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Posted: 12/24/2005 8:30:25 PM EDT
I've noticed that the american flags on the shoulders of military uniforms are always backwards. Why is that?

Thanks,
Kris
Link Posted: 12/24/2005 8:31:09 PM EDT
the flag doesn't retreat. Looks like its always going foward.
Link Posted: 12/24/2005 8:31:22 PM EDT
[Gunny] You need to watch more mail call maggot![/gunny]
Link Posted: 12/24/2005 8:38:14 PM EDT
CHAAAARGE MUTHAAAFUUUUCKAAAAA!
Link Posted: 12/24/2005 8:39:32 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/24/2005 8:51:29 PM EDT

Originally Posted By shop_rat45:
I've noticed that the american flags on the right shoulders of military uniforms are always backwards. Why is that?

Thanks,
Kris



As posted above the flag must be displayed in a fashion that indicates forward movement, you also see this on many aircraft. BTW the left shoulder flag is "correct".
Link Posted: 12/24/2005 8:52:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 82ndAbn:
It's not backward. It's moving forward, hooah?



HOOAH SIR!
Link Posted: 12/24/2005 9:06:27 PM EDT
The star field always goes close to the heart of the person wearing the uniform.
Link Posted: 12/24/2005 9:06:55 PM EDT
Its a flight in the wind as they march on.
Link Posted: 12/24/2005 9:09:34 PM EDT
It shows the flag in forward movement. If you were to reverse it on the right shoulder the Stars would be toward the rear, indicating rearward movement. And we dont retreat to the rear always forward.
Link Posted: 12/24/2005 9:42:47 PM EDT
I think they just had a large manufacturing defect, and instead of making new ones, just decided "Lads! I know! Put them on your right shoulder instead of your left! Then we can say it's going forward!"

Ripping them off/resewing them after you get a combat patch is a bloody pain. Should have just gone with 'normal' on the left.

NTM
Link Posted: 12/24/2005 10:35:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Manic_Moran:
Should have just gone with 'normal' on the left.

NTM



How is it that the other way is "normal" or correct?
Link Posted: 12/24/2005 10:48:21 PM EDT
It's the direction of travel. Imagine the flag on a pole, and a soldier carring it into battle. From one side, you'd see it with the field of starts in the top left, from the other, you'd be seeing it with the field in the top right. If the patch were on the left shoulder, it would look 'normal', but since it's on the left, the field faces forward.
Link Posted: 12/24/2005 10:50:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By shop_rat45:
I've noticed that the american flags on the shoulders of military uniforms are always backwards. Why is that?

Thanks,
Kris



I think it has something to do with the fact that the flag never retreats.
Link Posted: 12/24/2005 10:59:59 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Manic_Moran:
I think they just had a large manufacturing defect, and instead of making new ones, just decided "Lads! I know! Put them on your right shoulder instead of your left! Then we can say it's going forward!"

Ripping them off/resewing them after you get a combat patch is a bloody pain. Should have just gone with 'normal' on the left.

NTM



I think that this issue, no matter how inconvenient to you, is worthy of the extra effort to present the proper uniform and statement.

If it takes a little bit longer because a person wasn' t considering their military bearing when they sewed on the wrong patch, well... that just an educational experience. So enjoy

Link Posted: 12/24/2005 11:52:37 PM EDT
I AM SURPRISED FEW PEOPLE HAVE THIS RIGHT. STARS AND STRIPS GO TOWARDS THE HEART, NOTHING TO DO WITH GOING FORWARD. EVERYTHING TO DO WITH THGE SOLDIERS COMMITMENT AND LOVE FOR THE COUNTRY AND, THE SOILDERS DUTY TO THE COUNTRY ABOVE ALL OTHER THINGS.
Link Posted: 12/25/2005 12:00:21 AM EDT

Originally Posted By hard:
I AM SURPRISED FEW PEOPLE HAVE THIS RIGHT. STARS AND STRIPS GO TOWARDS THE HEART, NOTHING TO DO WITH GOING FORWARD. EVERYTHING TO DO WITH THGE SOLDIERS COMMITMENT AND LOVE FOR THE COUNTRY AND, THE SOILDERS DUTY TO THE COUNTRY ABOVE ALL OTHER THINGS.



