On June 12, the social networking giant, Facebook Inc. displayed a banner to its users in the Philippines, wishing them a happy Independence Day.
“Here’s to all of the Philippines’ health, happiness and prosperity,” the message read, beneath a stylised woman carrying the country’s flag.
As The Philippine Star reported, there was just one problem, The flag indicated the Phillipines is at war.
Normally, the Philippines’ flag is blue on top and red below (along with a yellow sun and three stars in a white triangle). But unlike most flags, it can also be flipped upside-down – so red is on top, and blue is below – when the country is at war.
“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,” reads the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines. “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.”
Facebook has since apologized for the mess-up. “This was unintentional, and we’re sorry,” a spokesperson said in a statement provided to The Philippine Star. “We care deeply about the community in the Philippines and, in an attempt to connect people on Independence Day, we made a mistake.”