Why is the U.S. flag reversed on Army uniforms?

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Why is the U.S. flag reversed on Army uniforms?

The flag of the United States of America has many rules

and etiquette in how it should be displayed.

On modern U.S. Army uniforms, soldiers wear the U.S. flag patch reversed.

But why is this?

In 2003, the uniform regulation was updated.

According to the Army Regulation 670-1, Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia,

when the American flag patch is to be worn, right or left shoulder,

the star field needs to be faced forward,

or more technically "assaulting forward," the term adopted by combat troops.

When worn in this manner, the flag has the effect of flying in the breeze as the wearer moves forward.

By having the blue field and white stars assaulting forward, it symbolizes going into battle.

If it's the other way around, it would symbolize retreat.

This goes back to the earlier days of the U.S. Army when cavalry and infantry

would have a standard-bearer who carried the flag into battle.

The canton of the flag, the blue and white stars, were mounted closest to the pole

so as the standard-bearer charged into battle, the flag would fly in the breeze in this way.

This is replicated as a reverse side flag patch for the modern-day soldier's right shoulder sleeve.

The reverse flag also applies to the right side of vehicles, including aircraft and space shuttles.

Interestingly, during World War II, a U.S. flag patch

was worn specifically by U.S. paratroopers to identify them as American.

This was because paratroopers were dropped behind enemy lines

and risked being mistaken for enemy soldiers by the approaching American forces coming over by land.

However, flag patches as a permanent part of the U.S. Army uniform is a recent thing,

only becoming a mandatory uniform component at all times in 2005.

Before this, it was required only during joint duty and multi-national deployments.

As such bright colors make the soldier more of a target,

a subdued version of the flag patch is now worn while deployed

or in a field environment to fit in with the camouflage uniform.

The U.S. flag patch was designed to convey the right symbolism,

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