In the few short days since the 2016 Rio Olympics began, the identifiable Chinese flag has been at the center of a pair of controversies. It was spotted flying flawed above the medal ceremony and then completely mixed up with Chile’s flag on Australian television. While it may not be the apology that the Chinese people have been hoping for, both the Rio Committee and Channel 7 have apologized for these mistakes.
The error in the Rio flags was first noticed by Chinese netizens when Du Li and Yi Siling went on the podium to receive their medals for the 10-meter air rifle event. The stars in the flag featured in the ceremony were parallel to each other, but they should actually be oriented towards the larger star at a 36 degree angle.
Initially, it was believed, in what would be the most ironic incident of 2016, that the flawed flags were made in China. Multiple Chinese networks even alleged that a firm from Zhejiang produced the flags. Last week, CCTV reported that, “All the national flags that will be hoisted during the ceremony are made in China.”
But, yesterday, Mario Andrada, spokesman for the Rio Committee, apologized to the Chinese delegation for the flawed flags and revealed that they were actually made in Brazil, Sina reports. However, he added that all flags produced by the Brazilian company were submitted to the National Olympic Committee and approved by each country’s local representative. The company has been contacted and is currently producing the correct flags.
The faulty flags weren’t just used in the awards ceremony, but also during the opening ceremony. Funny that not one of the 416 Chinese athletes, nor the flag bearer, Lei Sheng, noticed.
This isn’t the only event that has flagged the attention of netizens — Australia’s Channel 7 has been receiving a lot of heat lately. Their live coverage during the opening ceremony cutoff into a commercial break, right when Team China was about to enter the stadium. Bummer that viewers didn’t get to see those flawed flags.
Furthermore, in a projected medal graphic, Channel 7 confused China’s flag with Chile’s flag. At the rate that Australia is going, it looks like people might even start boycotting Australian air and baby formula.
Right after this incident, Chinese people went online and started a petition, which has nearly 10,000 signatures, asking for the Aussie TV Network to apologize.
Even without the petition, Channel 7 has apologized for both mistakes, the Global Times reports. “It was a mistake — and to the people who have been offended by it, we apologize unreservedly to them. The decision on when to place commercial breaks during live events is always difficult. It’s regrettable that the ad break fell when it did, during China’s entrance, and we acknowledge our mistake,” a spokesman said about the channel’s live coverage.
For the flag mixup, the spokesperson said it was a “human error” on the network’s new virtual set. The two countries do fall right beside each other in alphabetical order.
Meanwhile Ananth Krishnan, Chinese Correspondent and Associate Editor for India Today, tweeted out an error that CCTV had made on its own broadcast. The Chinese network had confused Indonesia’s flag, which is horizontally divided into half red and half white, with India’s flag (in row 6).
Thank you CCTV for giving India a medal (& mixing up our flag & Indonesia while you rage about wrong flags at Rio!) pic.twitter.com/C1sPNl354M
— Ananth Krishnan (@ananthkrishnan) August 8, 2016
Will CCTV apologize? At least it’s not as big of a mistake as when an Indian news anchor mistook Xi Jinping’s surname for roman numerals and calling him “Eleven Jinping.”
By Sarah Lin