June 12 is independence day in the Philippines, and in the process of celebrating it, Facebook accidentally signalled that the country was in a state of war.
That’s because when the social network published an image of the flag in people’s timelines, it put its colors in the wrong places: the flag’s red bar was at the top, not the bottom.
As the Philippine Star pointed out, the country’s flag policy says that when the country isn’t at war, the flag should be displayed with the blue field at the top, not the bottom. During wartime, the reverse it true.
“Here's to all of the Philippines' health, happiness and prosperity,” the banner read, below the upside-down flag.
People noticed the gaffe, and pushed back, with one Twitter user writing:
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
"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."
Facebook did indeed apologize about the incident, in a statement to the newspaper: “This was unintentional, and we’re sorry,” they said. “We care deeply about the community in the Philippines and, in an attempt to connect people on Independence Day, we made a mistake.”
Facebook has not responded to an email from FoxNews.com asking for additional comment.
In the United States, an upside-down American flag is associated with distress.
Follow Rob Verger on Twitter: @robverger