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Old 12-12-2007, 11:55 PM   #1
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What does an American flag stand for if it is reversed and black?

A card dealer was showing off his new tattoo to a friend. I watched him tenderly pull up the sleeve of his shirt as it was a freshly drawn tattoo. The tattoo was a black and backwards American flag. This guy had prosthetic leg, and visible damage to his arm.

Is this anti-american or do people get this when they return from war?

[image]http://www.nationalpolicesupply.com/store/index.php?main_page=popup_image&pID=2052[/image]
His tattoo was black and less detail then this.

I googled and couldn't find anything about what it meas.

http://www.nationalpolicesupply.com/...image&pID=2052
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Old 12-13-2007, 12:00 AM   #2
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Re: What does an American flag stand for if it is reversed and black?

How is this reversed? You do know that one side of a flag looks like this, right?
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Old 12-13-2007, 12:06 AM   #3
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Re: What does an American flag stand for if it is reversed and black?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Army_Combat_Uniform#Jacket

"Subdued (non-full color) unit patches are always worn, as well as a subdued or full-color U.S. flag cloth, or IR replica, positioned so that the star field faces forward, or to the flag's right. This gives the impression that the soldier is advancing into battle with the flag unfurling behind them."
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Old 12-13-2007, 12:13 AM   #4
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Re: What does an American flag stand for if it is reversed and black?

The black color I don't know, but on a right arm or sleeve it is shown that way as if the wearer is moving forward, and the flag is blown backwards as if blowing in the wind.

It symbolizes that the American military always moves forward and does not retreat.

http://www.usflag.org/flagpatch.html
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Old 12-13-2007, 02:16 AM   #5
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Re: What does an American flag stand for if it is reversed and black?

It's pretty common for guys in the military to get tattoos replicating patches that they normally wear on their uniform. It used to be in the Army you wear the "reversed" US flag patch on your right arm when you deployed to a war zone. A few years ago it was changed so that everyone wears it, but that was because of the kind of war we're involved in, it's still supposed to symbolize a soldier at war.
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Old 12-13-2007, 11:15 AM   #6
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Re: What does an American flag stand for if it is reversed and black?

Quote:
Originally Posted by miajag View Post
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Army_Combat_Uniform#Jacket

"Subdued (non-full color) unit patches are always worn, as well as a subdued or full-color U.S. flag cloth, or IR replica, positioned so that the star field faces forward, or to the flag's right. This gives the impression that the soldier is advancing into battle with the flag unfurling behind them."
that's very subtle and completely badass at the same
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Old 12-13-2007, 12:09 PM   #7
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Re: What does an American flag stand for if it is reversed and black?

yeah if your a soldier that's a bad ass tattoo.
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Old 12-13-2007, 03:05 PM   #8
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Re: What does an American flag stand for if it is reversed and black?

Quote:
Originally Posted by miajag View Post
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Army_Combat_Uniform#Jacket

"Subdued (non-full color) unit patches are always worn, as well as a subdued or full-color U.S. flag cloth, or IR replica, positioned so that the star field faces forward, or to the flag's right. This gives the impression that the soldier is advancing into battle with the flag unfurling behind them."
Right, I think the flag tattoo on a left arm would be the normal configuration and a flag tattoo on a right arm would be in the reverse configuration with the stars on the right. As posted above, this denotes forward movement. All black is not uncommon for tattoos, so that may be the only real reason.
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Old 12-13-2007, 04:19 PM   #9
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Re: What does an American flag stand for if it is reversed and black?

That solves a long time mystery; having grown up in a military family was used to the flag with the stripes in front, then saw a lot of soldiers while in Alaska with it reversed. It always looked weird and I just assumed some brass had made a regulation because of a personal preference, now I understand.
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Old 12-13-2007, 07:18 PM   #10
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Re: What does an American flag stand for if it is reversed and black?

It means he couldn't afford the color.
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Old 12-13-2007, 08:24 PM   #11
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Re: What does an American flag stand for if it is reversed and black?

Wow this is really cool, I've never heard of this.

I agree if a soldier, this seems really bad ass.
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Old 12-16-2007, 03:58 PM   #12
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Re: What does an American flag stand for if it is reversed and black?

I'm with React1oN: never heard of it, but sounds cool. I bet the black color doesn't really mean anything.
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