PM De Croo rolls out upside down flag for Dutch premier

A working visit by Dutch Premier Mark Rutte to his Belgian counterpart Alexander De Croo yesterday is causing hilarity in many quarters both south and north of the border.  Host,  Belgian Premier Alexander De Croo, posted a photo of the customary leaders’ handshake in front of national flags.  Unfortunately, somebody at the heart of Belgium’s political nerve centre was having an off-day and the Dutch flag was hanging upside down for all to see.

The Dutch flag is a horizontal tricolour with from top to bottom red, white and blue.  Unfortunately, the photos the Belgian and Dutch premiers posted on social media clearly showed the Dutch tricolour hanging upside down.

Many Dutch and Belgian politicians picked up on the error during a meeting to prepare the European summit. Belgian lawmaker Theo Francken (Flemish nationalist) ridiculed Mr De Croo suggesting his team couldn’t even hang the flag of Belgium’s most important trading partner properly.

In the Netherlands an upside-down Dutch flag has become the symbol of farmers’ protests against government plans to cut nitrogen levels in the environment.  “Good to see the Belgians are supporting the Dutch farmers” one Dutch politician tweeted.

After the error became apparent PM De Croo took to Twitter to thank his Dutch counterpart for an excellent conversation among friends: “The Dutch and the Belgians have so much they jointly support in Europe, greater security on external borders and combatting drug crime” he said, but the premier also added that the Dutch flag should be hung properly, with red at the top.

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