Facebook's faux pas: Philippines 'at war'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Filipinos who opened their Facebook accounts on Sunday were surprised to see the country falsely depicted in a state of war.

The social network erroneously posted an Independence Day greeting on users' News Feeds with an inverted Philippine flag.

Netizens were quick to point out the error:

Because of its symmetrical design, the flag can be inverted and still look the same — but it will take on an entirely different meaning depending on what color field is on top.

In Facebook's greeting, the flag's red half was on top of the blue. This indicated a state of war, according to the country’s Flag and Heraldic Code. Blue above red means the country is in a state of peace.

Facebook, which opened its Philippine office last April, apologized for the gaffe. "This was unintentional, and we're sorry. We care deeply about the community in the Philippines and, in an attempt to connect people on Independence Day, we made a mistake," the social network said.

Read: Facebook opens office in PH

Facebook Vice President for Asia Pacific Dan Neary has said over 49 million Filipinos access Facebook every month to connect with their friends and loved ones. The figure represents "over 91% of the [country's] internet population."

Even foreign governments have mistakenly displayed the country's flag. The flag was erroneously inverted during a September 2010 meeting between President Benigno Aquino III and U.S. President Barack Obama for an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) gathering in New York, Reuters reported. The U.S. also apologized for the mistake.

Reuters contributed to this report.