Bilgemaster Bill wrote at 2016-01-26 02:28:33
It's been 10 years since this mystery flag was asked about, and like you my first thought was also that it might be the burgee or pennant of some sort of aquatic Shriners lodge (maybe they criss-cross through regattas in tiny little boats, like their landbound cousins do in miniature cars in parades?), and maybe it is...but the description given of it, "the backround [sic] is red and it has three gold (or yellow) what look like Arabian sabers running the length of it. These sabres look like the old Arabian knights sabres they carried in their sashes," sounds a lot like the flag of the County of Essex in England, as seen in its Wikipedia article here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essex. The Essex Yacht Club has the three "swords", actually known as "seaxes", on its burgee, but in white in a blue shield on a red background (see: http://www.essexyachtclub.co.uk/
), while red on blue is used by the nearby Alexandra Yacht Club (see: http://www.alexyachtclub.co.uk/
). So, perhaps our fellow in Rhode Island may have some older variant, or one from a third nearby or possibly even now defunct club. In any event, one imagines that either of these still active clubs may well know where such a similar burgee to theirs might hail from. For more flags featuring seaxes, see the 'Flags of the World' index at https://flagspot.net/search.html?q=seaxe&t=Text.
Sorry I'm a bit late to the party, but maybe you could still pass this along to them, in case they're still interested in "Aladdin's Mystery Burgee" in their clubhouse.