These citations would lead us to believe that a flag decal or painting on a vehicle or a flag patch should always have the union of the flag to the viewer's left. This works well when looking at the left side of the vehicle or person. When looking at the right side however, if the union is to the viewer's left, it appears as though the flag is flying backwards when the vehicle or person is in motion. It would also place the flag in a position of being in retreat as the vehicle or person moves forward.

To alleviate this problem, the International Civil Aviation organization decreed that flags painted on aircraft must face the direction of the flight, so as to be aerodynamically and aesthetically correct. We also recommend that flags or flag decals on vehicles and flag patches on uniforms should be so oriented.


Link
Link Posted: 12/25/2005 2:10:57 AM EDT
THE TRADITION WAS ESTABLISHED BEFORE THAT WAS WRITTEN. EVERY SOLDIER IS TAUGHT WHAT I AM SAYING IN BASIC TRAINING. IT IS ALSO A BOARD QEUSTION.
Link Posted: 12/25/2005 4:40:50 AM EDT
I'm glad this came up. Are soldiers/military the only ones authorized to wear the flag like that ?

Link Posted: 12/25/2005 4:46:34 AM EDT

Originally Posted By hard:
THE TRADITION WAS ESTABLISHED BEFORE THAT WAS WRITTEN. EVERY SOLDIER IS TAUGHT WHAT I AM SAYING IN BASIC TRAINING. IT IS ALSO A BOARD QEUSTION.




Stop yelling. You are not a Drill and this is not BCT.
Link Posted: 12/25/2005 4:52:13 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Manic_Moran:
I think they just had a large manufacturing defect, and instead of making new ones, just decided "Lads! I know! Put them on your right shoulder instead of your left! Then we can say it's going forward!"

Ripping them off/resewing them after you get a combat patch is a bloody pain. Should have just gone with 'normal' on the left.

NTM



Hence, the ACU's fasination with velcro.
Link Posted: 12/25/2005 4:54:07 AM EDT

Originally Posted By hard:
THE TRADITION WAS ESTABLISHED BEFORE THAT WAS WRITTEN. EVERY SOLDIER IS TAUGHT WHAT I AM SAYING IN BASIC TRAINING. IT IS ALSO A BOARD QEUSTION.



They never told me that in BCT..
Link Posted: 12/25/2005 4:55:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By hard:
THE TRADITION WAS ESTABLISHED BEFORE THAT WAS WRITTEN. EVERY SOLDIER IS TAUGHT WHAT I AM SAYING IN BASIC TRAINING. IT IS ALSO A BOARD QEUSTION.



I never heard that in Basic, and have seen numerous sources written that say it is oriented to show forward motion.
Link Posted: 12/25/2005 5:09:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By absit:

Originally Posted By hard:
THE TRADITION WAS ESTABLISHED BEFORE THAT WAS WRITTEN. EVERY SOLDIER IS TAUGHT WHAT I AM SAYING IN BASIC TRAINING. IT IS ALSO A BOARD QEUSTION.



They never told me that in BCT..



Same here, At OSUT at Ft. Benning it was always "the flag does not retreat".
Link Posted: 12/25/2005 5:11:06 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/25/2005 5:11:27 AM EDT by JSteensen]
and I just asked a buddy who just did his E5 board a couple months ago, and he said that the always moving forward was the right answer.
Link Posted: 12/25/2005 5:32:47 AM EDT

Originally Posted By JSteensen:


Hence, the ACU's misguided fasination with velcro.



Fixed.

