This has been asked so many times I saved my answer which was derived from the government answer to the question. Many sharp-eyed civilians have noted an apparent oddity on the uniform sleeves of American military men: backward flag patches. Why is Old Glory flipped around like that?
Only the flag patches affixed to right shoulders of uniforms are reversed, so the blue field of stars faces forward. (Left shoulder patches aren't a problem, as the stars face forward without meddling.) The reversal was inspired by the age-old practice of carrying flags into battle. When fastened to a standard, the American flag's blue-and-white portion is always closest to the pole. A flag bearer rushing into the fray, then, would naturally lead with the stars. In fact, it would be virtually impossible to lead with the stripes-the flag would simply wilt and wrap around the pole, rather than waving triumphantly in the wind.
For a service man or women to lead with shoulder-borne stripes, then, might smack of cowardice and retreat, as if the totters were backpedaling away from the conflict. The official Army guidelines on the donning of flag patches add that the forward-facing stars give "the effect of the flag flying in the breeze as the wearer moves forward.” So perhaps it's best to think of every military person as a latter-day flag bearer, leading the headlong charge into battle.
God Bless you our men and women in uniform along with the Southern People.
· 1 decade ago