Guidon 1866

Custer's Personal Colors 1866-1876

Standard 1866

Standard 1866 - 1887

Standard 1887 - 1919

Standard 1919 To 1940

Standard 1940 WWII

Standard WWII To 1957

Adjutant General Office
Washington, 13 Apr 1887

By direction of the Secretary of War paragraph 2790 of the Regulations is amended to read as follows:
Standards and Guidons for Mounted Regiments

2790. Each regiment will have a silken standard, and each troop or mounted battery a silken guidon. The standard for cavalry to be made of a single thickness of seamless yellow banner-silk, to be four feet fly and three feet on the lance. To have the coat of arms of the United States, as on the standard sample on tile in the office of the Quartermaster General, and which may be described as follows: An eagle with outstretched wings; on its breast a U.S. shield; in the right talon an olive branch with red berries, and in his left 10 arrows bunched. A red scroll held in eagle’s beak, with the motto, “E pluribus unum,” in yellow; over a scroll a group of 13 white stars, surmounted by an arc of diverging sun rays, also in white. Below the eagle a red scroll, with the number and name of regiment in yellow, as for example “3rd U.S. Cavalry.” The design, letters, and figures to be embroidered in silk, the same on both sides of the standard. The standard to be trimmed on three sides with United States silk knotted fringe two and one-half inches deep. Lance to be nine feet six inches long, including metal spear and ferrule. To have a water proof case or cover to protect the standard when furled.

By Command of Lieutenant General Sheridan:
Adjutant General

The standards remained until 1919 when each Regiment’s Coat of Arms were authorized to be superimposed on the eagle.

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.

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