Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Currently, each Soldier wears a flag patch on their uniform—which I often get asked about because it looks as though it’s backwards. But rather, it’s to appear that the flag is flying in the breeze as the Soldier moves forward. This dates back to when both mounted cavalry and infantry units would designate a standard bearer, who carried the flag into battle. The Soldier’s forward momentum caused the flag to stream back. For me, this patch represents the Army’s “forward lean” in fighting and protecting the freedoms represented by our flag.

The proper and lawful placement of the U.S. flag patch on the Army uniform.

The regulation states that when authorized for application to the proper uniform the American 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’.”

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