At one point in it’s very long History, The 5th Battery of Artillery actually WAS the United States (Continental) Army. Consisting of (6) Artillery pieces, it was originally formed by the first Secretary of The Treasury, Alexander Hamilton. As a Captain, Hamilton briefly commanded The 5th Battery and was instrumental in turning The British advance at The Battle of Rhode Island (1776). From that time, a Battery of The 5th has been maintained in form – within The US Army. As a further honor, It’s Headquarters Colors were always displayed at The Army Chief of Staff Office at The Pentagon (until recently).
Much like American Cavalry Units of the 19th Century, Artillery Units used the Guidon Pattern to identify Batteries in the field. They also adopted the same coloring for The “Swallowtail” design, a Red Stripe split over a White Stripe. The upper Left Canton (closest to The Hoist), featured a Yellow image of crossed Colonial Cannon, encircled by 13 Stars. The Battery Numerical Identifier and Company were placed above and below. The White Stripe was inscribed with the details of The Battle of Rhode Island, with Hamilton identified as the Battery Commander. The original Guidon or Colors (if used) by Hamilton is not known with any certainty. These Colors were designed possibly around the turn of the 18th/19th Centuries.