Why is the U.S. flag reversed on Army uniforms?

Why is the U.S. flag reversed on Army uniforms?


This episode is sponsored by Wix. Go to wix.com/go/simplehistory to create a website today. Why is the U.S. flag reversed on Army uniforms? The flag of the United States of America has many rules and etiquette in how it should be displayed. On modern U.S. Army uniforms, soldiers wear the U.S. flag patch reversed. But why is this? In 2003, the uniform regulation was updated. According to the Army Regulation 670-1, Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia, when the American flag patch is to be worn, right or left shoulder, the star field needs to be faced forward, or more technically “assaulting forward,” the term adopted by combat troops. When worn in this manner, the flag has the effect of flying in the breeze as the wearer moves forward. By having the blue field and white stars assaulting forward, it symbolizes going into battle. If it’s the other way around, it would symbolize retreat. This goes back to the earlier days of the U.S. Army when cavalry and infantry would have a standard-bearer who carried the flag into battle. The canton of the flag, the blue and white stars, were mounted closest to the pole so as the standard-bearer charged into battle, the flag would fly in the breeze in this way. This is replicated as a reverse side flag patch for the modern-day soldier’s right shoulder sleeve. The reverse flag also applies to the right side of vehicles, including aircraft and space shuttles. Interestingly, during World War II, a U.S. flag patch was worn specifically by U.S. paratroopers to identify them as American. This was because paratroopers were dropped behind enemy lines and risked being mistaken for enemy soldiers by the approaching American forces coming over by land. However, flag patches as a permanent part of the U.S. Army uniform is a recent thing, only becoming a mandatory uniform component at all times in 2005. Before this, it was required only during joint duty and multi-national deployments. As such bright colors make the soldier more of a target, a subdued version of the flag patch is now worn while deployed or in a field environment to fit in with the camouflage uniform. The U.S. flag patch was designed to convey the right symbolism, and you can get the right design and look you want for your website with Wix, with over 500 templates and also solutions for e-commerce, music, hotels, events, restaurants, and more. Create a professional site regardless of your skill level and support the channel by going to wix.com/go/simplehistory or simply click the link in the description below.

100 Replies to “Why is the U.S. flag reversed on Army uniforms?”

  1. Go forward and check out our sponsor Wix and support the Simple History channel! go to: https://www.wix.com/go/simplehistory

  2. But if you’re standing on the left side of the flag bearer the flag would look normal. This video only implies the reasoning if you’re standing on the right while the bearer is coming from the left.. I can see it making sense at first but the more you think about it it kind of makes the reverse design pointless symbolism. Not a big deal but I just find this hard to chew.

  3. When it changed, I thought it was either to signify they were working for bankers… Or perhaps that the country was in distress… But what do I know…

  4. I signed up into the Army 2 days after 9/11. About a year into my tour I saw my first "backwards flag" and after seeing a few of them and realizing it wasn't an error, I asked my 1SG while I was on CQ one day "First Sergeant, why do some of the guys on deployment have the flag backwards on their BDUs?" He simply turned and said "Because the colors never run." Took me a min to fully grasp what he said, but the image has since stayed with me. As an Infantry soldier we say "FOLLOW ME!" and charge. That is the flag I am spiritually holding as I charge into battle.

    Thank you, First Sergeant.

  5. I like how they speak only U.S because i have served in Finnish army and we have same reason why and i think many other countries have that too

  6. “Hi, army guy here. I know the answer to this before i even watch the video.

    Gee, do I feel special. “

    All you Grunts probably moaning at the POGs saying that right about now 😂

    -(if you don’t get what anything I just said means, you’re a civi)

  7. It seems right if u think about the modern solders with there patches but by the Flag bearers it's just a thing from were u watch it… From the other side the flag would wave right so im not sure if that's the real reason

  8. So putting the flag normally on the left arm wouldn’t be the same eh? Lmao this reason doesn’t make much sense

  9. Actually this is a stupid reason to violate the Flag Code which has the stars always placed in the upper left for displayed flag not hanging from a pole. I highly doubt any soldier ever said "oh no, the flag is retreating" while advancing forward.

  10. I thought it was so if the enemy ever got their hands on a US uniform they couldn’t desecrate the flag because it technically wasn’t the flag.

  11. When flag is backwards it means war just like our country (philippines) when the red color is in the top of our flag its war

  12. Man I used to be a lowly infantry man back in the days. I was shot in the damn knee and now it hurts all the damn time. I regret ever going. I’m currently unemployed and just trying to live a normal life. I just want a job as a cashier because it’s easy on the legs. I used to work at a McDonald’s in nyc but it closed. there’s currently no jobs here in nyc for low skill workers like me. I think eventually I’ll be homeless. Rent has gone up and my rent stabilized home doesn’t help much. I used to be in great shape. I can’t do many things anymore. I wish I could be a normal man working as a cashier or something. I don’t think I ever did anything good in life. I’m at the end of my rope. I really don’t want to live on the streets. I pray god will help me secure a stable job as a cashier or something else for a low skill worker like me. I know there’s other veterans out there who also suffer. You guys will be in my prayers. I hope we will be okay.

  13. I see it as a sign of duress. Regulation states anytime it is attacched to a fixed object the blue field is always displayed to the top left. ie guarding poppy fields in afganistan…while risking soldiers lives.

  14. So in Australia, the flag is worn on the left side so that the Union Jack remains in the correct position and is ‘forward’ of the Southern Cross…. problem solved.

  15. Actually..the flag. Patch was made in reverse by mistake at over 100.000.000 dollars and made-up this reason to still use the mis.manufactured flag…

  16. That's by far the silly'est reason ever. Didn't expect thath. Dont let your enemy's hear that…or wait.. tell it to them over speakers so you can locate them at their laughing.

  17. Finally an youtube channel with short and straight to point, unlike other channels talking about nonsense and way out of the theme just to get that 10 min mark

  18. I beg to disagree. The flag was reversed because murica got beaten by rice farmers with booby traps and underground hideouts.

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