Why are the American flags reversed on military uniforms?

We get a lot of questions about the American flag sometimes being displayed with the stars facing towards the back of the flag, rather than towards the front, on military uniforms. This is known as "reversing" the flag. 

There are a few reasons why the American flag is reversed on military uniforms. One reason is that the flag is typically worn on the right shoulder of a military uniform, with the stars facing toward the front of the person wearing the uniform. When the flag is displayed in this way, it appears to be "flying" in the same direction as the person wearing it. This is similar to how a flag is displayed on a flagpole, with the stars facing towards the top of the pole. 

Reversing the flag on military uniforms is also done to make it stand out from the flags of other countries. Many countries, including the United States, have similar flags, with a field of blue and white stripes and a central emblem or symbol. By reversing the American flag, it is easier to distinguish it from the flags of other nations, especially in situations where multiple flags are being displayed together. 

There is also a symbolic reason for reversing the flag on military uniforms. When the flag is reversed, with the stars facing towards the back of the uniform, it creates a V-shape, which is often interpreted as a symbol of victory. This is especially true in the military, where soldiers often wear the flag when they are in battle or doing other military operations. 

It is worth noting that the rules for displaying the American flag are set forth in the U.S. Flag Code, which is a set of guidelines for properly handling and displaying the flag. According to the Flag Code, the American flag should be displayed with the union (the blue field with the stars) at the top left corner when it is displayed on a flagpole or in a similar manner. But the Flag Code doesn't say anything about how the flag should be shown on military uniforms. 

The takeaway here should be that the American flag is a symbol of national pride and unity, and it is treated with great respect and reverence by the U.S. military and the American people. Whether it is displayed with the stars facing towards the front or towards the back, the flag is always displayed with the same level of respect and dignity.

Dec 29, 2022 Alana K

Recent Posts