NTM
Link Posted: 12/25/2005 5:45:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Manic_Moran:

Originally Posted By JSteensen:


Hence, the ACU's misguided fasination with velcro.



Fixed.

NTM



Amen sir.
Link Posted: 12/25/2005 5:52:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By justice23:

Originally Posted By absit:

Originally Posted By hard:
THE TRADITION WAS ESTABLISHED BEFORE THAT WAS WRITTEN. EVERY SOLDIER IS TAUGHT WHAT I AM SAYING IN BASIC TRAINING. IT IS ALSO A BOARD QEUSTION.



They never told me that in BCT..



Same here, At OSUT at Ft. Benning it was always "the flag does not retreat".



They never said one word about 2.5years ago at Benning.
Link Posted: 12/25/2005 6:39:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By tyman:

Originally Posted By justice23:

Originally Posted By absit:

Originally Posted By hard:
THE TRADITION WAS ESTABLISHED BEFORE THAT WAS WRITTEN. EVERY SOLDIER IS TAUGHT WHAT I AM SAYING IN BASIC TRAINING. IT IS ALSO A BOARD QEUSTION.



They never told me that in BCT..



Same here, At OSUT at Ft. Benning it was always "the flag does not retreat".



They never said one word about 2.5years ago at Benning.



never mentioned it in 1984 either.
Link Posted: 12/25/2005 6:41:47 AM EDT

Originally Posted By CB1:

Originally Posted By tyman:
They never said one word about 2.5years ago at Benning.



never mentioned it in 1984 either.



The flag wasn't routinely worm on BDUs til a year or two back. Of course it wouldn't have been brought up in basic at those points in time. We also didn't cover a lot of AR 670-1 issues in basic because you were slick collared private whose job was to learn basic soldiering skills and they only had 8 weeks to do it in.
Link Posted: 12/25/2005 6:45:57 AM EDT
I was at Edwards AFB, Palmdale Calif for an air show 3 years ago and all of the flags on the military plans are on the right-side and "reversed"(aka backwards).
Link Posted: 12/25/2005 7:23:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By tc556guy:

Originally Posted By CB1:

Originally Posted By tyman:
They never said one word about 2.5years ago at Benning.



never mentioned it in 1984 either.



The flag wasn't routinely worm on BDUs til a year or two back. Of course it wouldn't have been brought up in basic at those points in time. We also didn't cover a lot of AR 670-1 issues in basic because you were slick collared private whose job was to learn basic soldiering skills and they only had 8 weeks to do it in.



True, but the Blue Book covers flag custom. never tested on it, but it was there for the reading. I still have my Blue Book and it lightly touches on flag display. "Blue on the observers left while facing the flag".

Nothing in there about "going towards the heart.......commitment and love for the country" But I would suspect that it has a lot to do with being oriented in the direction of travel.

Of course this Blue Book was printed in 1984... lots of change since then and I suffer from CRS quite heavely these days.
Link Posted: 12/25/2005 7:38:30 AM EDT
This from the US Army Study Guide for NCO Promotion Boards:



Why is the flag worn on the right shoulder of the Utility Uniforms?
The flag is worn on the right shoulder to give the effect of the flag flying in the breeze as the wearer moves forward.
Link Posted: 12/25/2005 7:38:37 AM EDT
Look at the flags on the tail of AirForce One. Flag always should be shown with stars forward on man or vehicle. Even the police cars were displaying the flag like that when I was a kid.
Link Posted: 12/25/2005 7:55:19 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/25/2005 8:35:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ilike9s:
The star field always goes close to the heart of the person wearing the uniform.



A minor WTF on this one?? I suppose you have something other than a anecdote that supports this?
Link Posted: 12/25/2005 8:37:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By hard:
I AM SURPRISED FEW PEOPLE HAVE THIS RIGHT. STARS AND STRIPS GO TOWARDS THE HEART, NOTHING TO DO WITH GOING FORWARD. EVERYTHING TO DO WITH THGE SOLDIERS COMMITMENT AND LOVE FOR THE COUNTRY AND, THE SOILDERS DUTY TO THE COUNTRY ABOVE ALL OTHER THINGS.



