How To Wear American Flag Patches on Clothing

American flag patches are a fantastic way to show off national pride and pay homage to the people that serve our country. As a citizen, you’re – of course – allowed to wear the US flag as a patch, but it’s imperative that you follow the rules to avoid disrespecting our country or anyone in it.

This guide will cover how to wear the American flag patch respectfully, including etiquette tips and where to find your next patch.

Where to Place an American Flag Patch on a Garment

Many Americans want to show their patriotism, and there’s no better way than wearing an American flag patch on your clothes. However, it’s essential to know how to do it tastefully. The proper placement of the American flag patch symbolizes how the flag flows when carried in battle and the strong commitment of the people who served.

Even if you’re a civilian, we recommend wearing the flag patch on the sleeve of the shirt, just like any military personnel. While you can wear the flag patch on other areas, like the upper chest, the sleeve is considered the most appropriate placement.

Next, the stars. Proper placement aligns the stars in a forward position on the top corner – as if they were majestically flowing in the wind. Conversely, if the flag patch is sewn onto the left sleeve, it follows that the stars must align with the left side of your garment.

When adding flag patches to backpacks or bags, the same rules apply. The American flag patch must have the stars in the upper forward position and the highest placed position over all other patches.

Surprisingly, reverse American flag patches are considered acceptable. However, this backward flag patch must be worn on the right arm so that the flag is viewed from the opposite side – like a mirror image. The reverse American flag is typically positioned on the right sleeve, while the standard flag patch is placed on the left. In either case, the canton faces forward, with the stripes boldly behind it.

Flag Etiquette When Wearing an American Flag Patch

When wearing American flag patches on garments, following the proper etiquette is vital. First, the flag patch should be worn so the flag faces up. That means the blue field with stars appears at the top-left corner as if you’re looking at the flag itself.

Here are some other etiquette tips you’ll want to follow so that you treat the American flag with the utmost respect:

  • Ensure the flag patch is respectfully affixed to your clothing, following the right placement and orientation.
  • According to the US Flag Code, the flag shouldn’t be used on any athletic uniform or costume.
  • The American flag must be placed above or on the same level if you wear different national flags.
  • If you wear multiple patches, the US flag must be at the top, which shows your true allegiance.
  • Never write on or deface the flag in any way. Affixing other patches on top of the flag patch or marking the flag violates the US Flag Code.
  • Patches shouldn’t be positioned in a way where they would come in contact with the floor, such as the bottom of a backpack.
  • Avoid placing your flag patches where they get easily wet or dirty such as at the knees or bottom of your pants.
  • The American flag should never be worn upside down. (Reverse is allowed!)
  • The flag shouldn’t be printed or embroidered on napkins, boxes, or any product that is for temporary use.


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Incorporating American Flag Patches Into Different Outfits

Coordinating patches is a fun way to demonstrate your personality and show off your interests.

Provided that you’re abiding by the US flag code and you’re not showing a lack of respect for our star-spangled banner, you can wear the patch on nearly any clothing you’d like, other than a sports uniform or costume. This includes shirts, hats, jackets, pants, backpacks, and more.


There’s no better way to show patriotism than wearing a hat with an American flag. Whether you’re celebrating the Fourth of July at a barbecue cookout or just hanging out on the beach, it’s a great way to show people that you genuinely honor our country and the people who serve it. Hats are stylish with any casual outfit. Consider throwing on a white tee shirt and blue denim jeans to color-coordinate with the colors of the American flag. Major style points!

Tactical Jackets

One of the most popular locations to wear an American Flag patch is on the sleeve of a tactical jacket. Even if you aren’t involved with the military or combat sports, they look cool, especially hiking, hunting, or camping. Bonus: you might end up looking like Tom Cruise from the movie Top Gun.

Tactical Messenger Bag or Tactical Duffel

Nothing represents the freedom and liberty of our country more than tactical gear. Indeed, this gear symbolizes the grit and resilience Americans have displayed throughout our illustrious history.

