why is the us flag backwards on military patches

бuniforms feature the U. S. flag, which is worn backward. People often ask why the flag is reversed when worn as a patch on a uniform. Not all U. S. flag patches are reversed Б only those worn on the right shoulder. бThe reason has to do with long-running traditions and regulations created before the Civil War. The rule is that the blue field of stars should always be in the highest position of honor on the uniform. That position has always been the right shoulder with the flag s blue stars facing forward. The Place of Honor for the American Flag is always to the RIGHT of other organizational flags like the USMC or Navy flag. б When carried with an organization flag as in the March of the Colors, the U. S. flag is carried to the
right of the line of march. The organizational flag may be dipped in salute to the reviewing officer at a parade or during the National Anthem, the American flag is never dipped in salute. Regulation 670-1,б Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia, is the governing authority for how Army uniforms are worn. Specifically, paragraph 28-18 governs the wear of theб б on Army Uniforms. Specifically, the regulation states that: All Soldiers will wear the full-color U. S. flag embroidered insignia on utility and organizational uniforms unless deployed or in a field environment.


Soldiers will wear the subdued tactical flag insignia while deployed or in a field environment. The subdued tactical flag worn on deployments or in the field features muted colors. Basically, the idea behind the backward American flag on Army uniforms is to make it look as though the flag is flying in the breeze as the person wearing it moves forward. The rule dates back to the Army s early history when both mounted cavalry and infantry units would designate a standard bearer, who carried the flag into battle. As this standard bearer charged, his forward momentum caused the flag to stream back. Since the Stars and Stripes are mounted with the canton closest to the pole, that section of the flag stayed to the right, while the stripes flew to the left. Therefore, the flag is worn on the right shoulder, and wearing it backward gives the effect of the flag flying in the breeze as the wearer moves forward. In 2003, in the beginningб of the, the uniform regulation for the Army was updated. б , БWear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia,Б addresses explicitly the proper and lawful placement of the U. S. flag patch on the Army uniform. БThe Stars are to face forward,Б the regulation states. When authorized for application to the proper uniform the American flag patch is to be worn, right or left shoulder.


One of the flags will, therefore, be reversed (right shoulder) in order to adhere to the regulation and custom of having the stars facing forward. The term, БAssaulting ForwardБ has been adopted by combat troops versus БFacing ForwardБ. The appropriate flag (color or subdued) for the right shoulder sleeve is identified as the Бreverse side flagБ. Formerly, U. S. Army regulations had required the flag to be worn only during joint-duty and multinational deployments and stated that it should be removed when the service member returned to home station. However, the flag became a mandatory uniform component at all times in 2005. б , provides for the design of the U. S. flag and specifies the colors as red, white, and blue. When approved for wear, the full-color U. S. flag cloth replica is sewn half an inch below the right shoulder seam. It should be worn with the temperate, hot-weather, enhanced hot weather, and desert battle dress uniform; the battle dress uniform field jacket; and the cold-weather uniform. The red, white and blue flag patch obviously would not be recommended wear on their combat fatigues or camouflagedб uniforms so the subdued flag is authorized wear. Tim Marshall, the author of "Worth Dying for: The Power and Politics of Flags" explains why American flags are reversed on military uniforms.


Following is a transcript of the video. A lot of people ask, "why is the US flag reversed when it's on an arm patch of a US military? " Just as the US flag dips to no man or king and you will see even at the Olympic ceremonies, the American flag is the only one that doesn't dip to the head of state of the host country. Because it's not a mark of disrespect to them, it's a mark of respect to the American flag. And they take it so seriously that it must always face forward. Now, on a flag pole that puts the stars on the left-hand side next to the flag pole, that's the most prestigious position. On an arm patch, you are looking at it differently and when the soldier, or marine or whatever, marches forward, the US flag most face forward. It must not be seen to be in retreat. And so the stars are actually now on the right-hand side of their badge and so they face forward, just as it never retreats. It's always in its special position when it's flown on a car. You might think this is taking things to extremes but when you really get to the bottom of flags, they are about extremes of passion and extremes of belief. And the Americans take their flag very, very seriously.

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