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Uniform Patch Placement

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Okay, I did a search and didn't find anything so I'm going ahead with this one. I hope I posted it in the right forum. We are in the process of ordering uniform shirts and patches for the sleeves. One sleeve will display a patch of the American Flag and the other sleeve will display our service patch with the front left breast area being left for name plates only. My question is which sleeve does the American Flag go on. I know that there is a proper placement and I want to be sure we do it right. I appreciate your input.

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I haven't heard of a particular shoulder requirement for the flag patch. That's not to say there isn't one. I just haven't heard of it.

What I have heard of is that the flag must always appear to be "moving forward". If the flag is on the left shoulder it would appear as you might think it would normally. Specifically with the blue field in the upper left corner. If it's on the right, it would look as if you're viewing it from the opposite side. Specifically with the blue field in the upper right corner.

Perhaps someone has heard of a shoulder requirement?

Hope this helps.

-be safe

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The American flag, and those of most countries, is quite versatile. There is no specific requirement for which shoulder it goes on. The recommendation is if your service patch is on the left, the flag goes on the right. If you have the choice between the two, the flag goes on the left.

Just remember, nothing goes above the flag.

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The military is about the only organisation that observes the thing about reversing the flag to keep the blue field forward. The Army has gone to reversed flag patches (stars on the right instead of the left) because they wear them on the right shoulder. The Air Force and Navy wear the flag on the left shoulder, so they can use standard flag patches. The Marines don't wear a flag at all.

In the civilian world, I've never seen a reverse flag worn. The Boy Scouts wear a flag on the right shoulder, but it is a standard flag. Every police or fire department I have ever seen wearing the flag wore a standard flag on the right shoulder too. I think it looks better than the reversed, and raises fewer questions from people wanting to know why your flag is backwards.

I'm a pretty patriotic guy, but I've always seen a flag on a civilian uniform as giving you a really small-town, podunkish look. Seems like it is mostly tiny rural fire departments and cops that wear them. Most professional EMS organisations don't have a place for the flag, since the agency patch and the certification patch together take up both shoulders. If you want to be really podunk, you can put the flag patch above a breast pocket.

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Most professional EMS organisations don't have a place for the flag, since the agency patch and the certification patch together take up both shoulders.
That's how it is here for both the private companies and FD...though FD-EMTs don't wear an EMT patch b/c it's understood all are EMTs. It's nice being able to get on-scene and look at the patches to immediatley know if you have ALS on-scene or not.

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First I would like to thank you all for your input.

Now I would like to respond to Dust.....

So, yeah, I am from rural podunkville with a population of 2,600 although we cover a larger area. We are what they call a city owned paid volunteer BLS service. Our service was started in 1974. It has been a long road to bring our service to the modern day world. As the old leave and the new come aboard, it is our desire to bring our service to a professional level and hopefully someday to a paid career service. We need to show the City there is a need for a career service before they will even consider it. Our call volume is only one way of doing this. Another way is by looking professional, hence why we are going to uniforms and would like to do them right. I'm not real hip on the flag idea (I would like to see our service patch on both sleeves) but they were donated to us by the township we service along with a cash donation towards our uniforms. They would love to see us go career. They are very strong supporters. Anyway, we feel obligated to put the flag patch on the shirts. As we move forward, we work towards improving our service and educating our members and the hope is that the uniforms will reflect this. So, although it is podunkville, we are trying hard to get out.

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Cool. Flags don't make you podunk. Some really big cities wear them. And, like I said, I love and respect the flag probably a lot more than most people. It has just been my perception that it's usually small towns that wear them, so they give off that image to me, but not everybody.

The important thing is that everybody actually be UNIFORM, and have the same thing in the same place on the exact same shirt. Too many small departments just say "white shirt," and then 20 different people are wearing 20 different styles of white shirts with different patch arrangements on them. Nothing says "podunk" more than that. Well, then there are those who wear the uniform shirt with the faded Wranglers with the Skoal can outline on the arse, and the ornate western belt with the gaudy buckle bigger than the wearer's brain. That's pretty podunk too. :D

Whatever you do, don't let people wear the flag AND another patch on the same shoulder. Two patches on one sleeve is so tacky. And try to pick a shirt style that doesn't have the sewn-on badge tab. It looks so off-the-rack to have those holes on your shirt when you aren't wearing a badge (please tell me you aren't going to wear badges).

Anyhow, sounds like you may be in a good position to start laying the groundwork for moving professional. I'm glad you have the city's support on that, because that is the hardest obstacle to breach! Uniforms are a good step. Just be careful to make them look very, very different from what your PD and FD are already wearing. If you want individual attention and consideration, you don't want the city looking at you like you're just a part of them. Otherwise, you're going to end up being thrown in with the FD, leaving some of you who worked so hard for it out of a job opportunity. Good luck!

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Flags-tacky.

Your not serving your country, your serving your residents in a medical based profession. In lieu of wearing scrubs, either a company and cert patch on opposing shoulders, or a company patch on both shoulders is appropriate.

If you must wear a badge, dont wear patches on your chest. Enough insignia's makes you look like the back window of a red-necks pickup truck.

However,...if you must wear a flag...

The only true way to wear it is as Paramedic Mike noted. Blue field always towards your front side, stripes to your back.

If you are going to wear the flag only truely earned by professionally serving the country it represents, then do it the same way the military people do.

Just my opinion,

PRPG

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The important thing is that everybody actually be UNIFORM, and have the same thing in the same place on the exact same shirt. Too many small departments just say "white shirt," and then 20 different people are wearing 20 different styles of white shirts with different patch arrangements on them. Nothing says "podunk" more than that. Well, then there are those who wear the uniform shirt with the faded Wranglers with the Skoal can outline on the arse, and the ornate western belt with the gaudy buckle bigger than the wearer's brain. That's pretty podunk too. :D

Whatever you do, don't let people wear the flag AND another patch on the same shoulder. Two patches on one sleeve is so tacky. And try to pick a shirt style that doesn't have the sewn-on badge tab. It looks so off-the-rack to have those holes on your shirt when you aren't wearing a badge (please tell me you aren't going to wear badges).

Anyhow, sounds like you may be in a good position to start laying the groundwork for moving professional. I'm glad you have the city's support on that, because that is the hardest obstacle to breach! Uniforms are a good step. Just be careful to make them look very, very different from what your PD and FD are already wearing. If you want individual attention and consideration, you don't want the city looking at you like you're just a part of them. Otherwise, you're going to end up being thrown in with the FD, leaving some of you who worked so hard for it out of a job opportunity. Good luck!

We are trying to get away from the Wrangler jeans with the Skoal can. YeHaw! We will have white short sleeve shirts as the police department wears dark and light blue shirts. They have velcro closure flaps for the breast pockets buts no holes for badges. We are also going with standard EMT BDU pants with the 3M striping. This is also to differentiate us from the PD. We will have one pair without striping for dress. The only thing on the front of the shirt will be our name plates. We want to keep the front clean and neat. I am still partial to the idea of only our service patch on the sleeves stating the name of the service and EMT-B (as we are all EMT-Bs at this point). As those who earn their Medic degree achieve that, the patch can be changed (several of us are going to school this fall). For the informal events (such as parades and marathons) we attend we have white polos with our insignia above the breast that we wear with blue shorts. This will give us a more unified look and make us more easily recognized.

Thanks for the luck. We will need it, but I do have the confidence at some point we will get there.

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