Facebook celebrated Philippines Independence Day yesterday by greeting Filipinos with a banner suggesting that their country was in a state of war.
The world’s leading social network site later apologized for the gaffe that appeared on users’ timelines showing the national flag with inverted colors.
In the Philippines it is a message that the nation is at war.
The Philippine Star reports:
“This was unintentional, and we’re sorry,” said Facebook in a statement sent to The STAR. “We care deeply about the community in the Philippines and, in an attempt to connect people on Independence Day, we made a mistake.”
The social media giant earlier committed a blunder when it used an inverted Philippine flag in its Independence Day message.
“Happy Independence Day! Here’s to all of the Philippines’ health, happiness and prosperity,” read the greeting that appeared on users’ timeline Sunday.
The button, which allows users to share their Independence Day greetings to their contacts, carried an inverted Philippine flag that immediately got the attention of Filipino netizens.
@facebook , you have the Philippine flag upside down w/c means we are at war. Blue is Up, Red is down.
— theLAUNDRYDIARY (@theLAUNDRYDIARY) June 12, 2016
— Keith San Antonio (@klenlue) June 12, 2016
— romuel baltonado (@romualdo026) June 12, 2016
Dear @facebook please change the Philippine flag you posted. Red on top means the country is at war. Blue should be on top! Apologize too.
— NEY (@neyvillasenor) June 12, 2016
Facebook greeting Happy Independence Day is using an inverted Philippine flag 🇵🇭 and only few people noticed it. #HappyIndependenceDay
— B R Y A N (@HydroBryanic) June 12, 2016
While Facebook appeared to have taken down the original Independence Day Button, screenshots of the gaffe have already been posted on different social networking sites.
Some users pointed the mistake, others mused in what they said was a “subtle recognition” that the country is currently at war, either in reference to the territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea or the incoming administration’s so-called war against criminality.
The Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines specifically prescribes that the Philippine shall be flown with the blue field on top in time of peace.
“The flag, if flown from a flagpole, shall have its blue field on top in time of peace and the red field on top in time of war; if in a hanging position, the blue field shall be to the right (left of the observer) in time of peace, and the red field to the right (left of the observer) in time of war,” read the law.
— Official Gazette PH (@govph) June 2, 2016