A right side view of the Space Shuttle Orbiter Enterprise and its specially-modified 747 transport aircraft being towed to the Weight and Thrust Hangar for vibration testing. Location: EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, CALIFORNIA (CA) UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (USA) Camera Operator: SSGT D. J. NIEUWSMA Date Shot: 10 Feb 1977
Notice this bit:
The first time I ever noticed the “backwards flag” was on some promo shots I got from Rockwell International after I wrote them and asked for some space program information when I was in the third grade.
Every so often this comes up, and the loonier among us believe that it’s some vast conspiracy to undermine the legitimacy of the United States, usually perpetrated (of course) by the Bush administration.
Call me skeptical.
When I wore the uniform of the United States Air Force I never, absolutely never, saw an American flag displayed backwards on a uniform or anywhere else. The first “backwards flag” I recall seeing was on the sleeves of our forces in Iraq in 2003.
Murdoc thinks he should have been looking around a bit more closely.
Here’s a screen grab of a still photo shown in the History Channel’s “The True Story of Blackhawk Down”:
Please note that this isn’t from one of the special’s dramatic reenactments (which are actually pretty good).
I don’t know when the backwards flag on the right shoulder or the right side of vehicles started, but it certainly wasn’t with the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Additionally, the commenter notes this:
And I would suggest everyone who professes to love the flag and all it represents to go and look at what is surely the most famous image of all, the raising of the flag on Iwo Jima in World War II. The flag is waving in the breeze and the blue field is to the left, damn it, not the right. No backwards flag!
Why, he’s right of course:
I’d be curious to know what he thinks about this, though:
Lest you think I’ve simply flipped the image, look at the statues. They’re facing the same way as the original picture. But the flag isn’t.
And if that doesn’t blow your mind, what about this:
Now the flag is right, but the statues have moved. What, did they quick reorient themselves when no one was looking? Does the The Marine Corps War Memorial sometimes display the flag correctly and sometimes help the Bush cabal erase the national identity of the USA? Or is there maybe something to this whole “directional” thing, after all?