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Reversed Country Flags Spotted At SEA Games Opening Ceremony, Cambodian Broadcaster Apologises For Blunder

Organiser Apologises For Upside-Down Country Flags During SEA Games Opening Ceremony

The 32nd Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) got off to a jubilant start on Friday (5 May) with a grand opening ceremony.

Viewers who tuned in to the early segments of the opening ceremony, however, might have noticed that the flags of Indonesia, Vietnam, and Myanmar were slightly off.

Source: On Sports on YouTube

Town Production, the organiser of the opening ceremony, has since issued an apology to the affected nations for the mistake.

They expressed their regret for the “disrespectful mistake” and explained that the reversed flags were an oversight.

Organiser apologises for upside-down flags at SEA Games opening ceremony

Eagle-eyed viewers spotted the mistake during the opening 10 minutes of this year’s ceremony.

Standing behind a group of live singers, the flagbearers enthusiastically performed their role.

While everything seemed fine and dandy, one flag, in particular, stood out.

What was supposed to Indonesia’s flag had been reversed — with white on the upper half and red on the bottom half.

Source: On Sports Plus on YouTube

Some may mistake it for Poland’s flag, which would be strange since Poland is located nowhere near Southeast Asia.

Though less obvious, the Vietnam flag was also upside-down.


Source: On Sports Plus on YouTube

Apart from Indonesia and Vietnam, one of Myanmar flags was also reversed.

Instead of the usual yellow, green, and red stripes, the flag displayed the colours in the opposite order.

Source: On Sports on YouTube

Organise apologies for “disrespectful mistake”

In response to the blunder, Cambodian broadcaster Town Production issued an apology in the early hours of Saturday (6 May).

In the apology letter posted on Facebook, the organiser apologised for the “disrespectful mistake”.

They also admitted that it was an “oversight from our (their) part”.

Source: Town Production on Facebook

Town Production also took full responsibility for the mistake and asked for forgiveness from those affected.

Additionally, the Cambodian broadcaster said it will be extending an official apology letter to the embassies of Indonesia, Vietnam, and Myanmar in Cambodia.

At the time of writing, however, the post appears to have been deleted.

A repeat of similar blunder in 2017

Interestingly, this isn’t the first time that such a blunder has happened at a SEA Games.

In the 2017 SEA Games, the printers made the mistake of publishing an upside-down Indonesian flag in the souvenir booklet.

Source: Facebook

Khairy Jamaluddin, who was Malaysia’s Sports Minister then, had to apologise for the mistake, adding that there was no underlying malice.

Organiser apologises for mistake during opening ceremony

While the mistake was unfortunate, it’s commendable that the organiser took accountability.

Considering that the ceremony happened a day ago, they were also swift in taking the appropriate action.

All that said, let’s hope that history doesn’t repeat itself in future games.

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Featured image adapted from On Sports on YouTube. 

The Must Share News Team

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