Veterans: Why does the American flag fly backwards on the arm of every soldier?

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by AVG-JOE, May 30, 2011.

  1. AVG-JOE
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    AVG-JOE American Mutt Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    [​IMG]

    If the Union (the blue field of stars) is supposed to be on the upper left corner as viewed by the observer, why do our military uniforms display it in the upper right hand corner?

    :eusa_eh:

    I know there isn't a LAW, one way or the other, but there is tradition, and as anal as this country is about left and right, this one truly baffles this average American Joe.
     
  2. iamwhatiseem
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    iamwhatiseem Gold Member

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    It is the way the flag would fly as you are charging into battle.
    You know...forward motion and all.
     
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  3. AVG-JOE
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    AVG-JOE American Mutt Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Makes perfect sense - thank you so much.

    Is there a link for that information?
     
  4. daveman
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    daveman Diamond Member

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    Flag when worn-US Flags on Uniforms and Clothing-American Flags Forum

    How is it that the U.S. military is allowed to change the rules of flag display on the uniform (as with being worn on the right shoulder with the union field to the right).

    First of all, the civilian "flag code" does not say anything about which shoulder a flag patch should be displayed on, or which way it should face. It says that the union should be on the viewer's left when a flag is displayed flat against a wall, but that is a completely different issue. Second, even if the flag code did address this question, it would not matter, because the flag code does not apply to the military. Section 5 of 4 USC 1 makes this clear:

    The following codification of existing rules and customs pertaining to the display and use of the flag of the United States of America is established for the use of such civilians or civilian groups or organizations as may not be required to conform with regulations promulgated by one or more executive departments of the Government of the United States.

    Each of the military services has its own regulations governing use of the flag on uniforms. The Army displays them on the right shoulder with the union facing forward. The Army Regulation (AR 670-1) says:

    The full-color U.S. flag cloth replica is worn so that the star field faces forward . . .. 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 appropriate replica for the right shoulder sleeve is identified as the reverse side flag.

    Other services and agencies do it differently. NASA astronauts, for example, wear the flag patch on the left sleeves of their space suits.

    The flag is also displayed with the union on the right on the right side of vehicles and aircraft, both civilian and military. The reasoning is the same; the flag is oriented so that the union is forward with respect to the direction of travel. Again, this is not a violation of the flag code even in a civilian context, because the code does not specify one way or the other.​
     
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  5. Momanohedhunter
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    Momanohedhunter BANNED

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    Question: Why is the U.S. flag worn "backwards" on the uniform?
    Answer: Army Regulation 670-1, Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia, is the governing authority for the wear of Army uniforms. Paragraph 28-18 governs the wear of the United States Flag on Army Uniforms.

    The flag may only be worn on the utility and organizational uniforms (such as the camouflage BDU). The flag may only be worn during joint-duty and multinational deployments. When the servicemember returns to home station, the flag must be removed. (Guide Note: A message went out in February 2004 changing this restriction, and making the U.S. Flag a mandatory uniform componant for all soldiers, effective October 1, 2005).

    Chapter 1, Title 4, United States Code, provides for the design of the U.S. flag and specifies the colors as red, white, and blue. Colors other than red, white, and blue violate the U.S. Code; therefore, subdued-colored flags are not authorized for wear. Joint commanders have to make the decision as to whether or not the wear of a full-color flag, for morale purposes, is more important than having all aspects of the uniform camouflaged.

    When approved for wear, the full-color U.S. flag cloth replica is sewn 1/2 inch below the right shoulder seam of the temperate, hot-weather, enhanced hot-weather, and desert BDU; the BDU field jacket; and the cold-weather uniform. The flag is worn on the right shoulder, because, in the military, the "place of honor" is to a military member's right.

    The full-color U.S. flag cloth replica is worn 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 rule dates back to the Army's early history, when both mounted cavalry and infantry units would designate a standard bearer, who carried the Colors into battle. As he 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 stayed to the right, while the stripes flew to the left.
    More of This Feature

    Rod Powers

    Rod Powers
    US Military Guide

    U.S. Military FAQ -- Why is the U.S. flag worn "backwards" on the uniform?
     
  6. AVG-JOE
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    AVG-JOE American Mutt Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    A perfectly sound reason, explanation and tradition. Still looks a little weird, but it helps to know why.
     
  7. AVG-JOE
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    AVG-JOE American Mutt Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    P.S. - Happy Memorial day, y'all.

    P.P.S. - To those who've served and to their families: :thewave: You all rock!
     
  8. percysunshine
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    percysunshine Gold Member

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    I think it is on purpose...as a big F U to leftists.
     
  9. AVG-JOE
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    AVG-JOE American Mutt Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    If that's a bad joke it's just plain stupid, in very poor taste for a Memorial Day thread about soldiers uniforms, and the kind of crap that should be flushed through the plumbing of The Flame Zone.

    If it's not a joke, don't be so paranoid - read the links posted above and get educated.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2011
  10. Momanohedhunter
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    Momanohedhunter BANNED

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    It was fodder for the conspiracy crowed for awhile. You should still be able to find some good old nutty stuff about it.
     

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