45-Star Swallowtail Flag, Circa 1896

This is a rare 45-star, Spanish American War-period US Army cavalry guidon swallowtail flag.

The guidon is a military standard that a company or platoon-sized unit would carry. A guidon can be rectangular, but sometimes has a triangle portion removed on the fly end. This is known as a swallowtail design, named after the fork-shaped feathered tails of swallowtail birds. Swallowtail flags were designed to make the flags fly through the air with less resistance when traveling on a horse and thus last longer and hold up better than a normal rectangle guidon on the battlefield. It is usually carried close to the unit commander and can be called a “guide” flag, generals guide flag, or commanders guide flag.

This particular flag was most likely used for ceremonial events, as it is still attached to its original wooden hanging pole. This flag served as the symbol of the Republic from 1896-1908 and the star count is reflective of Utah's statehood.

Framed dimensions: 40" H x 28" W x 2 1/2" D. 




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