Tactical bags are made with extreme durability and functionality in mind. These bags were initially made for the armed forces but have found their way to mainstream use. The American patch reminds you to stay strong when you’re out in the wilderness. Pair your tactical bag with tactical boots, a leather jacket, and other outdoor gear. Persevere!


Whether it’s Independence Day or any other patriotic moment, a dress shirt is the perfect formal clothing to have your patch embodied onto. Many organizations host formal dinners where ladies dress in gowns and gentlemen dress in suits. Adding an American flag shows the world that you’re proud to be a citizen and support the people who’ve fought for our freedom. It’s a great way to add a small patriotic nod while keeping your outfit classy.

Where to Find High-Quality American Flag Patches

While there are online marketplaces or local crafts stores where you could find American flag patches, there’s no better source than The/Studio. Wearing an American flag on your sleeve is a symbol of patriotism, and that means ensuring your patch is made from high-quality fabric.

Here are reasons why The/Studio is the best option when it comes to finding high-quality American flag patches:

  • Top quality: Receive retail-quality American flag patches with the same quality control standards as leading fashion brands.
  • Trust: The/Studio is trusted by global brands like Netflix, Pinterest, Nike, Uber, Adidas, and Activision.
  • Quick-turnaround: With over 4,752 machines, our network of high-tech plants and proprietary infrastructure allows us to meet quick turnaround times.
  • Low minimums: Many manufacturers may require substantial upfront investments. The/Studio offers low minimums, so you can get started with a small batch and see the results for yourself.
  • Patch material: Select from various materials to form the foundation of your patch, whether it’s black ballistic nylon, polyester blend twill, vegan leather, camouflage material, or something else.
  • Sizes and colors: Choose the size and colors that make sense for you. You get to customize the patch however you see fit. This includes the patch border colors and patch shape!
  • Thread options: Make your patch pop by incorporating premium thread options. Many thread colors can make the American flag stand out!
  • Patch backing: Choose between 18 secure backing options, including magnetic backing, thin plastic backing, adhesive backing, Velcro hook backing, iron-on backing, and more.


Anyone can wear American flag patches, provided they’re worn with respect and the US flag code is followed. In most cases, the American Flag patch should be worn on either the right or left sleeve or the chest.

Always refer to the US Flag Code to ensure you won’t get any frowns or negative comments thrown your way when wearing the American flag patch.

There are many reasons to order a batch of flag patches. Whether you’re in a patriotic organization or want to celebrate a specific event, the American flag symbolizes the strength and freedom that our country so proudly represents.

Shop The/Studio for high-quality custom patches to fit your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most commonly asked questions about how to wear American Flag patches on your clothing, specifically the placement and orientation of the patch.

What’s the proper orientation for an American flag patch on clothing?

According to the Department of Defense, the American flag patch can be worn on either the right or left shoulder. However, the flag must be facing toward the observer’s right, allowing the flag to fly into the breeze as the wearer moves forward.

Are there any guidelines for where to place the flag patch on a garment?

An American flag patch worn on a garment should be placed above the left breast or the upper sleeve of either arm. The most common placement for wearing the flag is on the left or right sleeve. And importantly, the American flag patch should always be at the top if there are multiple patches.

How do I follow flag etiquette when wearing an American flag patch?

While anyone can wear the American flag patch, the US Flag Code defines that the patch shouldn’t be worn for a costume or athletic uniform. This helps show respect to military personnel, policemen, firemen, and other patriotic or governmental organizations members. It also prohibits using the American flag patch for advertising purposes.

Can I wear an American flag patch on clothing for formal occasions?

Yes, any citizen can wear an American flag patch, as it symbolizes solidarity while showing support for the military and our country. There’s nothing more patriotic than demonstrating your love for everything our country stands for. However, just ensure it’s appropriately worn and placed to avoid disrespect or faux pas.

Where can I find high-quality American flag patches?

You can find high-quality American flag patches right here at The/Studio! Just upload a high-quality American flag image, and we’ll make beautiful custom-embroidered patches for you. Customize the patch to fit your needs, including picking out the patch size, material, thread color, and more.



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