Why Does The American Flag Look ‘Backward’ On A Military Uniform?
When we see the American flag pictured, the blue field containing 50 stars is usually on the left. When we see it on a soldier’s right shoulder, the image is reversed. Why?
The Business Insider offers an explanation from Tim Marshall, author of “Worth Dying for: The Power and Politics of Flags.” He explains that the Star Spangled Banner is positioned on a flag pole with the stars on the leading edge, closest to the flag pole.
When it’s flying from a vehicle, the stars are always on the forward edged, attached to the flagpole. The flag must always be moving forward, never in retreat. That’s why it’s “reversed” on a soldier’s right shoulder.