The mistake was also pointed out during the awards ceremony of Chinese swimmer Sun Yang who took home a silver medal. CCTV anchor Cui Yongyuan, who has Weibo following to the tune of 9 million people, blasted the mistake saying:
“I am not trying to be picky because of obsessive compulsive disorder, but this is the national flag … it is a principle that even primary school students could understand.
“The national flag is the symbol of a country. No mistakes are allowed!”
The incorrect version of the flag showed that all the four smaller stars surrounding the big one were parallel to each other. In the correct version of the flag, the smaller stars are all pinned to the central axis of the larger star.
Earlier reports indicated that China may have been the source of the faulty flags given that too much of the equipment used at the Olympics had been produced in China, but it was confirmed that the flags were manufactured in Brazil.
The Olympic organizing committee has since apologized and immediately ordered correct flags to be used throughout the games. A spokeswoman for the committee explained to Reuters:
“All the flags used by the Rio 2016 committee are approved by the National Olympic Committees. We are working with the Chinese delegation to find a solution to this issue.”
Chinese netizens have since taken to venting about the unforgivable mistake online with many supporting the notion that, “A flag is a country’s symbol, we can’t tolerate any problems.”