You get a major WTF on this one? BTW hasn't anybody ever informed you that all caps is considered bad form? You need to be pickier on what you fall for.
Link Posted: 12/25/2005 9:21:20 PM EDT

Originally Posted By weptek911:
I'm glad this came up. Are soldiers/military the only ones authorized to wear the flag like that ?


authorized?
Link Posted: 12/25/2005 9:37:11 PM EDT

Originally Posted By weptek911:
I'm glad this came up. Are soldiers/military the only ones authorized to wear the flag like that ?




I've seen it on LE, FD, and EMS uniforms as well... even a few private / commercial uniforms if the guys were prior service or somehow knew about flag etiquette...
Link Posted: 12/25/2005 9:42:50 PM EDT

Originally Posted By hard:
THE TRADITION WAS ESTABLISHED BEFORE THAT WAS WRITTEN. EVERY SOLDIER IS TAUGHT WHAT I AM SAYING IN BASIC TRAINING. IT IS ALSO A BOARD QEUSTION.





Link Posted: 12/25/2005 9:47:19 PM EDT
That link w/ flag etiquet is interesting.... especially the section on furniature.

After 9/11, w/ all the flag stuff coming out, I ended up getting a folding chair w/ the flag on it..... looks like that is a no-no....
Link Posted: 12/25/2005 9:51:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Manic_Moran:
I think they just had a large manufacturing defect, and instead of making new ones, just decided "Lads! I know! Put them on your right shoulder instead of your left! Then we can say it's going forward!"

Ripping them off/resewing them after you get a combat patch is a bloody pain. Should have just gone with 'normal' on the left.

NTM



Well, now you just re-velcro
Link Posted: 12/25/2005 9:53:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By hard:
THE TRADITION WAS ESTABLISHED BEFORE THAT WAS WRITTEN. EVERY SOLDIER IS TAUGHT WHAT I AM SAYING IN BASIC TRAINING. IT IS ALSO A BOARD QEUSTION.



We were actually taught the 'Flag moving forward' explanation, when I went thru...

Link Posted: 12/25/2005 10:23:29 PM EDT
Yeah, it's the flag moving foreward.

Also, the reason it's worn on the right, instead of on the left (where it would be "correct"): Because the flag is always displayed to the left of the dislpay, from the point of view of the audience. For instance, in speeches and such, or when flown with other flags, the US flag is to the left as you view it, or to the right-most from the flag's perspective. Likewise, on a soldier, the flag is displayed on the far right from the flag's perspective, or to the far left from the viewer's perspective.


And yes, the board question, and the etiquette answer, is that it's the flag moving foreward, the blue field always to the front of the flag as it moves.

This "closest to the heart" thing is utter BS.
Link Posted: 12/25/2005 10:24:59 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Dave_A:

Originally Posted By Manic_Moran:
I think they just had a large manufacturing defect, and instead of making new ones, just decided "Lads! I know! Put them on your right shoulder instead of your left! Then we can say it's going forward!"

Ripping them off/resewing them after you get a combat patch is a bloody pain. Should have just gone with 'normal' on the left.

NTM



Well, now you just re-velcro

Actually, the flag stays above the unit patch on the ACU, so you don't have to move it at all. There was actually a debate about this when the flags went Army-wide, as some people weren't willing to remove the flag and put it subordinate to their unit patch. The decision was to keep it the way it is for the BDU, and to keep the flag in the superior position for the ACU. Personally, I think it should always have stayed in the superior position.
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 11:46:28 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/26/2005 11:48:09 AM EDT by Stronghorn]
When watching a color guard in a parade from the right side, where are the stars...this is a no brainer.

And yes this close to the heart is BS. Only matters on a flag draped casket, left side closes to the heart.
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