Where do patches belong?

matt.m

Senior Master
Joined
May 16, 2006
Messages
2,521
Reaction score
121
Location
St. Louis
A friend told me he had a patch. It is an american flag and korean flag. American flag on top and korean on bottom. Which side of the uniform is it to be worn? Right or Left sleeve?

Thanks
 

jim777

Master Black Belt
Joined
Jan 22, 2007
Messages
1,014
Reaction score
31
Location
Blackwood, New Jersey
We wear the school emblem on the left breast, US flag on the right arm, and Korean flag on the left arm. I would assume the national flag would always be on the right arm and the Korean flag on the left. If the patch had national and Korean flags, I would probably say it belonged on the right arm as well.
 

IcemanSK

El Conquistador nim!
MT Mentor
MTS Alumni
Joined
Nov 7, 2005
Messages
6,482
Reaction score
181
Location
Los Angeles, CA
I'm honestly not sure there is a "correct" place for a national flag patch. The organization I belong to wears it on the right shoulder, but it's optional. I'd bet if we had a poll about here we'd get many answers (including several who say "a national flag patch doesn't belong on a uniform.")

Sorry, but I don't think there is one answer.
 

Bill Mattocks

Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Feb 8, 2009
Messages
15,672
Reaction score
4,536
Location
Michigan
US Flags are not to be worn on clothing, ESPECIALLY athletic clothing, except by emergency responders and the US military:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Flag_Code

The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, firefighters, police officers, and members of patriotic organizations.

I have seen it done. I disagree with it. To dishonor the flag in this way is the same as pissing on it. A patriotic person knows the law and respects it.
 

Bill Mattocks

Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Feb 8, 2009
Messages
15,672
Reaction score
4,536
Location
Michigan
Odd that the last US Olympic team wouldn't have known that.

They may have been given an exemption as a 'patriotic organization':

http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/printedition/2008/10/08/questi.html
Though the U.S. Flag Code states that the flag should never be worn on an athletic uniform, the U.S. Olympic baseball team was seen as a patriotic group and was allowed to wear the flag.

However, many ignore the US Code when it comes to showing proper respect for the national ensign. I can't help that they do - it's wrong. In my opinion, show the proper respect or just go ahead and spit on it or wipe your *** with it, because it's the same thing. The code is easy to understand and very clear. I am proud to display the flag from my front porch, and I do so correctly. If others can't be arsed to do so, I wonder why they even bother in the first place.
 

padre

Orange Belt
Joined
Jun 21, 2009
Messages
66
Reaction score
1
Location
Mississippi
If my academy dobok had a US flag on it (which it doesn't), I wouldn't feel that I was violating the spirit or letter of the code cited, for a couple of specific reasons.

The very first of the "Student Commitments" white belt students must learn is "I will be loyal to my country."

At the beginning and end of each class session, we come to attention, face the US flag, and salute. (There's also a South Korean flag for the Koreans in the room to salute.)

I consider the academy at which I'm a student to be a patriotic organization. But, as stated above, we don't have the flag on our uniforms. I'm just reflecting.
 

Bill Mattocks

Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Feb 8, 2009
Messages
15,672
Reaction score
4,536
Location
Michigan
If my academy dobok had a US flag on it (which it doesn't), I wouldn't feel that I was violating the spirit or letter of the code cited, for a couple of specific reasons.

The very first of the "Student Commitments" white belt students must learn is "I will be loyal to my country."

At the beginning and end of each class session, we come to attention, face the US flag, and salute. (There's also a South Korean flag for the Koreans in the room to salute.)

I consider the academy at which I'm a student to be a patriotic organization. But, as stated above, we don't have the flag on our uniforms. I'm just reflecting.

IMHO, you would indeed be violating the letter of the code. The code is clear. No flag patches on athletic attire. The fact that you are patriotic in other ways doesn't enter into it. Like cheating on your income tax and then saying it's OK, because you gave it to the poor. So what. The law is clear.

