapped.

A number of designs for a new emblem of the 16th Air Assault Brigade are still under consideration, according to the MoD.

The Pegasus flash features the mythical warrior Bellerophon riding on a flying horse.

It has accompanied the Parachute Regiment throughout its most famous battles, including Arnhem and the Falklands.

The Parachute Regiment comprises about 1,800 soldiers split into three forces.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jul 23, 1999
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