Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo apologized to his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte after the flag of the Netherlands was hung the wrong way up during a visit earlier this week.
De Croo posted a video on social media Wednesday thanking Rutte for coming to Brussels and adding that one “very important issue” needed to be addressed. He then walked over to a flag and said: “The Dutch flag is supposed to be like this.”
The Dutch tricolor was the wrong way round when the two men met on Tuesday, with blue at the top rather than red. An upside-down Dutch flag was used as a symbol last year during farmers’ protests against plans to cut nitrogen emissions.
The protocol mistake was quickly picked up by Twitter users, with Belgian MP Theo Francken, from the Flemish nationalist N-VA party, calling the Netherlands “our best and most important neighbor,” and complaining that “even hanging their flag correctly is not possible.”
Rutte reacted to the apology by reposting De Croo’s video on Twitter and saying “great to see our tricolor hanging straight again, that’s how it’s at its best” and thanking De Croo for the “good meeting.”
The Dutch prime minister was in Brussels to prepare for a European Council summit on February 9 and 10.
Ellen Boonen contributed reporting.