Why is the US flag displayed on the wrong side of basketball backboards?


Odd.

Watching the Big 10 Men’s Basketball tournament (Michigan vs. Michigan State) — it was the game that was on, my best chance short of internet to get news of PAC-12 and Mountain West conference results — and I looked at the backboard.

Someone thought college basketball needed to make a patriotic display beyond the usual hoo-haw, I suppose.  “Let’s put U.S. flag decals on the glass backboards.”  Nice little touch.  Every photograph of a ball going through the hoop, every shot of a fight for a rebound or to block a shot at the hoop, and there’s that little U.S. flag, reminding us of something.

In displaying the U.S. flag, the U.S. Flag Code notes that the flag should always be on its own right, or to the left of the audience facing it (See 4 U.S. Code § 7 (k)).

In that arena in Indianapolis, the flag is on the right.  Here’s a still photo from USA Today from an earlier game.

  Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports  Mar 14, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Michigan Wolverines react as the Illinois Fighting Illini miss the potential winning shot at the buzzer in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten college basketball tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Michigan defeats Illinois 65-64. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Caption of AP photo: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports Mar 14, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Michigan Wolverines react as the Illinois Fighting Illini miss the potential winning shot at the buzzer in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten college basketball tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Michigan defeats Illinois 65-64. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Looking for an image of the Indianapolis backboard, I came across this image from the 2012 NBA finals.

Ball stuck in Game 5 of NBA finals between Miami and Oklahoma City; note flag decal on right. AP photo

AP caption: A ball is stuck between the backboard and basket during the first half of Game 5 of the NBA finals basketball series between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Miami Heat, Thursday, June 21, 2012, in Miami (AP Photo by Lynne Sladky) [Note flag decal on right.]

This error of flag display has been around for at least two years.  What’s up with that?

Those who advocate amending the Constitution to make it a crime to desecrate the flag probably don’t anticipate jailing the entire NCAA or NBA.  Maybe we should revise the flag code, to be more reasonable.

More:

17 Responses to Why is the US flag displayed on the wrong side of basketball backboards?

  1. Ed Darrell says:

    Have you ever visited the U.S., Mr. Young? How are these athletes “disrespecting” USA?

    You said:

    Let me help you out. Instead of writing:
    In displaying the U.S. flag, the U.S.
    Flag Code notes that the flag should
    always be on its own right, or to the
    left of the audience facing it (See 4 U.S.
    Code § 7 (k)).

    Look at the photo. The flag is on its own left.

    Check out the U.S. Flag Code, to which I linked in the article.

    Like

  2. Garrett Young says:

    Wow! An entire blog about how unpatriotic and disrespectful the NBA and NCAA are for, displaying our American Flag incorrectly? It’s hilarious how you even included a link to the official Code where one can easily see for themselves; so as long as they’re capable of comprehending elementary level english, that the Flag is correctly displayed.

    Let me help you out. Instead of writing:
    In displaying the U.S. flag, the U.S.
    Flag Code notes that the flag should
    always be on its own right, or to the
    left of the audience facing it (See 4 U.S.
    Code § 7 (k)).
    You should have recognized that your small ignorant mind isn’t capable of understanding the structure, in which these codes are written. Therefore, your pathetic attempt at paraphrasing it would expose you as the dumbass that you are.
    You wrote, “the U.S. Flag Code notes that the flag should always be on its own right.” How can a flag or anything for that matter be, ON ITS OWN RIGHT? Or as you continued, “or to the left of the audience facing it.” This makes even less sense and after all these years you haven’t noticed or admitted to your ignorance which is very conservative of you. Spewing out to the public any lie that is based in your own conspiracies because you’re intellectually incapable of understanding what you read.

    I’m guessing you were confused and just missed the part stating, THE UNION! “the UNION should be uppermost and to the FLAG’S OWN RIGHT, that is, TO THE OBSERVER’S LEFT.” Once again the UNION need be displayed in these two areas, the uppermost and on the flags own right, which to the observer appears to their left. In case you are still struggling, I left the section of code you referenced in hopes it will help you.

    (i)When displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the union should be uppermost and to the flag’s own right, that is, to the observer’s left. When displayed in a window, the flag should be displayed in the same way, with the union or blue field to the left of the observer in the street.

    Like

  3. John Bowen says:

    why show the flag any where that involves the nba nfl they’ve made it clear that disrespecting the country the people who fought for our freedom our law enforcement that keeps the peace is ok . This country and its freedom is why you can make millions playing a” game” . If you dont want to respect this country or follow the rules get out while you still have enough cash to !!!! You will not be missed. as for the nfl the nba and anyone else quit you’d be surprised how many people that use to enjoy watching are tired of your disrespect and whinning about poor working conditions . Go get a job try it youll hate it.

    Like

  4. Ed Darrell says:

    The backboard is not going into battle.

    Nor are the teams. It would be disrespecting the flag to pretend a posting at a sporting event were “battle.” It’s not.

    Nor does that explanation make any sense. Why would the flag be on the wrong side of the backboard even were it going into battle?

    Like

  5. John Paul says:

    It’s to signify going into battle which is why its “backwards”

    Like

  6. Ed Darrell says:

    Decal is about 5 inches by 8 inches.

    Like

  7. joey says:

    What size decal of the flag is that?

    Like

  8. joe weed says:

    The ‘blue field’ is called the Union of the flag. Army reg. 840-10 covers how flags are worn and displayed. The NBA & NCAA are both wrong in the manner they display the flag.

    Like

  9. iconjack says:

    The real question is why is there a god damned flag on the backboard at all?

    Like

  10. Ed Darrell says:

    Check the Flag Code, Cheekos. When displayed flat on any kind of wall, the flag is to the audience’s left, to its own right. The blue field is in the correct position, but the flag itself is on the wrong side of the standard.

    Now, one could argue that, with the glass backboard, it’s being displayed to the crowd in back of the backboard. In that case, the field is wrong.

    Like

  11. cheekos says:

    Correction, upper left-hand corner. I was reading ahead.

    Like

  12. cheekos says:

    Gee, in the Army, they never told us about the field manual for displaying flags on clothes. Must be a best seller.

    Like

  13. cheekos says:

    The Flag is displayed facing outward–with the blue field in the upper, right-hand corner. That’s correct. Whether its posted on the right or left doesn’t make any difference.

    http://thetruthoncommonsense.com/

    Like

  14. Ed Darrell says:

    Shouldn’t be wearing flags on clothes, EXCEPT military, Scout, and first responder uniforms. Then in a flag patch.

    Like

  15. What does the Flag Code say about flags that are sewn onto the butts of obese Michigan basketball fans?

    Like

  16. Black Flag® says:

    It is nothing but a ridiculous piece of cloth.

    Like

  17. JamesK says:

    Probably someone read that and thought it meant their right.

    Like

Please play nice in the Bathtub -- splash no soap in anyone's eyes. While your e-mail will not show with comments, note that it is our policy not to allow false e-mail addresses. Comments with non-working e-mail addresses may be deleted.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: