"Standards fluttered over the gate"
The standards were the flags that the armies carried into battle, used as rallying points and signals as well as symbols of the might and superiority of Rome. They were basically a long pole with a piece of rectangular material (the vexillum) attached to a cross bar. The pole was topped by the eagle (Aquila). It was considered bad luck and a great disgrace for the eagle standard to be captured by the enemy. The words SPQR might be found on the flag, standing for ‘S
omanus’ or ‘the senate and people of Rome.’