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Facebook accidentally declares state of war in the Philippines

The social network apologised for its flag-based blunder, but not before a slow hand clap had echoed around the country.

Red is only supposed to appear above blue when the Philippines is at war. In peacetime, blue should always be at the top of the flag.

How easy is it to declare a state of war? It really depends on the country, but in the Philippines it's as easy as inverting the colors on the nation's flag.

Facebook learned this the hard way this weekend, when it published a bespoke banner to its Philippine users this weekend featuring the country's flag with the red part at the top and the blue part at the bottom. This signifies that the country is in a state of war, noted the Philippine Star, which spotted the blunder.

The banner was designed as a celebration of Philippine Independence Day, making the snafu doubly awkward. "Happy Independence Day! Here's to all of the Philippines' health, happiness and prosperity," the banner read. The majority of commenters asked Facebook to correct its mistake.

"This was unintentional, and we're sorry," said Facebook in a statement sent to the Star. "We care deeply about the community in the Philippines and, in an attempt to connect people on Independence Day, we made a mistake."

Facebook did not immediately respond to request for further comment.