Why Are Flags Backwards On Police Uniforms?

care to know why flags are backwards on police uniforms
Picture of Steve Doorlag

Steve Doorlag

Have you ever asked yourself, “why are flags backwards on police uniforms?

In both police and military forces, you may have noticed the SU flag that appears to be facing the wrong way. 

This can look very weird and almost seem disrespectful.


But there’s a reason why it faced this way. 


Let’s get straight into which way it faces and why.

Shop: Thin Blue Line Flag

Which Way Does It Face?


Back in the ’90s, the US flag patch was always worn on the left sleeve because it was closest to the heart.


Since then the flag has been seen on the right arm but this would technically be incorrect.


The way it should face is always moving forward.



If the US flag is seen on the right arm with the blue corner on the left it portrays retreat. When it’s on the right arm and the blue square is on the right it portrays attack or offense and continuing to move forward.


The way to think of it is if it’s on your left arm where the patch how you normally would see the flag (Blue on the left)


If it’s on your right arm where the blue on the right (looks backward).


This idea originally started with the US military and eventually, the police force adapted to this change and now you’ll see the “backwards” flag on their right arm.

Final Thoughts


When first seeing the “backwards” flag it can be extremely confusing. But the best way to think of it is how you would see the flag from a certain point of view.


The idea behind it is to always be moving forward and not retreating.