BOOTS & SADDLES
 

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COLORS, FLAGS & GUIDONS OF THE US ARMY CAVALRY
1931 Regulations
 

Images Added May 2002

Distinguishing Flags & HQ Troop Guidons, 1st Cavalry Division & 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division
 

The US Army cavalry of the early 1930's still relied largely on horses, but a first step toward mechanization had been taken with the addition of an armored car troop to most regiments. The missions of the cavalry were defined as reconnaissance, covering operations and screening. The Army realized that the days of mounted combat were over and the cavalry was expected to fight dismounted, using its horses primarily as a means of transportation.

The standard regimental table of organization called for nine troops organized into three squadrons, plus regimental headquarters, armored car, machinegun and service troops. The cavalry brigade controlled two regiments; two brigades plus a field artillery regiment and support units formed the cavalry division. This was similar to the "square" organization for infantry divisions, though in practice there were no fully organized cavalry divisions in existence during most of the interwar period. The 1st Cavalry Division was maintained at reduced strength.

Credits: The drawings on this page are based on the specifications given in Army Regulation 260-10 dated 20 November 1931, a copy of which was kindly provided by FOTW Mailing List member Joseph McMillan.
 



 

DISTINGUISHING FLAGS FOR DIVISIONS & BRIGADES

 

1st CAVALRY DIVISION

 

1st BRIGADE

Distinguishing flags for cavalry division were scarlet over yellow, with the authorized shoulder sleeve insignia, in proper colors, centered. If no SSI was authorized, blue numerals were to be used instead. Distinguishing flags for cavalry brigades were yellow (the cavalry branch color) with the brigade's number centered in dark blue. These flags were made of wool bunting, 3 feet at the hoist by 4 feet on the fly.

 

HEADQUARTERS TROOP GUIDONS

 

HQ TROOP, 1st CAVALRY DIVISION

 

HQ TROOP, 1st BRIGADE

Guidons for headquarters troops of division and brigade  were similar to the corresponding distinguishing flags, but with the shoulder sleeve insignia or numerals over the designation HQ in dark blue. These and all other guidons were made of wool bunting, 1 foot 8 inches on the hoist by 2 feet 4 inches on the fly, with a 10-inch fork.

 

REGIMENTAL STANDARDS

 

11th CAVALRY REGIMENT

Regimental standards for cavalry were made of yellow silk, 3 feet at the hoist by 4 feet on the fly, with a 2 1/2-inch yellow silk fringe. Centered on the standard was the regimental coat of arms in proper colors over a scroll bearing the regimental designation. Except for the material used, these standards were identical to modern organizational colors of cavalry regiments. Unit citation and campaign streamers, if authorized, were always displayed with standards.

 

TROOP GUIDONS, 8th CAVALRY REGIMENT

 

REGIMENTAL HQ TROOP

 

HQ TROOP, 3rd SQUADRON

 

TROOP A

 

ARMORED CAR TROOP

 

MACHINEGUN TROOP

 

SERVICE TROOP

The cavalry's regimental troop guidons were of the traditional red-over-white pattern with the regimental number centered on the red stripe and the troop designation on the white stripe. Regimental headquarters troop guidons had the designation HQ, while squadron headquarters troops guidons had the squadron number.



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