Re: Wearing a Ribbon Bar Pin on a Police Uniform
Greetings, Hunter -- welcome!
Thanks for the interesting link about the US flag ribbon pin. I'd never seen these before. Obviously, they are not covered in the flag code. The code mentions US flag pins, but that refers to a replica of the complete flag on a pin. Common sense would say that the ribbon pins should be displayed right-side up, with the stars oriented as they are on the flag.
I've never heard of any rule that says the union is supposed to face the heart. The right side of the flag itself is the place of honor, which is why the union is on the right when it's displayed flat against a wall. This custom comes from medieval heraldry; the right side of a knight's shield was considered to be the place of honor. I've heard it said that this was because the right-hand side of the shield covered the knight's heart when he carried it on his left arm. Possibly your fellow officers are confusing this with the idea that the union is supposed to face toward the heart.
Again, my take would be that the ribbon bar should be rightside up, wherever it is displayed.
"We live by symbols, and what shall be symbolized by any image of the sight depends upon the mind of him who sees it."
-- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.