Facebook accidentally announced that the Philippines is at war

Philippines soldiers war drill us marineGabriel Mistral/Getty ImagesFilipino Marines engage in a training exercise with the aid of US Marines.

Have you ever screwed up at work so badly you accidentally declared a country was at war?

Someone at Facebook has.

On June 12, the social networking giant 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 Phillipines 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.

It’s this second “war flag” that Facebook displayed.

Facebook war flag philippinesCamille Conde/TwitterFilipino citizens really don’t want to see this flag.

“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 apologised for the mess-up. “This was unintentional, and we’re sorry,” a spokesperson said 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.”

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