We also have a US (and Japanese) flag hanging in our dojo. We face it and bow, but it is also where the shomen is, so you could consider it a bow to the flag or the shomen, whichever. But we do not have flag patches on our gi's either.

Personally, I would not wear one. If my dojo suddenly decided everyone was to wear one, I'd ask to be excused from doing so, and if not, I'd find another dojo. I served under the flag of my country for too long to dishonor it now.

I don't confront people and tell them that they are wrong. If they want to wear a flag patch, I'm going to keep my mouth shut. If asked "should I or should I not?" then I will volunteer my opinion.

I have my own principles and they include honoring the flag in the manner stated by law. In my opinion, making excuses about why it's OK to violate the code because a person is just really, really, patriotic, doesn't cut it. If you honor the flag, follow the US Flag Code. Doing otherwise is not honoring the flag, no matter how you feel about it.
 

jim777

Master Black Belt
Joined
Jan 22, 2007
Messages
1,014
Reaction score
31
Location
Blackwood, New Jersey
They may have been given an exemption as a 'patriotic organization':

http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/printedition/2008/10/08/questi.html


However, many ignore the US Code when it comes to showing proper respect for the national ensign. I can't help that they do - it's wrong. In my opinion, show the proper respect or just go ahead and spit on it or wipe your *** with it, because it's the same thing. The code is easy to understand and very clear. I am proud to display the flag from my front porch, and I do so correctly. If others can't be arsed to do so, I wonder why they even bother in the first place.

Someone proudly wearing their country's flag, in ignorance of Section 1, Title 4 of the United States Code, is hardly wiping their *** with it Bill. It might be incorrect, but its a matter of degree of incorrectness. Is it wrong? Sure. Is it blatantly disrespectful in the most offensive manner possible? No.
 

Bill Mattocks

Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Feb 8, 2009
Messages
15,672
Reaction score
4,536
Location
Michigan
Someone proudly wearing their country's flag, in ignorance of Section 1, Title 4 of the United States Code, is hardly wiping their *** with it Bill. It might be incorrect, but its a matter of degree of incorrectness. Is it wrong? Sure. Is it blatantly disrespectful in the most offensive manner possible? No.

I'm sorry, I disagree.

When a person burns a US flag or intentionally disrespects it, it makes me mad - but I also realize that they intend to make me and others mad, that they're making a statement that is less about the flag than it is about getting attention for whatever their cause is.

When a person knows what the US Flag Code is, but chooses to disobey it because it just isn't convenient for them to do so, to me that's a mockery and a disrespect that I can hardly fathom. It's casual disrespect, it's lazy disrespect, it's "piss on you, I do what I want" disrespect.

That's the worst kind because it is sloth, laziness, endemic, and emblematic of the 'do your own thing' society we've created. It's saying that your desire to respect the flag in your own way is more important than the flag and the rules we've established as a society for showing respect correctly. It's the equivalent of parking in a handicapped spot because you'll only be in the store for a minute.
 

jim777

Master Black Belt
Joined
Jan 22, 2007
Messages
1,014
Reaction score
31
Location
Blackwood, New Jersey
We're not talking about someone in your first description: intentionally disrespecting the flag. We're also not talking about someone in your second description: a person who chooses to disregard the Flag Code when they are aware of it. I was talking about the third option - the person who thinks the only rules about flags are 'don't let it hit the ground', 'don't ever throw it away', and 'fold it properly'. A person who would follow those as well, I might add.

Not everyone knows there is an entire list of statutes of behavior regarding the flag, and some of those people would indeed wear it proudly on their arms not knowing they were in violation of a code that the Supreme Court has said is unenforceable due to the 1st Amendment right of free speach.
Those people aren't 'wiping their ***' with it. They are simply proudly wearing their flag in ignorance of a code of which they are unaware. Some would certainly stop wearing it if the Code was brought to their attention by someone. (You may have gotten a few patches off of arms tonight yourself - I'll certainly be removing the patches from my doboks) But if you really do believe they are that low in their actions, then I guess we'll have to disagree.
 

