When dignitaries visit the US for public events, the administration will display their flag on the dais to honor their presence. While this doesn’t usually require a lot of effort, it does mean that someone has to know whether the flag is upside down or rightside up.  Oops:

The U.S. government said Sunday it made an “honest mistake” when it displayed an inverted Philippine flag — which wrongfully signified that the Southeast Asian nation was in a state of war — in a meeting hosted by President Barack Obama.

The Philippine flag was displayed upside down behind President Benigno Aquino III when leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations met Obama in New York on Friday.

“This was an honest mistake,” U.S. Embassy spokeswoman Rebecca Thompson said in a statement, adding, “the U.S. treasures its close relationship and close partnership with the Philippines.”

The American embassy will find out how the “unfortunate” incident happened, she said.

How hard could this research be?  A quick check on Google — or heck, on the CIA World Factbook on the Internet — would have been enough to get it right.  Note that the card in front of President Aquino has the flag displayed properly.  At least someone in the administration paid attention to the detail.

On the plus side, though, Barack Obama apparently quit bowing.

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