According to John L. Jensen, Associate Producer "Henry Wilcoxon is the one who made a quick drawing of Pharaoh's battle armor consisting of two overlapping brass falcons." As with Moses, Rameses costumes were carefully planned to move the story and express his character. This costume is presented as a stark contrast to the simple grey cloak in the preceding scene where Rameses' first-born, the young prince of Egypt, is killed in the last plague. Stripped of all his royal jewellery, Rameses is seen as a humbled grieving father. Suddenly wanting revenge, Rameses calls out for his chariots and armour. Friberg biographer Ted Schwarz explains "...this change in clothing was designed to be a dramatic departure from earlier costumes."
The design of the armour was meticulously thought out. According to Schwarz, Friberg "wanted Pharaoh to be wearing authentic armor reflecting the Egyptian use of birds... [Falcons] were considered the personal bodyguards of the Pharaoh. The royal armor employed a twin falcon design, their crossed wings serving to protect the front and back of the Pharaoh. Friberg designed the armor in sections so that it could be swiftly assembled on the Pharaoh's body at his command. Two complete falcons formed the basic design, the body of each bird positioned on either side of the Pharaoh's torso, with their crossed wings serving as chest and back plates. Their spread talons were extended down, each holding a ring supporting his heavy sword belt."
One of the most spectacular and exciting scenes in the film, the Pharaoh standing tall in his chariot leading the Egyptian army in pursuing the fleeing Israelites, is imbued with an image of royal power and military splendour that, as Schwarz states, "makes the miracle of the Egyptian army's destruction in the Red Sea all the more dramatic."
Charlton Heston as Moses is seen wearing similar armour earlier in the film as a powerful military leader in his chariot. According to John L. Jensen, after Wilcoxon made his initial sketch, "Friberg did a more elaborate sketch and then a painting of Heston wearing them, and they proved to be pretty pricey. But when Moses falls from power, Rameses takes everything. So it was decided that he took Moses' armor too." Katherine Orrison supports this in her commentary on the DVD re-issue of the film, stating that the same winged armour is seen on Moses in the first scene, as "they felt it would be too expensive to do just for one scene." Moses' armour had a red leather backing and a slightly different alignment of 'feathers' - see the crossed falcon armour on Friberg's sketch for Moses (lot 24) to compare the slight differences in design. A lot of the expensive costuming was recycled - Edward G. Robinson as Dathan wears a leopard skin seen earlier on Rameses.
One of the two falcon chest-pieces made for the film is offered for sale in the following lot.