My understanding is also that they are commonly known as straps and serve to support any weight in the pockets. This transfers the weight to the shoulders rather than causing the jacket front itself to carry it and likely stretch it out of shape. Some older designs also had set-in pockets half way up the front with the outer edge of the strap serving as a vertical entry to these pockets.I agree that they are attached to the pocket, including the ones that I have (now that the picture made me go back and look). Some of my Norfolk jackets with vertical straps that have straps that attach inside the pocket, and give the pocket some additional support. The straps on my two Dunn jackets stop at the pocket.