Okay, I’ve only seen this the last few years and I don’t really understand what’s up.
Basically, from what I’ve seen all my life, the default image of USA flag has the blue field and stars on to the top-left. Yes, I do understand that a flag, when viewed from the other side, is going to have the field on the top-right.
However, whenever you see the image of a flag it is pretty much always in the top-left position. Lately, though, I’ve been seeing patches on military types in the reverse position.
Because when worn on the right sleeve, the flag patch is shown in a way that one could imagine the flag waving in the breeze as the soldier advances. It is also displayed that way on airplanes, like here.
Ravenman nailed it. I asked my brothers (both Marines) the same question and apparently it was changed because in the “normal” position it looks like the flag is retreating. Not that our soldiers don’t have enough to worry about…
Even if the soldier was retreating, the flag would still appear Union Right, on the right shoulder. Hold a flag on a stick. Walk forward (or turn around and run away). Either way, the union will be on the right to any observers on the right.
The flag isn’t backwards. That’s how a real flag would look if it were a real flag. It looks more natural and more real that way.