During the 2015 Southeast Asian Games held in Singapore, Filipino-American athletes encountered wardrobe malfunctions as they wore uniforms with inverted Philippine flags.
Eric Cray and Kayla Richardson both won gold in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 100m sprint double. Their joy and pride, however, were let down by the upside-down flags in their jerseys. Instead of blue, red was on top which signaled that the country was at war.
As of posting, the person responsible for the error remained unknown.
After the fault garnered attention, the Philippine presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte released a statement hoping that the flags would be turned the right way.
“It must have been an oversight, which I am certain they will correct once brought to their attention,” Valte said in an interview.
This has not been the first time the Philippine flag has been carried in the wrong position.
In 2013, American football wide receiver mistakenly carried the inverted flag when he called for support to the Typhoon Haiyan (Typhoon Yolanda) victims.
Moreover in 2010, United States President Barack Obama also led a meeting with country presidents which featured an upside-down flag.
Despite Cray and Richardson’s Filipino pride, some Filipino citizens still criticized the country for importing overseas talent rather than supporting local athletes.
“I just feel that if you have Filipino blood and you cherish the traditions of the Philippines, you know it’s a great honor for me to be able to represent and I am just happy that they allow me to,” Cray said, still considering it a ‘great honor’ to represent the Philippines in the SEA games.
Cray is the first-ever Filipino runner who won in the SEA games. Richardson, on the other hand, is the second Filipina who won since Elma Muros in 1995.