‘Grave error’: Drone lights operator apologizes over inverted PH flag display at Palarong Pambansa closing

August 7, 2023 - 11:32 AM
Screenshot of the Philippine flag display with an inverted field design during the 2023 Palarong Pambansa closing ceremony in Marikina City (MarikinaPIO/Facebook)

An inverted Philippine flag was displayed during the drone show at the closing program of a sports event in Marikina City.

The 63rd Palarong Pambansa ended with a grand closing ceremony on Sunday, August 5 that included a drone show.

Stunning drone light formations included the Philippine archipelago, a colorful word art of “Palaro,” and a shoe representing Marikina City.

The city is touted as the shoe capital of the Philippines.

The drone lights also formed a Philippine flag, but an inverted one. The lights formed a red-over-blue design, thus depicting a state of war.

The law states that the Philippine flag’s fields should be depicted the other way around.

Footage of the inverted Philippine flag image quickly circulated and got talked about on social media.

It was also picked up and reported by mainstream media outlets covering the event.

The Marikina City government swiftly responded to this incident.

In a statement on Sunday, August 7, it condemned the erroneous display of the national flag. Marikina Mayor Marcelino “Marcy” Teodoro also sought to sue the drone supplier.

“Mariing kinondena ng Marikina City Government sa pangunguna ni Mayor Marcy Teodoro ang pangyayari at pinapakasuhan ang Dronetech ph upang madetermina ang mga legal na pananagutan ng kumpanya kasama na rin ang mga kalakip na kaparusahan at multa,” the statement reads.

DroneTech Philippines, the drone systems operator hired for the drone show, also issued a public apology for this “grave” mishap.

“We would like to apologize to the City of Marikina, Mayor Marcelino ‘Marcy’ Teodoro, and to the whole country, its people and the Philippine government for a grave error we have made in the drone show programming of the colors red and blue of our Philippine flag which were interchanged,” the company said.

“We, at DroneTech PH, apologize for the inconvenience our Drone Show has caused at the Palarong Pambansa Closing Ceremonies held at Marikina Sports Center this evening,” it added.

DroneTech explained that past weather conditions and signal interference prevented the team to test their equipment for the drone show.

It also emphasized that it was an “unintentional error” and bears “no malice” to the city and to the Philippines.

“Once again, we apologize for any inconveniences this has caused and we are hoping for your kind understanding in this very unfortunate event,” DroneTech said.

DroneTech Philippines was also the lights show provider during the final leg torch run of the Southeast Asian Games in 2019.

The colors of the national flag’s fields are stated under Section 16 of the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines.

“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 times 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,” it says.