GMA News Online

Presidential website promotes Flag Day the wrong way

May 26, 2011 3:40pm
UPDATED 6:30 p.m. - Malacañang's effort to promote National Flag Day this Saturday was not off to a good start, at least on the Internet.

While the Office of the President's website encouraged Filipinos to display the Philippine flag from May 28 to June 12, it displayed the Philippine flag upside down, inadvertently indicating that the Philippines is at war.

A screen shot of the OP website, accessed around 3:30 p.m., showed the Philippine flag with the red field on top of the blue field.

As of posting time, however, the inverted flag had already been taken down, but it was still accessible for viewing as one of the inactive banner pages on the OP's website, although it was erased around 4 p.m.

"We regret the incident and we are glad the Office of the President website already made the necessary correction on the position of the flag," presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda told GMA News Online over the phone.

According to the Presidential Communications Operations Office web site, the flag is often displayed "with the blue field on top to signify peace and independence, while the red field is displayed during war, which means that the flag is also a 'war ensign.'"

It added the "Reversal of the flag," or having the red over the blue field, has only happened three times: "during the 1896 Revolution, World War II, and 1986 Edsa Revolution."

On Wednesday, the Palace called on Filipinos to display the Philippine flag at home, offices, schools, public buildings and plazas, as well as embassies and consulates overseas beginning on May 28.

Displaying the flag will go on until June 12, Independence Day.

A Palace statement said this would also commemorate the Battle of Alapan on May 28, 1898 when the first Philippine flag was first hoisted at Teatro Caviteño.

“This period commemorates the Battle of Alapan on May 28, 1898 when the national flag was first unfurled in an uprising led by General Emilio Aguinaldo in Imus, Cavite and culminates on June 12 when the Philippine flag was waved in full view of the world following the formal proclamation of independence in Kawit, Cavite," Lacierda said in the Palace statement.

He said citizens are encouraged to reverently and proudly display the national colors in their residences, places of work, institutions of learning, public buildings and plazas, as well as embassies and consulates overseas.

Also, the Palace statement cited Section 26 of Republic Act No. 8491, the “Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines," which orders all offices and public venues to display replicas of the flag. — with Amita O. Legaspi/LBG/HS, GMA News
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