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5th Battalion 20th Special Forces Group guidon

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Some of you all saw this on ebay, no doubt. I paid more than I wanted to, but SF guidons seem to be about as rare as tank destroyer guidons, or medical ones. Anyhow.


This flag is for the 5th Battalion of the 20th Special Forces Group. Google doesn't yield much information about the unit, and given that there are only 3 battalions active, I had some reasonable concern that it may have issues. However, a lot of poking around turned up the fact that the 5th was active in the 1970s in Maryland, and was part of their ANG. Other than that, I know basically nothing about the unit. As always, I'd love to know more.


The tag states that it comes from the DSA, of the DPSC. The DPSC is the Defense Personnel Support Center, the name that was given to the Philadelphia Quartermaster Depot in 1965. The Defense Supply Agency existed from 1961-1977, and distributed random government gear. The contract is number 9234. There is no date code after it (9234-75, for example), and date codes were introduced in 1971, I believe. So, this flag was contracted, and perhaps made between 1965 and 1971, although it could've been used at a later date, of course.


The flag:





The tag:





The actual emblem, since I couldn't find any other good pictures online. Note the stitching pattern on the arrow shaft, where it crosses. The arrow pointing to the left is "on top" of the one pointing to the right. Also note that the details of the fletches are not sewn on.



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I believe there is already a thread about this guidon here on USMF

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The SF guidons I remember from the '60s were teal blue and yellow. There was a 1 (1st SF) above the arrows, the Group number to the staff side of the arrows, and the Company designator (I.E.: A, HQ, SN) was below the arrows. Not sure when SFGs first had Battalions, but it wasn't in the mid 60s.


SF wasn't a branch until the '80s, which is when Jungle Green became the branch color.

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The early ones were red, so there have been color changes. Here is a link to another guidon with this color and pattern and maker tag. Given the lack of company designator, I would have to assume that this was used at the battalion level, hence the five being in the bottom position. The link below has a period photo showing guidons of this pattern in use, although the color can't be determined. That it was a 1960s contract also doesn't mean it was used then. I've got flags that are clearly WW2 production that were used in the 1960s or even later.




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