Why is the American flag reversed on uniforms?

Why is the American flag reversed on uniforms? 2020 image

Soldiers wear the American flag reversed on uniforms and most of the people wondering why is that? Wanted to know why American flags are reversed on U.S. military uniforms? It is really simple, the flag is always charging forward, no matter is it worn by regular Army units or specialized ones like the U.S. Navy SEALs, Rangers, Delta Force or Green Berets, the flag is always charging forward.

The reason why is the American flag reversed on uniforms

A lot of civilians often wonder why the United States Army Flag Patch is reversed when is worn on the uniform. The answer is: not all Army Flag Patches are reversed, but only those worn on the right shoulder. The reason is quite simple. It has to do with the proper display of the flag. In fact, that is the American flag reversed on uniforms explained in few steps.

The question a lot of people often ask. Following is a transcript of the video with the answer you might looking for.

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.

Why is the American flag reversed on uniforms
Why is the American flag reversed on uniforms? Because it is always charging forward (Photo: XY)

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 must 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.

The U.S. Army Regulations

The rule is simple, the blue field of stars should always be in the highest position of honor. When viewing the flag on a wall, the highest position of honor is the upper left when displayed horizontally, and at the top (upper left) when displayed vertically. When displayed on a “moving object” like a person or vehicle, the highest position of honor is the front, and not the rear; so the field of blue should be displayed to the front.

According to Army Regulation 670-1: “The American flag patch is to be worn, right or left shoulder, so that the star field faces forward, or to the flag’s own right. When worn in this manner, the flag is facing to the observer’s right, and gives the effect of the flag flying in the breeze as the wearer moves forward.”

The same principle applies to the eagle rank of Colonels (or Navy Captains); the eagles’ heads are always worn facing forward when worn on the uniform, as the forward-facing eagle is the position of honor within heraldry.

The flag patch on U.S. Military uniforms is advancing forward always
The flag patch on U.S. Military uniforms is advancing forward always (Photo: XY)

In application, then, flags are displayed on moving vehicles with the blue-star field always displayed towards the front of the vehicle. In this way, the flag appears to be blowing in the wind as the vehicle travels forward (flags are always attached to their flag poles on the blue field side). If the flag were not reversed on the right-hand side of the vehicle, the vehicle might appear to be moving backward (or “retreating”). It has been cleared in the book Worth Dying For written by Tim Marshall.

Camouflage Muted Color Flag Patch

The previous Army regulations didn’t have proper prescriptions for the camouflage purpose and the military use of the flag was always denoted to the red, white and blue. However, with the updated Army Battle Dress Uniform that was recently unveiled, the flag patch will become a camouflage, muted color. No matter fact, the American flag reversed on uniforms will be always charging forward.

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