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On which shoulder does the patch rest? Military left and civilian right? The flag on either shoulder must fly forward, the union (stars) flying forward as in going into battle? ...
  1. #1
    John Pierre Guest

    Default American flag shuolder patch

    On which shoulder does the patch rest? Military left and civilian right? The flag on either shoulder must fly forward, the union (stars) flying forward as in going into battle?
    I just was apprised of differences. Most civilian flag patches rest on the right shoulder, military on the left. Something to do with the shield arm being the left and unlikely to be cut off as the right sword arm being more likely to be severed. TIA. And I am glad to be a new member of this site.
    JP
    Last edited by John Pierre; 01-23-2007 at 02:23 PM. Reason: spelling

  2. #2
    wmjnb Guest

    Default Re: American flag shuolder patch

    I too would appreciate a reply to this question. My son's soccer team is playing in a French tournament this summer. We will be the only team representing the United States and would like to show our American pride. An advanced thank you to all who comment.

  3. #3
    Peter Ansoff is offline USA Flag Site Admin
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    Default Re: American flag shuolder patch

    The FAQ on the Army Institute of Heraldry website says the following about this issue:

    "The US [Flag] Code does not address the positioning of the flag patch. It is appropriate to wear an American flag patch on the left or right sleeve. When worn on the left sleeve, the union would appear towards the front and the stripes would run horizontally toward the back. When worn on the right sleeve, it is considered proper to reverse the design so that the union is at the observerís right to suggest that the flag is flying in the breeze as the wearer moves forward."

    "Since the law does not specifically address the positioning of the patch, a decision is left to the discretion of the organization prescribing the wear. As many states and cities have ordinances pertaining to the use of the flag, you may wish to contact the Attorney General of your state or the City Attorneyís office regarding this matter."

    For practical purposes, then, the decision is up to you. The Army wears the patches on their right sleeves, but either side is OK.


    Regards,

    Peter Ansoff

  4. #4
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    Default Re: American flag shuolder patch

    yeah thats why they have a 'backwards' flag on aeroplanes too... ie american airlines have a flag picture on either side of the tail of the airplane... the right side of it is union to the left-- the left side of it the union is to the right so it simultes an actual flag as it would look if it was a real flag there (obviously cnat be a real flag or itd get torn to bits in the wind!)

  5. #5
    Peter Ansoff is offline USA Flag Site Admin
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    Default Re: American flag shuolder patch

    "(obviously cnat be a real flag or itd get torn to bits in the wind!)"

    There have been cases of real flags flown on airplanes. As I recall, the old Imperial Airways "Hercules" airliners of the 1920s used to hoist British flags on flagstaffs above the cockpit when arriving and departing from Croydon airport. Also, I've seen pictures of flags flying on the FW200 "Condors" (on the ground, of course) that the Nazi bigwigs used as VIP transports during World War II.

    Dirigibles often fly flags from their sterns, just like ships. The big rigid airships that the US Navy operated in the 1930s flew Admirals' flags from the command gondola when they had an Admiral on board.

    Best,

    Peter Ansoff

  6. #6
    vva1936 Guest

    Default Re: American flag shuolder patch

    What is the way to wear the amnerican flag on a shirt which can be on honor guard. It is on the right shoulder.

  7. #7
    Peter Ansoff is offline USA Flag Site Admin
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    Default Re: American flag shuolder patch

    vva1936: What is the way to wear the amnerican flag on a shirt which can be on honor guard. It is on the right shoulder.

    See my 4 March post, above. The flag patch can be worn on either the right or the left shoulder, and the union should face forward in either case.

    Peter Ansoff
    Last edited by Peter Ansoff; 07-03-2008 at 07:44 AM.

  8. #8
    M_kulsziski Guest

    Default Re: American flag shoulder patch

    You say the union should face forward in all cases but on the Uniform of the boy Scouts of america the flag is on the right shoulder and the union in towards the back.

    Based on what I have found it does not make a difference when worn on the right shoulder.

    If there is something written that shows this to be wrong I would appreciate seeing it so I can send this into BSA and see how they replry to this.

    thanks
    Mike

  9. #9
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    Default Re: American flag shuolder patch

    if theres just one flag patch (on right shoulder only) i think it is perfectly fine to show the flag the correct way round that is the canton to the left.... your not trying to emulate a flying flag by having it on one side only....

    if the patches are one on either arm then both cantons should face toward the front to emulate a flying flag... the left side a 'normal' way round the right side with the canton to the right side of the patch... hope this helps

  10. #10
    Peter Ansoff is offline USA Flag Site Admin
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    Default Re: American flag shuolder patch

    M_kulsziski: You say the union should face forward in all cases but on the Uniform of the boy Scouts of america the flag is on the right shoulder and the union in towards the back.

    No, I'm not the one that said that -- it was a quote from the US Army Institute of Heraldry. Please see my 4 March 07 post in this thread. The applicable US Army regulation (670-1) says the same thing:

    "The full-color U.S. flag cloth replica is worn so that the star field faces forward, or to the flag's own right. When worn in this manner, the flag is facing to the observer's right, and gives the effect of the flag flying in the breeze as the wearer moves forward. The appropriate replica for the right shoulder sleeve is identified as the reverse side flag." [The regulation also has an illustration showing a right sleeve with the union forward, to the observer's right.]

    Of course, these are just the Army's regulations, and don't necessarily apply to other organizations. The Boy Scouts are free to establish their own rules if they wish to.

    Peter Ansoff

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