Spot the Mistake
I am a flag enthusiast so I may have an edge in spotting a mistake regarding the protocols and placement of national colors. The recent US-ASEAN Summit (September 24, 2010) sparked some public outburst from the Filipinos who noticed that the Philippine Flag was hoisted wrongly. It is quite unfortunate that the Philippine President is sitting just in front of the Flag which make it look more awkward and an eyesore. In the Philippines hoisting the Flag with the red on top means the nation is at war. In other countries, inverted flag is a distress signal. In the Philippines, a knotted flag is the distress signal.
Meantime, I also noticed that aside from the Philippine Flag, the Flag of Myanmar was also hoisted upside down. I think most countries of the world (or all) have the smaller square always on top of the flag. Just like the flags of USA and Malaysia which are also at the platform where the ASEAN flags are lined.
It is also interesting to note that the flag of Myanmar was placed after the flag of Brunei, when in fact according to protocol, the flags should be hoisted alphabetically, wherein it should be hoisted after Malaysia (the Flag of the host country – USA – shall be at the leftmost side of the viewer). The possible explanation why Myanmar was placed after Brunei is because Myanmar is also known as Burma (but the official name is Myanmar which should be used).
It could had been a great opportunity for the Philippine President to gain a major PR boost should he noticed and tried to correct the mistake. Especially in the news days earlier, it was reported that he hired a PR firm for US$15,000 to handle PR works. It is suspected that him eating hotdog at the street is part of a PR campaign (including an announcement to eat at Jollibee, which is a Filipino fastfood restaurant). The President correcting how his flag should be hoisted is priceless, he would become an effective tool educating the whole wide world the proper display of flag, and would show him as a man of action. It is a wasted opportunity.