The display of a reversed American flag originated during the Revolutionary War: as Yankee troops surged forward in battle, the flag was always at the front of the lines. Viewed from the right, the flag would unfurl behind its bearer backwards, and this sentiment caught on quickly as a show of progress, strength, and resilience. One can find the Stars & Stripes displayed in this manner today, on everything from right shoulder patches (never left) and here: on the right flank of the OV-105 Endeavor, the jewel of NASA's Space Shuttle program.
Voyaging through outer space has long represented the final frontier of travel, but the future of this prospect is now frightfully uncertain, as dreaming big seems to be lost art. I'm not a nationalist, but I am a patriot, and I'm incredibly proud of my country for the contributions it has made thus far to such huge advances in science. I just hope that as a nation we continue to count ourselves worthy of bearing a backwards Stars & Stripes in the coming years as true ambassadors of advancement.