Army

Here’s why the American flag is reversed on military uniforms

Tim Marshall, the author of “Worth Dying for: The Power and Politics of Flags” explains why American flags are reversed on military uniforms. Following is a transcript of the video.

A lot of people ask, “why is the US flag reversed when it’s on an arm patch of a US military?” Just as the US flag dips to no man or king and you will see even at the Olympic ceremonies, the American flag is the only one that doesn’t dip to the head of state of the host country. Because — it’s not a mark of disrespect to them, it’s a mark of respect to the American flag. And they take it so seriously that it must always face forward.

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 most face forward. 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.

You might think this is taking things to extremes but when you really get to the bottom of flags, they are about extremes of passion and extremes of belief. And the Americans take their flag very, very seriously.

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4 thoughts on “Here’s why the American flag is reversed on military uniforms”

  1. I highly doubt the statement that Americans take the respect for the flag very seriously and you make it sound like such a truthful thing since there are loads of idiots stepping on and burning the flag and they are not punished for it at all. As a matter of fact they stand behind the Constitution and the Supreme Court who has said it is part of their 1st amendment right (freedom of speech).

    1. Freedom of Speech is never a right to slander; and certainly is not the intent the founders had in the interpretation of the 1st Amendment. The flag represents a living entity, us, the Citizens of the United States of America. To that end, to slander one, is to slander all. (slander – verb – make false and damaging statements about (someone): “they were accused of slandering the head of state” synonyms: defame (someone’s character) · blacken someone’s name · tell lies about · speak ill/evil of · sully someone’s reputation.
      – Speech is defined, (noun) the expression of or the ability to express thoughts and feelings by articulate sounds: (verb) a formal (vocal) address or discourse delivered to an audience First Amendment to the United States Constitution States; “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” No where is the ACT of burning a Scared National Symbol mentioned as a legitimate (sound/vocalization) of speech, or a peaceful “assembly” or petition.

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