Here’s the Reason Why the American Flag Looks Backwards on Military Uniforms [VIDEO]
The American flag is one of our most respected and prized symbols. The red stripes symbolizes hardiness and valor, the white ones stand for purity and innocence, and the blue portion represents vigilance, perseverance, and justice. It is not surprising that we’d place this symbol of national pride on our military uniforms. What is surprising is that the flag appears to be backward on our uniforms. Why? The answer is actually pretty badass.
According to Tim Marshall, the author of “Worth Dying for: The Power and Politics of Flags,” the reason you see the flag in that position on a uniform is so that the flag never to appears “to be in retreat.”
“Now, on a flag pole that puts the stars on the left-hand side next to the flag pole, that’s the most prestigious position. On an arm patch, you are looking at it differently and when the soldier, or marine or whatever, marches forward, the US flag must face forward,” he wrote. “It must not be seen to be in retreat. And so the stars are actually now on the right-hand side of their badge and so they face forward, just as it never retreats. It’s always in its special position when it’s flown on a car.”
Essentially, when the US flag patch is worn on the right shoulder, the blue field of stars should always be upright and right next to the flag pole. The Marlow White website confirms as well that this is the most prestigious position for the flag to be seen.
Also, when the flag is placed on the right side, it will look as if someone is carrying a flag into battle with the wind rushing behind the flag.
A fun factoid you can use to impress your friends? No other country on the planet mirrors their country’s flag the way the United States does, according to Boredom Therapy.
As Americans we have an undeniable love and respect for the flag and that carries on to the men and women who wear it every day as they protect us and the freedoms the flag represents.