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NATO Operational Commands

Last modified: 2023-09-30 by zachary harden
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[Flag of NATO] by Željko Heimer

See also:


NATO military commands and some other organization also have flags. Almost all commands have their own flags (or banners), which have a great importance in all military units, and they have a special role during ceremonies held in occasions of changes of commanders. It is a subject of hand-over ceremony when former commander gives the flag into new commander's hand. It is a formal moment of transfer of his authority to new one.

All commands and other organizations has a badge or crest, generally it is placed on a monocoloured (blue, white, or green) flag as a command's flag. The official NATO military structure is a good base to introduce flags of various military commands, organizations and NATO-led military missions. More information on NATO structure:
Zoltan Horvath, 11 February 2010

Allied Joint Force Command - Brunssum

[Allied Joint Force Command - Brunssum] by Zoltan Horvath, 16 February 2010

Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum (JFC Brunssum), is located in Brunssum, Limburg, the Netherlands. JFC Brunssum was built upon the former HQ Allied Forces Central Europe's ( HQ AFCENT) infrastructure, which has been in use since 1967 and former RHQ AFNORTH. On July 1, 2004, Allied Forces North Europe (AFNORTH) ceased to exist, and became Joint Force Command (JFC)in subordination of Allied Command Operations (ACO). It has three component commands.

Flag of JFC Brunssum is green with its crest in the center.

History and symbolic meaning of its crest:

Images of flag (behind the leaders):

Home page:

Zoltan Horvath, 16 February 2010

Allied Joint Force Command - Naples

[Allied Joint Force Command - Naples] by Zoltan Horvath, 11 February 2010

Allied Joint Force Command (JFC) Naples was activated on 15 March 2004, when its predecessor command, Allied Forces Southern Europe (AFSOUTH), was deactivated after nearly 53 years of successful activity in support of peace and stability in and around its designated area of responsibility. This Command is located in Naples, Italy. It is subordinated directly to Allied Command Operations (ACO) located near to Brussels, Belgium. Three component commands belongs to JFC Naples.

Its flag is similar to former AFSOUTH flag, red with its badge in the center.

The symbol of Allied Joint Force Command (JFC) is the Lion of St. Mark, which is traditionally associated with the ancient Republic of Venice, whose Patron Saint was St. Mark the Apostle. The JFC badge shows the winged Lion of St. Mark, passant, colored in gold on a red background flecked with gold. In his right forepaw the Lion holds a sword pointing upwards. The paw rests on an open book, which is also colored in gold and bears the word "PAX" in large letters.

During the flag-raising ceremony to mark the establishment of Headquarters Allied Land Forces Southern Europe (LANDSOUTH) on 18 July 1951, the first Commander in Chief Allied Forces Southern Europe (AFSOUTH), Admiral Robert B. Carney of the United States Navy, stressed the significance of the symbol chosen in the following words:

"The flag portrays the Lion of St. Mark, the time-honored symbol of the Mediterranean, which indicates power but at the same time holds open the "Book of Peace"; the lion is also holding up his sword to shows his determination to keep the peace".

Home Page:

Images of flag:

Zoltan Horvath, 11 February 2010

See also - Headquarters Multinational Division South East - Bucharest

Allied Joint Force Command - Lisbon

[Allied Joint Force Command - Lisbon] by Zoltan Horvath, 23 June 2010

Allied Joint Force Command - Lisbon (JFCL) is based in Oeiras, near Lisbon, Portugal. JFC Lisbon is currently responsible for providing assistance to the African Union, principally as regards airlift for the mission in Darfur; preparing staff to command the NATO Response Force; mounting a sea-based Combined Joint Task Force Headquarters; and support for cooperation and dialogue under the Partnership for Peace and Mediterranean Dialogue programmes. In 2009 a French lieutenant general took command from the previous US Navy admiral who had filled the post for a number of years.

Its flag is NATO blue with its crest in the center of the flag. Image of flag can be seen here.

The crest:
On a purple plate, which represents jointness, there are two olive branches in green, symbolizing peace. Superimposed on them are the elements representing the particularities of Joint HQ Lisbon, its expeditionary character, and the sea-based identity of its parented CJTF HQ. These two characteristics are represented by a golden ancient Greek galley, which recalls the most famous legendary expedition of Jason and the Argonauts to Colchis, and by an armillary sphere, also in gold, for the navigation skills required to deploy on board a ship.
Information was taken from JFCL web-site.

Zoltan Horvath, 23 June 2010

These kind of large photographs are always very interesting to see the details.
Is there any information available at all on the blue streamer attached to the flag: PAKISTAN RELIEF 200? 200? and the use of these streamers on command and other NATO flags?

Colin Dobson, 23 June 2010

JFCL was rewarded with a Campaign Pennant to recognize the operational contribution during the Pakistan Earthquake Relief Operation in 2006.

As it is a command flag, pennants could be attached to it. (Similarly to units.)

Zoltan Horvath, 23 June 2010

Joint Force Command - Norfolk

[Joint Force Command - Norfolk] by Dave Fowler, 18 September 2020

A new NATO command stood up this week in Norfolk, Virginia. The flag is the emblem on a white background.
Dave Fowler, 18 September 2020