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Stars and Stripes display on marines shoulder backwards??(9 posts)

Stars and Stripes display on marines shoulder backwards??128
Jun 13, 2003 6:49 AM
I'm kind of a stickler for proper flag display (and respect)so when I saw this on the news last I wondered if maybe there was a good, or military explanation. As I understand it, the union fieled (the blue part with stars) is always displayed to the viewers left, whether hung vertically or horizontally.

So last night on the corporate news, they have some serviceman in Iraq and on his right shoulder is a little horizontal patch of the US flag, but the feild is to the right?? I thought it might be a mistake.

Then there was a subsequent interview with a commander who had the same patch/field configuration. Does the military display differently in some circumstances? I don't see 'shoulder patches' in the code so I assume like any other display, the field should be to the viewers left. Any thoughts??
Not sure, was it a live recording or a photo?sn69
Jun 13, 2003 7:14 AM
If it was the latter, the negatives were probably reversed or the image flipped digitally.

Our flight suit patches are standard, with the field on the left. Admittedly, however, I don't know squat about BDU uniform regs, and the Marines just changed theirs outright to a new digitized pattern/style. LAV25--any insight?
Jun 13, 2003 7:26 AM
I saw a story on this during the war. The field is on the right on all military "battle" gear in deference to the days when there was actually a guy out there waving the flag on a pole. If you were leading the charge with the flag, the stars would be at the front. The stars being to the right (behind) indicate the cowardice of retreat, thus all uniforms have a 'reversed' flag.
That's a cool bit of stump-da-chump triviasn69
Jun 13, 2003 7:31 AM
Of course it also implies something rather unsavory about how the flyers wear their flight suits. But, given the 10 years--yes, I'm serious--of foolish bickering the between USN/USMC and USAF upper echelons about flight suit standardization, I doubt we'd change.

As always, major props to the folks on the ground....
Wow... very cool... and I thought I was weird for thinking...PdxMark
Jun 13, 2003 12:23 PM
those patches looked strange.
Here's another interesting piece of trivia ...El Guapo
Jun 13, 2003 7:54 AM
Look at airplanes (commercial and military). On the right (starboard) side the flag would appear to be reversed, i.e. union field in the upper right. It is, in fact, placed correctly. Reason, it gives the appearance or illusion of the flag waving from it's vertical staff as the plane travels forward. This, and on Military uniforms, are the only occassions where the flag can be displayed in an alternative to its normal prescribed hanging proceedures.
All kinds of flag code violations, once you start lookingretro
Jun 13, 2003 8:05 AM
I did some research on the Flag Code a couple of years ago as part of another project, and a LOT of the things we do violate it. Flag-based clothing, for instance, is technically inappropriate, as are most flag patches on civilian clothes (uniforms are probably an exception, but some interpretations say they aren't). Flags are supposed to be hung over streets and plazas in specific ways, widely ignored. Whipping one to shreds on the antenna of your SUV, then letting it go down the drain at the car wash, is clearly out, too.
The American Legion says ALL use of the flag in advertising is wrong. See how many violations of that you spot over the Fourth of July weekend.
One thing that struck me is that, as far as we could figure out, NO local or regional official--mayor, governor, police chief--has the authority to order a flag lowered to half staff. It's been done so often that a lot of people assume it's proper, but it's not.
A shocking recent example was...PdxMark
Jun 13, 2003 12:26 PM
Disney's remake of The Music Man. The big finale parafe kicks off, the band marches by, the the color guard sinning their flags, but wait, they were spinning a twirling US flags. I was dumb-founded. My kids just listened to me in bemused silence.
No Retreat - Hooo Ahhhhjose_Tex_mex
Jun 16, 2003 9:22 AM
Always with the blue facing front - into the wind as if we are charging into battle. No retreat.

Same deal with cop cars, Air Force One...