Facebook greeted Filipino netizens with a “declaration of war” as they joined the nation in celebrating its Independence Day.

The social network giant often posts greetings in observance of national holidays. However, their recent post to honor the Philippine Independence Day with an inverted flag went wrong, The Bit Bag reported. The error inadvertently sent the message that the country is at war.

By Philippine law, the inversion of the colors, red above blue, indicates a state of war. The correct position of the national flag should have the color blue on top. The greeting could be misconstrued as a form of disrespect to the flag, which is legally punishable. Daily Mail cited the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines (Republic Act 8491) as it recalled a similar incident in 2010.

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; 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 expressed its regret for the accidental greeting. In a statement to a local publication, The Philippine Star, it admitted its mistake and emphasized their good intention to connect with Filipinos as they celebrate the national holiday. “This was unintentional, and we’re sorry. We care deeply about the community in the Philippines and, in an attempt to connect people on Independence Day, we made a mistake,” Facebook said.

However, Filipino netizens were quick to point out the error and share it to other social network sites, PhilStar noted. Some also asked the social network giant to apologize for the mistake.


On a different note, the oversight seems ironic as the country was once the social networking capital of the world, the Asian Correspondent reported in 2011. To date, Social Media and Digital Stats in the Philippines in 2016 based on information from WeAreSocial.sg still point to the high integration of social media into Filipino lives, Fleire Castro wrote. Castro noted increased access to the internet and social media of Filipinos by way of mobile devices.