You may have noticed the American flag worn backwards on different military uniforms, but do you know why they do this? We did a little digging to find out.
Civilians often wonder why the American Flag on military uniforms are worn ‘backwards.’ Some speculate that it represents the U.S. military is always moving forwards, others speculate it symbolizes the flag always points home.
However, according to Army regulation 670-1, Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia, the regulation states when authorized for application to the proper uniform, the U.S. 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’.”
The same can be said about American aircrafts, both planes and space shuttles. The next time you are at an airport, pay close attention to American jetliners and how the flag is displayed. The star field is positioned in a way as if it were flying with the airplane, thus causing the flag to look as though it is flying backwards on one side of the plane.