Spartans, the flag is not backwards.

As you stand at the finish line, your hands on your knees, panting and sweaty, but happy, you drink in that glorious moment. You’ve done it; you’ve completed a Spartan Race. All that training and those hours in the gym have come to fruition.

As a volunteer places your medal around your neck, you smile and thank them. You then see the finisher shirts and go to grab your size. You look at the front, then the back and then notice the flag on the sleeve. A puzzled, maybe even troubled look washes over your face.

A backwards flag. It’s facing the wrong way. Surely this is a misprint?

No, it’s not. In fact, it couldn’t be more correct.

Wear and Appearance of Military Uniforms and Insignia, updated most recently September 5, 2003, addresses explicitly the proper and lawful placement of the U.S. flag patch on the military uniform.

“The regulation states that when authorized for application to the proper uniform the American flag patch is to be worn, right or left shoulder, 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. The appropriate replica for the right shoulder sleeve is identified as the ‘reverse side flag.’”

Given the strong ties that Spartan Race has with all our armed forces, it was thought it not only appropriate to honor those that serve and protect us, but to honor them in the correct manner, too.

So next time somebody suggests that the flag is “wrong,” you can politely point out that it’s actually correct — and explain why, too.

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