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I work for a local police department and several of our officers have recently started wearing a US Flag Ribbon Bar Pin. We wear the pin over our name tags ...
  1. #1
    Hunter224 is offline Junior Member
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    Sep 2009
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    Default Wearing a Ribbon Bar Pin on a Police Uniform

    I work for a local police department and several of our officers have recently started wearing a US Flag Ribbon Bar Pin. We wear the pin over our name tags above our right shirt pocket.

    I have always worn my pin with the stars to the left as you face the pin (flags right), but several officers have recently told me this is incorrect and that the stars are supposed to be on the flags left to point towards the heart. I have not been able to find anything to support this.

    Also the way the pin is designed, if the stars are to the flags left (towards the heart), it appears to be upside down and therefore saying the officer is in distress.

    Please let me know what you think.

    Here is a link to the pin we are wearing. American Flag Patriotic Commendation Bar - CB164 : Galls

  2. #2
    Peter Ansoff is offline USA Flag Site Admin
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    Feb 2007
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    Annandale, Virginia, USA
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    Default 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.

    Best regards,

    Peter Ansoff
    "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.

  3. #3
    Kiltedbiker is offline Junior Member
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    Jan 2010
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    Default Re: Wearing a Ribbon Bar Pin on a Police Uniform

    Peter is correct, if it is the ribbon that I believe you are talking about. You can find it in many police publications and ribbon sellers websites.

    It is NOT the actual American flag, merely a suggestion of it, and therefore not covered by the flag code. Your department will have guidance on the proper wearing of the uniform item.

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