History researcher flags inverted position of Philippine flag at ASEAN summit

September 6, 2023 - 6:48 PM
Marcos and Trudeau_ASEAN Summit
House Speaker Martin Romualdez, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the 43rd ASEAN Summit on Sept. 6, 2023 (SpeakerMartinPH/X)

A history researcher flagged the inverted position of the Philippine national flag on display as President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. talks with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the 43rd ASEAN summit.

Kristoffer Pasion, a Philippine history advocate and senior historical researcher at the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, was among those who reacted to a picture of Marcos in a bilateral meeting with Trudeau on the second day of the summit.

A reporter from the Philippine Daily Inquirer uploaded pictures of the meeting on the X (formerly Twitter) platform and took note of the Philippine flag’s inverted position.

In the images, the red part of the Philippine flag could be seen above the blue part.

This was also flagged by some Filipinos online, including Pasion.

“A heraldic boo-boo that should not have happened. They can’t even get the small things right,” he wrote with a facepalm emoji.

Pasion also tagged the account of the organization for awareness.

“@ASEAN, the Philippine flag is always Blue side up. To put the red side up means the Philippines is at war. Please consult our protocol offices,” he added in another post.

When asked whether it was the Philippine protocol officers’ or Indonesia’s fault, Pasion said “it could be ASEAN protocol.”

“It could be all of them 3 [three]. But that should have never been allowed. Many eyes saw that before the press con [conference] and none of them noticed???” he added.

“Whoever placed our flag, you had one job,” another online user wrote.

“The staff na kasama sa Philippine delegation should have checked and corrected it prior to the meeting,” another Pinoy commented.

“No member of the PH [Philippine] delegation said anything?” a different user asked.

The Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines, also known as Republic Act 8491, dictates how the national flag should be displayed.

An excerpt from Section 10 of the act states the following in terms of flag display:

“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.” 

The color red is known to be associated with war and danger, while blue is associated with stability and calmness.

Marcos is in Indonesia for this year’s ASEAN summit, which will run until September 7.

READ: Conflict-riven Myanmar cedes upcoming ASEAN chair to Philippines

The ASEAN Summit is the highest policy-making body in ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), comprising the heads of state or government of ASEAN Member States.

The member states are the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore and Thailand.

The summit is a biannual meeting in which member states discuss economics, politics, security, and the socio-cultural development of Southeast Asian countries.