The trailer for the new Top Gun sequel has everyone excited - but eagle-eyed fans are confused after noticing a key detail has changed.

Top Gun: Maverick sees Hollywood mega-star Tom Cruise reprise his role from the original 1986 movie as the US Navy fighter pilot, Maverick, and the new trailer shows him wearing his iconic bomber jacket – with two noticeable differences.

The jacket in the first movie had two patches of the Japanese and Taiwanese flags sewn on the back, but the New York Post report they have been replaced in the new film with two ambiguous patches of similar colours.

The changes have led to speculation that the film makers may be bowing to political pressure from the People's Republic of China.


Maverick's jacket in the original film sports a patch that reads 'Far East Cruise 63-4, USS Galveston' together with the US, UN , Japanese and Taiwanese flags, which according to the New York Post commemorates an actual US battleship's tour of Japan, Taiwan and the Western Pacific.

However, in the trailer for the new film, the US and UN flags remain, but the Japanese and Taiwanese flags are gone, while Business Insider reports there is also no longer any mention of the Galveston.

The New York Post report one possible explanation for the changes is that Top Gun: Maverick is partly produced by Chinese film distributor Tencent Pictures, according to the Japan Times.

It is noted by the New York Post that China and Japan have a delicate relationship including over territorial issues.

However, some observers note the alterations to Maverick's jacket may reflect the storyline. The original patch was from Maverick's father's service in Vietnam, and the new patch appears to read '85-86 Indian Ocean Cruise' – where the dogfight sequences in the first film took place.

Others say the patches have no significance or real meaning for actual US Navy fighter pilots.

"The patch assortment on flight suits and jackets in the Top Gun franchise has always been a running joke (among running jokes) for those in the #NavyAir business," Ward Carroll, a former F-14 Tomcat pilot, explained on Twitter.

"They are random in where they are placed and commands they represent. Seek no meaning because there is none."