Why did the Golani Brigade commander burn a platoon's flags and symbols?

One former staff sargeant said he recognized his strap and several of the flags in the pictures, adding that he believed the incident was disrespectful to past generations and fallen soldiers.

Golani soldiers during their swearing in ceremony at the Western Wall on Thursday.  (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S OFFICE)
Golani soldiers during their swearing in ceremony at the Western Wall on Thursday.
(photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S OFFICE)
Soldiers and veterans of the Israel Defense Force's legendary 13th Infantry Battalion, the Golani Brigade, are reportedly fuming at battalion commander Lt. Col. Avi Marciano, after he reportedly collected around 30 years-worth of flags and personalized weapon straps and accessories from Platoon B and lit them on fire on Friday, before publicizing photos of the incident.
Traditionally in the IDF, accessories such as flags, weapons straps, ammo canister covers and other accessories emblazoned with platoon and battalion logos are often handed down from generation to generation from older soldiers to the younger ones.
However, hazing rituals have also long been part of this tradition, and many infantry battalions have been known to routinely humiliate or even physically harm younger soldiers when passing these memorabilia on them as a part of the "granting ceremony."
While the IDF has not yet officially responded to the incident, social media has erupted with polarized reactions from veterans and soldiers alike.
In a plea that the platoon's soldiers sent to the popular IDF media page "Pazam," they said that "the only thing that holds us back is the crazy morale we have together and our pride in our unit."
"Instead of dealing with our missions, with the fact that we are stationed in Gaza right now, with the fact that this period is complicated enough anyway with all the developments of the coronavirus crisis, with the escalation in the South, with all the things that a battalion commander is supposed to deal with – he deals with nonsense," the soldiers wrote in their plea.
"All the combat soldiers are already depressed, and we no longer know what to do. We feel that there is no one to talk to. We would be happy if you can help us," the soldiers concluded.
One former Platoon B staff sergeant said he recognized his strap and several of the flags in the pictures, adding that he believed the incident was disrespectful to past generations and fallen soldiers.
"Admittedly I agree with the worldview that a warrior should engage in professional warfare, but burning flags with names? What have we come to?" he asked.
He continues, saying that "These fighters enlist out of ideology, they are not mercenaries, they want to preserve the company's past and also the tradition. It is not a shame to preserve Golani's tradition, that's how a Golani soldier, with all the values and traditions of the battalion, is made!"
"It hurts me the most to see this thing in the world," said another Platoon B veteran who said his name was on some of those flags. "Some of those flags existed before I was born - just burned because of a stupid hour of anger that destroyed and ruined in seconds years of tradition that symbolized pride and love for the unit and raised morale.
Others voiced support for the battalion commander's personality, with one saying that he has a "heart of gold," and another saying that he "wouldn't have done this without a good reason."
One woman, who identified herself as an officer in the battalion, responded to the post, saying that "I cannot remain silent about these publications. The commanders of the battalion are in a daily war to prevent veteran-youth games. This was done to prevent veteran soldiers from abusing younger ones. These 'traditions' of the companies symbolize nothing more than another sign of the battalion's veteran games."
"I am sure that every mother and father in the State of Israel will not be prepared for their child to be abused in his military framework," she added. "There are fighters who abuse other fighters," she said. "The commanders of the 13th Battalion and the Golani Brigade are putting an end to this and looking over every one of our soldiers."