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What does it mean when an Americn flag patch is reversed?

Discussion in 'EDC Bags' started by JohnJones, Jun 11, 2014.

  1. JohnJones

    JohnJones Loaded Pockets

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    I'm looking for some green patches (stitched, not velcro) for my green canvas EDC bag. I've come across a few American flags with stars on the right, not the left. I've done some research and came across every explanation possible from "in order for the stars to face forward as if advancing and not retreating" to "it's an anti-America/anti-government display." I have some gripes with the government and politics like everyone else, but I am by no means unpatriotic or un-American and the last thing that I want to do is wear a patch that represents an ideal that's not mine. Help please.
     
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  2. GQP

    GQP Loaded Pockets

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    The reverse direction flags are so they look like they are advancing when presented on the right side of uniforms and vehicles.

    I have never heard about it being an anti-American or government statement. Some who protest the US governent will mount their flags upside down. Since that is the signal for distress, they feel it is apropriate (as in the USA is in trouble). Again, its probably more of an anti-gov statement than an anti-US.
     
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  3. NickSwan

    NickSwan Loaded Pockets

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    Your first answer is the right one. If you had a flag patch on each arm in order for the flags to fly the right way you would need one that is reversed.
     
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  4. tmedina

    tmedina EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    "Make no mistake - the US flag is advancing." It looks weird when you see it reversed that way for the first time on uniforms, but that's the rationale. This is from three years and change in the Army.

    The US flag, or any flag I think, flown upside down is a universal sign of distress.

    Both the "reversed" and the "standard" edition of US flags are fairly easy to come by - the military uses the reverse, whereas civilian agencies use the "standard" display. The tricky part is finding a reverse flag that isn't hook and loop (velcro).
     
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  5. GatorMedic

    GatorMedic Loaded Pockets

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    Civilian agencies use reverse flags, too. Any time there is a flag on a right sleeve or right side of a truck it is "reversed" so the stars are forward to show flag advancing, not retreating. I've had a "reverse" flag on my right sleeve on both Fire and EMS uniforms and the right side of the trucks. Otherwise, the flag should have normal orientation on anything that isn't on the right side of something.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  6. tmedina

    tmedina EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Good to know - I've yet to see any civvies wearing the reverse, but I also freely admit I don't normally move in those circles. ;)
     
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  7. Moco

    Moco Loaded Pockets

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    i alway thought it meant retreating but idk
     
  8. tmedina

    tmedina EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Tell that to a Marine, I dare you. :D
     
  9. tr4022

    tr4022 Uber Prepared

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    This. If the flag were represented the "correct" way on the right sleeves of military uniforms, that is, with the stars on the left, it would look as if the flag were retreating, not charging forward.
     
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  10. GatorMedic

    GatorMedic Loaded Pockets

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    Picture someone with an American flag on a pole (star side connected to the pole obviously) charging forward while you stand on their right side. The flag would look as if it was "reversed" from your position.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  11. SAKplumber
    • In Omnia Paratus

    SAKplumber EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    The US Flag is a Lady. The Star Field is always to be displayed on the Flag's own right.
    The only time that isn't the case is when she is flown upside down, as others have mentioned, as a sign of distress, as a distress call, or when it is a Right Shoulder Patch, with the Star Field on the Flag's own left BUT towards the forward of the wearer.

    I generally keep my US Flag patch in the distress orientation on my EDC bag because of my opinion that the United States of America in general is in distress. This is my own political opinion.
     
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  12. RoadWizard

    RoadWizard Loaded Pockets

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    We wore them in the 80's in the Sinai, as part of MFO. Reason given to us then was, when viewed thru bino's appeared correct.
    I have a couple of the reversed now, given to me by friends who were in A-stan or Iraq, they called them combat flags, occasionally wear on edc pack or hat, but not as much, due to having to explain it, and the leading edge moving forward.
     
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  13. bigfoot

    bigfoot Loaded Pockets

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    I've seen some agencies not use a reverse flag on the right sleeve. Oops. :D
     
  14. Stinger

    Stinger Banned

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    You guys do realize that any American flag flown upside down is a symbol of either immediate distress, or imminent danger - Right! ;)
     
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  15. Cthulhux

    Cthulhux Loaded Pockets

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    I had someone tell me the stars should always be forward as if it were on a flag pole. Years later I noticed the reverse elsewhere (Boy Scouts for instance). After asking around, I think it just depends on the service or group standard and that, in the end, it doesn't really matter.

    I think the Air Force keeps the Stars forward and other services the other way. And the person that first told me the Stars are forward was in the Air Force Reserves!