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Why is the U.S. flag worn backwards on uniforms?


You may have noticed the American flag worn backwards on different military uniforms, but do you know why they do this? We did a little digging to find out.

Civilians often wonder why the American Flag on military uniforms are worn ‘backwards.’ Some speculate that it represents the U.S. military is always moving forwards, others speculate it symbolizes the flag always points home.

Flag worn backwards on military uniform

However, according to Army regulation 670-1, Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia, the regulation states when authorized for application to the proper uniform, the U.S. 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 appropriate replica for the right shoulder sleeve is identified as the ‘reverse side flag’.”

The same can be said about American aircrafts, both planes and space shuttles. The next time you are at an airport, pay close attention to American jetliners and how the flag is displayed. The star field is positioned in a way as if it were flying with the airplane, thus causing the flag to look as though it is flying backwards on one side of the plane.

American Space Shuttles


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11 Responses

  1. Chris says:

    It’s not backwards it is simply the other side of the flag.

  2. Son says:

    As in most things military there was a screw up with the contractor who supplied flag patches in reverse.
    Rather than correct the error, the military came up with the lame flag flying forward story.
    It makes no sense to go against years of traditional
    use unless some civilian was trying to cover up his mistake.
    To see the way to wear the flag as a shoulder patch, look at any WWII paratrooper
    uniform from D-Day.

  3. Gretta says:

    There is certainly a lot to learn about this topic.
    I really like all of the points you made.

  4. wholesale flags says:

    Just amazing and well written post, flags for any of the country is very important to the people belongs to that country, and they also must know the facts related to the flags.

  5. Dean says:

    It’s unpatriotic to wear or display the flag backwards no matter what story you were told. It’s backwards! Do Not display your country’s flag backwards unless you are against America and what it satnds for. Yuo don’t see any other country’s flag backwards do you, just proves that people will be tricked into thinking one thing while demolishing the meaning of another.

  6. Darth Vadar says:

    This Backwards Flag Patch stands for the OPPOSITE of what America represents, LIFE, LIBERTY and Pursuit of Happiness. It is a ANTI-AMERICAN PATCH. Reverse American Flag patches/stickers represent the Opposite Symbolic Meaning!!

    Be a real American and oppose this brainwashed atrocity that has many fooled by using the “blowing in the wind” story, save it for a real flag!! HONOR YOUR COUNTRY and preserve the high standards and morals to which we hold our country’s flag to!

  7. Larry says:

    The AMERICAN FLAG DISPLAYED BACKWARDS stands for the OPPOSITE OF AMERICA! Display it properly and stop degrading your own country’s flag for crying out loud! WAKE UP.
    Fly her high and display it like a real American!! Don’t display backwards flag stickers in the name of wind!!! IT”S BACKWARDS to degrade the Flag and everything she stands for!! Honor it!!
    OBEY YOUR CONSCIENCE and teach people to NOT fall for the wind excuse to display the backwards American Flag all over…..You want a flag blowing in the wind go get one that’s on a stick then damnit!!
    Kriessakes people WAKE UP.

    • James says:

      Amen thats not the American flag if it is reversed . That is a shadow government symbol no different than putting a blue stripe on it, it is not the American flag

  8. Vebbyson says:

    I am an American, served in the military… And continue to serve. Old glory has no front or back to me, it’s a flag that flys both ways, when the Star-Spangled Banner was written, the wind blew the flag displaying different sides of her. When I move forward and the flag is on my shoulder the flag moves and displays as it should. If your wearing an American flag on your uniform, god bless.

  9. Rob says:

    The flag is not backwards. The American Flag is always moving forwards and never retreats. The contractor messing up and being too lazy to change it story was the most amusing.

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