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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Guidon \Gui"don\, n. [F. guidon, It. guidone. See Guide, v. t.]

  1. A small flag or streamer, as that carried by cavalry, which is broad at one end and nearly pointed at the other, or that used to direct the movements of a body of infantry, or to make signals at sea; also, the flag of a guild or fraternity. In the United States service, each company of cavalry has a guidon.

    The pendants and guidons were carried by the officer of the army.

  2. One who carries a flag.

  3. One of a community established at Rome, by Charlemagne, to guide pilgrims to the Holy Land.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"small flag," 1540s, from Middle French guidon (16c.), from Italian guidone "battle standard," from guidare "to direct, guide," from Old Provençal guidar (see guide (v.)).


n. 1 A small pennant or banner carried by infantry soldiers to direct troop movement. 2 A soldier assigned to carry such a banner.

Guidon (United States)

In the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Air Force, a guidon is a military standard that company or platoon-sized elements carry to signify their unit designation and corps affiliation or the title of the individual who carries it. A basic guidon can be rectangular, but sometimes has a triangular portion removed from the fly (known as " swallow-tailed").


Guidon may refer to:

  • Guidon (heraldic flag), a type of heraldic flag
  • Guidon (Commonwealth), a swallow tailed flag for the colours of a light cavalry regiment
  • Guidon (Portugal), a guião (small square guidon) is carried by each unit of battalion size
  • Guidon (United States), a military standard

Usage examples of "guidon".

Dropping to one knee, he used the dullish spearpoint of the guidon to pierce the thigh of one likely target.

Guidons and bannerets fluttered like bright butterflies above those mailed men of old.

The-red and white Polish swallow-tailed flags of the Lancers made a thicket of colour, while guidons, standards, banners, pennants and gilded Eagles studded the watery sky.

The triangular banners, guidons, were high above the line of blue and silver uniforms.

The guidons were lowered like lances, it was the final moment, and crossfire took them from another square and one guidon went down, point first into the earth and the man who had held it seemed to fall so slowly, then suddenly he was rolling and screaming, streaking the grass with his blood, and still the charge was led by a dying man on a dying horse.

With guidons flying in the pleasant morning breeze, she saw the men salute as General Sherman and his entourage entered Fort Lincoln.

They spun and circled and lifted lightly, following the pennons and guidons, a drifting mass of living beauty, darting in rippling sweeps through the sunlight slanting through the branches of the trees.

Enemy guns, a mere fraction of the artillery that Wellington had captured, led the procession that was bright with the flags and guidons that were the lesser standards of the French.

Company buglers heard and blew it, and as they started back toward the rise they'd ridden from, squads and platoons began re-forming on their guidons, while a bugler worked his way toward his marshal, to serve him.

He tore the masking tape from the guidon and folded the guidon again.

As before, first the tanks were destroyed, then the mechanized infantry carriers, as GUIDON rolled into the enemy formation.

Two clear yards and I hauled myself across its back, righting myself as an Indian stumbled under its hooves, and then I was urging the pony up and away from that horror, over grassy ground that was carpeted with still and writhing bodies, and beyond it little knots of men fighting, soldiers with clubbed carbines being overwhelmed by waves of Sioux-but there was a guidon, and a little cluster of blue shirts that still fired steadily.