Why the American Flag may sometimes appear to be backwards on military vehicles, aircraft, and uniforms.

On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress officially adopted the Stars and Stripes banner as the national flag of the United States. The newly adopted American Flag was flown in combat for the first time during the Revolutionary War on September 3, 1777.

General William Maxwell ordered a support contingent be dispatched to his Delaware infantry and cavalry divisions to carry the newly designated American flag into battle at Cooch's Bridge.

The standard bearer from the supporting contingent was positioned out front and centered on the formation. When the charge command was given, the forward momentum of the standard bearer caused the flag to billow out and stream back into the breeze. The soldiers on the left flank (left side) of the standard bearer would see the flag's star field in the upper left corner. The star field would be seen in the upper right corner by the soldiers on the right flank. (As shown in the image above)

Contrary to occasional misconceptions, the flag is not reversed when viewed on the right side of military vehicles, aircraft, and uniforms. It is being displayed as seen from the right flank. Although the viewpoint of an observer may change, the position of the star field on the flag remains fixed in place facing forward.

In combat, this is known as the "Assaulting Forward" position, and it represents all fifty states of our republic moving forward in unison at full might to engage the enemy. "Always moving forward." Never surrender; never retreat.

AR 670-1: The U.S. flag embroidered insignia 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.