Guidons for companies, batteries, troops, detachments and separate platoons of the US Army's combat arms (excluding those for headquarters units of groups and higher formations) generally follow a standard design pattern: the field of the guidon is in the first-named branch color (e.g. red for Cavalry) with the branch insignia, numerals and letters in the second-named branch color.

For lettered companies of battalions of regiments, the branch insignia is centered on the guidon with the regimental number above it, the company letter or designation below it, and the battalion number vertically centered between the insignia and the hoist. For lettered companies of separate battalions, the battalion number is above the insignia and the company letter below it. For separate companies, the company number appears below the insignia. Named companies of battalions have an appropriate monogram below the insignia (e.g. HH for headquarters & headquarters Troop/ Companies).

Exceptions to the above patterns are found in the infantry and the cavalry. Infantry branch colors are light blue and white, but infantry guidons have a national flag blue field. Cavalry guidons are horizontally divided, scarlet over white, and they display no branch insignia. Letters and numerals are white on the scarlet half of the guidon and scarlet on the white half.

Unit decoration streamers are authorized for attachment to guidons if the award is made specifically to the company. Campaign streamers are not used with guidons. Companies that specifically qualify for a campaign credit are recognized by the attachment of a Campaign Silver Band, engraved with the campaign credit, to the guidon pole.

Dimensions for guidons are 20 inches at the hoist by 27 inches on the fly with a 10-inch fork. Until recently, guidons were made of cotton or wool bunting, but they are now being made of heavyweight rayon banner cloth with more detailed renditions of branch insignia. Since guidons are only replaced when they become worn out, both types may be found in service today.