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The Origin Story of Assault Forward

I separated from Active Duty in the Army and was fortunate to transition immediately into the civilian workforce in a sales job. It didn’t pay much at first but was an “eat what you kill” job and after three, year-long deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq, I figured I’d done a lot of scarier things than ask someone for a sale, so it worked out okay. The job required a suit and tie since I was interacting with clients daily. Sometimes in conversation, it would come up that I was a Veteran, and this helped create meaningful connections with people as they would then share the story of a loved one’s service, or their own.

At some point, I thought about wearing an American Flag lapel pin on my suit but looking like a politician or copying the same look that everybody else had with a flag pin didn’t appeal to me. I wanted something distinctive and unique. I wanted to wear a reverse American Flag lapel pin – depicting it the same way that we wore it on the shoulder of our uniforms in the military, charging into battle, leading the assault forward, always advancing. When deployed in combat we swap out the red, white and blue version of the flag patch for a subdued one – I thought this would make the pin subtle too, but those who understood its special significance would get it right away and it would start some great conversations with my fellow Veterans and other patriotic Americans.

I went online and started looking for this pin to buy. Nothing on the popular web shopping sites. Nothing came up via search engines. Nothing. I pretty much stopped looking but occasionally I would remember my idea and search again, still nothing. Then one day, I found a pin being sold as a protest pin featuring the flag upside down – but I recognized that if I spun it around it would be the backward flag look I was seeking so I purchased one. It was too small, and the stars were dots – but still it was close, so I got a few more for some friends who I knew would appreciate it and get the meaning. They thought they were cool, but as fellow Veterans were dismayed when they learned they were being sold as a protest flag pin.

One day my friend told me he thought there was a business idea making and selling the reverse American Flag pins as I had originally envisioned . . . which I immediately dismissed as nonsense. So, he and another friend decided to pursue it but thankfully circled back to see if I was interested before they kicked things off and the rest, as they say, is history. Before we launched we were committed to making high-quality products featuring the iconic reverse American Flag that were 100% Made in America. Being a Veteran owned and operated company we knew that was the right thing to do. We’re proud of our humble origins selling just the reverse American flag pin on our website to the complete and still growing product selection we have today. We’re also proud that if you were to search for our pins on Amazon.com today – you’d be able to purchase one, so you don’t have to do the crazy searching as I did!

Thank you for your support of Assault Forward!

JH