General Question

whitetigress's avatar

What is the meaning of the U.S.A. flag backwards on a soldiers jacket?

Asked by whitetigress (3129points) October 19th, 2011

Or not even just a jacket, I also notice it on the police cars.

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15 Answers

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King_Pariah's avatar

It’s backwards because that is how the flag would be waving if it were actually be carried in battle while charging forwards (which is why it’s on the right shoulder as opposed to the left where it would be on technically the “correct” way).

on the uniform

carried into battle

XOIIO's avatar

@King_Pariah Are you sure thats what she meant by backwards?

King_Pariah's avatar

Yes, I was in the army and that very question was brought up, and that was the answer given.

(you can google it if you must)

judochop's avatar

@King_Pariah is correct. That is the very reason it appears the way it does on our uniform.

you can click here for info on it if you’d like

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zenvelo's avatar

It’s not backwards; the blue field is forward.

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njnyjobs's avatar

Under current U.S. Army policy the appropriate sleeve, left or right, for wear of the U.S. flag patch is driven by the type of operation involved. The flag patch is worn on the right sleeve during joint or multinational operations where the distinguishing of individual national soldiers is desired and overrides tactical considerations. The flag patch is worn on the left sleeve when deployed in support of a United Nations operation.

Regardless of which sleeve, the U.S. flag must always be displayed with the blue star field facing forward. There are thus two separate flag patches in the Army inventory: the normal U.S. flag replica that is worn on the left sleeve, and what is referred to as the “reversed field” flag patch, which is worn on the right sleeve.

The reversed flag is not confined to the Army, it is used in most military services. The “reversed field” is used on the right so it looks as though the flag is blowing in the wind caused by forward movement. Some have suggested that if the traditional flag were worn on the right shoulder, it would look like a soldier were running backward—retreating. That might be overstating it, but the philosophy is to show that soldiers and vehicles are moving ahead.

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Dog's avatar

{Mod Says:] Just a gentle reminder that we ARE a question and answer site and this question is posted in the general section.

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Please refrain from using language that can be considered condescending. If you find the question beneath your level of knowledge then resist the temptation to respond in a smart-ass fashion and move on to a more challenging question.


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cazzie's avatar

I asked this same question because I thought a Norwegian soldier had his flag on wrong. It’s not just the US that does this. @njnyjobs sounds like the closest thing to the right answer.

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