Cuba 4th Btn, 2nd Co, Havana Volunteers.

Sub-collection: Military / Other Countries

Spanish Colony, Cuban 4th Btn, 2nd Co, Havana Volunteers, extremely rare Cuban Militia Color, 1898
This flag is a war trophy. In ancient Greece and Rome, military victories were often formally commemorated with a display of captured arms and standards and cultural objects, called war trophies. In the Middle Ages; the European wars of the 17th and 18th centuries; and during the Napoleonic Wars variations of this were also practiced wherein armies returning home would often display flags captured from the enemy in public buildings or churches. In a public space they were displayed either as a morale builder, an overt symbol of victory, or a reminder of a past martial or naval accomplishment; whilst in a church or place of worship they usually represented a homage to the Divinity for granting victory, or as a symbol of the power of the providence of God for their cause.

In the American Civil War, official protocols were evolved for the disposition of captured colors. The act was considered worthy of decoration or promotion. More recently the World Wars saw the wholesale confiscation of enemy property including flags. In 20th century it became common for individual soldiers to return home with trophies and souvenirs, such as enemy flags.

After the Civil War American soldiers were no less interested in war trophies; however the dominant foe, the Native American Indians, did not use flags. This changed when during both the Spanish American & Philippine American Wars; American soldiers once again prized enemy flags.

The possession of a captured enemy flag is often considered the ultimate war trophy; literally one has captured the flag. However, many of these are not actually captured on battle, or even battlefield pick-ups. They are flags encountered or acquired as the result of other activities; often rear echelon pieces acquired through purchase or trade.

Little is known about the history of this flag. It was acquired at auction in 2008 as a GI bringback. The Cuban Volunteers were troops raised in Cuba after the first war for Cuban independence in 1868. Used against the rebels, they were drawn from Cuba's lower classes and were accused of harsh tactics. The style and design of the flag would indicate that this is a standard from a mounted unit.

ZFC Significant Flag

2nd Co , 4th Btn, , Havana Volunteers, Cuba, 1890s.
Sold via Heritage Auctioneers & Galleries, Dallas Texas, to Zaricor Flag Collection, 2008.


War Trophy, Wikipedia,16 November 2011, from:

Squad of Havana Volunteers, Spanish-American War Era (1898),Photos of Cuba: 16 November 2011, from: http://www.studenthandouts.com/Cuba/015-Havana-Volunteers.htm

Sierra, Jerry A., The War for Cuban Independence, History of Cuba.Com, 16 November 2011, from:

Mitiuckov, Dr. N. V. , Spanish Order of Battle, 1898, Spanish American War Centennial Website, 16 November 2011, from:

Image Credits:
Zaricor Flag Collection
Heritage Auctions

Hoist & Fly

Width of Hoist 20.5
Length of Fly 23.5


Size of Hoist 1.5


Is it framed? no


Are there stars on obverse? no
Are there stars on reverse? no


Has a Blood Stripe? no


Description of Crest/Emblem Arms of Spain centered


Nation Represented Cuba


Fabric Silk


Stitching Hand


Type of Weave Plain


Method of Attachment Sleeve


Applique Sides Double Faced = Reads correctly on both sides


Research Documents


Condition Good
Damage Used, worn, discolored, fracturing
Displayable yes


Date 1890's