Bastille Day Flag ‘Screw-Up’ Or Tribute To Singapore?
Things didn’t go according to plan during France’s annual Bastille Day military parade on Saturday (14 Jul).
Yes, the one that PM Lee was invited to as a guest-of-honour.
Mere minutes into the parade, two gendarmes on motorbikes crashed onto each other, while performing a ballet orchestrated to the military band’s music.
14-Juillet: les images des deux motards de la gendarmerie entrés en collision, sans gravité, pendant le défilé pic.twitter.com/wgx2ZU4tYg
— BFMTV (@BFMTV) July 14, 2018
Then came the highlight of the parade, the annual tricolour – colours of the French flag – flypast from the French air force.
Except, this time, the tricolour looked a bit different — it was now red, white, blue and then red again.
Bonne fête nationale. Joyeux 14 juillet pic.twitter.com/QbGZENIDYh
— TERPMAN Romain (@TerpmanR) July 14, 2018
Hours after the parade, foreign news outlets started reporting that the fly past was a ‘mix-up’.
Yesterday, even the French Air Force admitted that it was a mistake and that it wasn’t planned.
Essentially, some poor guy, who is probably in a lot of trouble now, accidentally fitted the last plane with a red canister rather than a blue one.
French social media was also buzzing with memes like this one:
Demain Robert a pour mission de changer les drapeaux des commissariats. pic.twitter.com/q35c1Id17E
— La Po17ice 👮🏻♂️🇫🇷 (@La_Pollice) July 14, 2018
And this too.
A tribute for Singapore?
However, Singaporeans got pretty analytical about the matter — pondering day and night about the deeper possible meanings of the ‘mix-up’.
Some even came up with a conclusion.
It wasn’t a mistake. It was for us, Singapore.
The plane flying with the extra red trail, was supposed to represent Singapore and its close ties to France, according to comments on a Channel NewsAsia video showing the boo-boo.
As this netizen put it, the first aircraft “emits red vapours” probably to “represent Singapore”.
Fact-checking the fan theory
While it’s true that Republic of Singapore Air Force performed a combined flypast with the French Air Force, as posted by Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen.
The Republic of Singapore Air Force’s M-346 (at the back of the foremost formation), above the Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile!
However, the tricolour flypast was performed by the “Patrouille de France”, the French equivalent of Singapore’s Black Knights.
They’ve since posted an apology for the incident, which you can read in full here.
Furthermore, the planes painting the sky with tricolour blasts were Alphajets — a kind of fighter jet that Singapore doesn’t even own.
So no, there wasn’t a Singaporean or a Singaporean plane flying alongside the French during this display at least.
La Fête Nationale
We think the French like us enough to invite our Prime Minister to guest at their National Day Parade.
But they definitely don’t like us enough to screw up their own flag.
Nonetheless, from all of us at Singapore, we hope everyone in France had a memorable Bastille Day, sweetened by a historic World Cup win.
Featured image from Sputnik.