US Troops Wearing Their Flag Backwards

Discussion in 'Multinational HQ' started by Gremlin0790, Feb 19, 2008.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. This is something that I've been trying to figure out for a while now. How come U.S. troops wear the flag backwards on their right arm?

    -Cheers, Gremlin
  2. 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.

    Google - US flag backwards-result. Not hard mate, top entry on google
  3. shows them the way home...
  4. Good, but I thought that I remembered the Yanks having patches on both arms, so I also Googled. And came up with this:

    The reason's the same, though.
  5. I have never seen a left-shoulder US flag.

    It's not a policy unique to the Army, however. For example, the flag painted on the starboard side of a US airliner is reversed as well, for the same reason.


  6. A septic aviator mate of mine gave me the following answer when I asked the same question;

    "The Stars always go before the stripes".

    Seems it would be disrespectful to have it the 'right' way round on the opposing arm so they are flown in reverse so the stars are always at the front. Suppose its a similar think to us flying the Union Flag the right way up (which very few seem to know.....but most Orderly Cpls learn very quickly....especially once the RSM walks past it. ;) )
  7. Luckely we don't have to go through all that shite..

    Attached Files:

  8. David Icke provided an, er, interesting theory on this. Can't find it on his website though. I'm sure it involved lizards though....
  9. [​IMG]

    Who says the Dutch are crazy? Quite logical I think!

  10. [​IMG]

    Not just the US that does this.


    From Slate
  11. For those special occasions when the falg is worn on both sides, both standard and reversed flags are available, along with muted, IR reflective and various other configurations.

    The current US Army field uniform uses velcro to attach the flag so a standard Red White and Blue flag can be worn in barracks and easily replaced with a tactical version as appropriate in the field.

    Note that US forces also wear their formation patch on the left sleeve with the right sleeve (below the flag) being reserved for the patch of a unit with which they have previously served on operations.

    No patch on Right hand sleeve = no combat/operational experience and is rare these days except for new recruits and senior war-dodgers.
  12. i was told by a yank in khandahar that is because the stars lead the way
  13. How come our Union Jacks arent Subdued then??? Or is it the Yanks doin their weird things again?
  14. why would you need a subdued union jack?? on a ship?
  15. cos they have fecking huge flags and we only have little ones.