Bill Mattocks

Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Feb 8, 2009
Messages
15,672
Reaction score
4,536
Location
Michigan
We're not talking about someone in your first description: intentionally disrespecting the flag. We're also not talking about someone in your second description: a person who chooses to disregard the Flag Code when they are aware of it. I was talking about the third option - the person who thinks the only rules about flags are 'don't let it hit the ground', 'don't ever throw it away', and 'fold it properly'. A person who would follow those as well, I might add.

Sorry, I missed that, my bad. I agree - it is a different thing altogether to be ignorant of the US Flag Code. I have to believe that it isn't that hard for a person to educate themselves with a simple Google search, but I have to accept that many people just don't know - heck, many don't even go online.

I have been a member of a variety of organizations like the American Legion that pride themselves on knowing the proper way to display and respect the national ensign - so I tend to forget others don't feel that passionate about it. My apologies.
 

d1jinx

Master Black Belt
Joined
Jun 13, 2009
Messages
1,390
Reaction score
17
Location
all-ova
hey Geniuses. I'm in the military. we were it on our left arm. so are we the ENTIRE United States military disrespecting the flag that we fight for and protect? If a flag is a patch, being worn as a patch and to represent your country it ok. but if a flag that was ment to be hung and flown is altered or worn as clothing... then that person needs their head bashed. so explain to me how the US code dont apply to soldiers or an olympic team that proudly represents OUR country!
 

jim777

Master Black Belt
Joined
Jan 22, 2007
Messages
1,014
Reaction score
31
Location
Blackwood, New Jersey
Have a great 4th Bill :)

And Matt, I guess the right answer is to just leave the patch on your dresser ;)

hey Geniuses. I'm in the military. we were it on our left arm. so are we the ENTIRE United States military disrespecting the flag that we fight for and protect? If a flag is a patch, being worn as a patch and to represent your country it ok. but if a flag that was ment to be hung and flown is altered or worn as clothing... then that person needs their head bashed. so explain to me how the US code dont apply to soldiers or an olympic team that proudly represents OUR country!

This was pretty clearly spelled out by Bill in post #4 of the thread. To wit, "US Flags are not to be worn on clothing, ESPECIALLY athletic clothing, except by emergency responders and the US military". I think its clear if you reread the thread.
 

d1jinx

Master Black Belt
Joined
Jun 13, 2009
Messages
1,390
Reaction score
17
Location
all-ova
US Flags are not to be worn on clothing, ESPECIALLY athletic clothing, except by emergency responders and the US military:
oops... somehow missed that and got a little hot headed........ sorry. I guess I take it a little personal too. many apologies....
 

Bill Mattocks

Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Feb 8, 2009
Messages
15,672
Reaction score
4,536
Location
Michigan
hey Geniuses. I'm in the military. we were it on our left arm. so are we the ENTIRE United States military disrespecting the flag that we fight for and protect? If a flag is a patch, being worn as a patch and to represent your country it ok. but if a flag that was ment to be hung and flown is altered or worn as clothing... then that person needs their head bashed. so explain to me how the US code dont apply to soldiers or an olympic team that proudly represents OUR country!

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode04/usc_sec_04_00000008----000-.html

(j) No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations. The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. Therefore, the lapel flag pin being a replica, should be worn on the left lapel near the heart.

And I'm a Marine. So there.
 
OP
matt.m

matt.m

Senior Master
Joined
May 16, 2006
Messages
2,521
Reaction score
121
Location
St. Louis
I am a Marine as well. Honest question was asked since I don't do it. I do not wear flag patterned shirts or anything of the sort either. Someone asked me, I said "I wouldn't personally" and then thought, hmmmm? Is there a non military "Standard Way" of doing so?
 
Top