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  #1  
Old November 30th, 2004, 06:22 PM
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Dumb question

Sorry guys, but there is something that has been bugging the hell out of me because I can't figure it out... I know that someone can answer this for me, or maybe all of you can Why on US military fatigues and on aircraft etc. is the US flag inverted (mirror image)? I have actually lost sleep pondering this dumb question... Please don't make me feel too stupid
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  #2  
Old November 30th, 2004, 06:56 PM
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Not a dumb question at all, and there is an actual reason for that.

When displayed on shoulder patches, vehicles... etc... The Stars are always supposed to be in the front. This is because when a vehicle or person is moving forward, that is the direction that the wind would blow it... it it was a free-flying flag.

So, if you have a US flag patch on your right arm, it would look "backwards" because the stars would be on the right side of the patch in order to have the stars pointing forward.

Now, if the flag was upside down (stars on the bottom) that is a distress signal calling for help.

-Hans
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Old November 30th, 2004, 08:05 PM
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I never new that! Good Q and A!
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Old November 30th, 2004, 08:24 PM
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The key thing is "moving forward".

The Army actually has two authorized flag patches, one to be worn on the left shoulder, with the canton facing left, and another "reverse field" patch worn on the right, with the canton facing right.

The two different orientations are mandated because Army regulations call for the flag to be worn so that to observers, it looks as if the flag is flying against a breeze.

The rule is a nod to the U.S. Army's early history, when wars were fought as a series of carefully choreographed battles two armies meeting on a field, clashing head-on until one side emerged victorious.
In those battles, both mounted cavalry and infantry units would always designate one soldier as "standard bearer," to carry the Colors into the fight.

As the standard bearer charged, his rapid forward momentum would cause the flag to stream back.

And since the Stars and Stripes is mounted with the canton closest to the pole, that section would always be forward.

So if a soldier is charging into the battle, the flag would give the appearance of forward motion. For the right shoulder, the flag only appears "backward."

And that's why soldiers wear the flag patches on the right shoulder "backward." Because retreat in battle, as any soldier will tell you, is not the Army way.
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Old November 30th, 2004, 09:46 PM
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Very cool! I had no idea that it was a tradition thing. Thanks guys, I can sleep tonight! (safely)
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Old December 1st, 2004, 08:21 AM
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showing/flying the flag upside-down is also a show of protest against the government ... during the Clintonian era, there was allot of people in our area flying their flag upside-down ...
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