The Lebanese government apologized on Thursday for mistaking the Kuwaiti flag for that of the UAE during the opening of the Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Hospital Center for treating coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the capital Beirut.
The apology, posted on the official Twitter page of the Lebanese prime minister’s office, came after a picture of the incorrect flag circulated on social media.
The former Lebanese Ambassador to Jordan Tracy Chamoun slammed the government for the debacle, saying in a tweet: “Unfortunately, some people running the state today are without a brain.”
وضع علم الكويت بدل الإمارات. هالشي لا بدو مازوت، ولا دولار، ولا اجتماع الحكومة، ولا طاولة حوار ولا استراتيجية دفاعيّة. بدّو مخّ. للأسف بعض يللي عم بيديروا الدولة اليوم بلا مخّ pic.twitter.com/drEclUMnJM
— Tracy Chamoun (@Tracy_D_Chamoun) January 13, 2022
Lebanon’s Directorate of Protocols and Public Relations at the Presidency of the Lebanese Council of Ministers said in a statement that the incident “required clarification and apology.”
It stated that the error occurred due to the confusion of an employee who had placed the flag of Kuwait next to the Lebanese flag instead of the UAE flag.
6 debacles and diplomatic goofs that happened
1. Bahrain welcomed Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi by playing the chords of Egyptian musician Raafat Al-Hagan instead of the Egyptian national anthem during his official visit in 2018.
2. The Egyptian military band mangled the Russian national anthem during President Vladimir Putin visit to Egypt in 2015. The performance went viral on social media and was labeled a “train wreck.”
3. During the Rio Olympics in 2016, the wrong Chinese flag was used several times. The wrong flag used during the opening ceremony and two medal ceremonies. Chinese state TV posted this picture of the wrong flag's first outing with the caption: "The national flag is a symbol of a country! No mistakes are allowed!"
4. A group of Turkish demonstrators were mocked after a video of them setting what they thought was a Dutch flag on fire circulated online. Social media users were quick to reveal it was actually a French flag.
5. US President Bush took the podium in Nashville in 2002 to speak before a group of schoolchildren, parents and teachers where he gets a famous saying completely wrong. He says “There's an old saying in Tennessee,” then after a series of awkward pauses he continues with: “I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee that says, ‘Fool me once, shame on ... shame on you. Fool me... You can't get fooled again!’” For the record, the correct rendering of the aphorism is: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”
6. British Prime Minister David Cameron and his delegation offended Chinese officials by wearing poppies during a visit in 2010. In Britain this is a symbol of those who have died fighting for their country. However, Chinese officials asked the delegates to remove the poppies before Cameron’s official welcome at Beijing’s Great Hall because the flower symbolises their defeat against Britain in the Opium War fought from 1839 to 1842. Awkwardly, the British officials refused.