American Flag wears hat with a veteran patch on it

FORT BRAGG, N.C. — Since separating from the Army after three years of guidon duty, a local American flag has been seen sporting a hat with a patch in the shape of a veteran on it, sources say.

The flag says the hat helps signal to others that he is both a patriot and a veteran, and that when people see it they know he is deserving of their respect.

"I never go out in public without my operator hat and 5.11 cargo pants," said the flag, who spent the majority of his enlistment in a supply closet on Fort Bragg. "You never know when the situation is gonna turn tactical."

The flag claims that, in addition to the subdued coyote brown veteran patch he typically wears on his hat, he also carries infrared-reflective veteran patches on him at all times, in case he needs to signal a helicopter for a night extract from the local mall or Food Lion. He keeps his "flagout bag," which contains essential flag survival items like extra swivel snaps and a reinforced brass guidon ferrule, on him at all times, too, he says.

"I flew colors for an SF unit one time, so I'm basically an operator," said the flag, who has grown a beard and gotten dog tags tattooed on his bottom stripe since leaving the service. "And I never go anywhere without my Z87.1-rated Oakley flag case."

Lieutenant Dan contributed reporting.