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.

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

  1. 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

  2. cheekos says:

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

    Like

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Ed Darrell says:

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

    Like

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

    Like

  7. Black Flag® says:

    It is nothing but a ridiculous piece of cloth.

    Like

  8. JamesK says:

    Probably someone read that and thought it meant their right.

    Like

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