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Olympic Officials Apologize to China for Using the Wrong Flag

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Organizers for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro apologized to China after using incorrect Chinese flags during official ceremonies.

Chinese flags used during the opening ceremony and two medal ceremonies at the Olympics featured an arc of four small stars laid upright, all at the same angle, bordering one big star. The actual Chinese national flag looks similar, but the smaller stars are angled so they point back toward the big star.

“We do understand that there is a problem with the flag,” said Rio 2016 Olympic Games executive communications director Mario Andrada on Monday, according to CNN. “It’s very small. You have to be very familiar with the Chinese flag to understand that. However, we need to correct it.”

The mistake drew attention Saturday during the games’ first medal ceremony, and became clear during another ceremony the next day, according to the Wall Street Journal. Viewers complained on social media, and Chinese officials protested the mistake, prompting the Rio Olympic Committee to apologize and order the contractor in charge of the flags to resolve the issue.

According to the Journal, the Rio Olympic Committee said flags used at the games had been approved by each country’s national Olympic committee.

Prior to the star-related upset, Chinese people were angered during Friday’s opening ceremony when Australian broadcaster Seven Network displayed the national flag of Chile instead of China’s when discussing how the country would place in the games.

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Write to Mahita Gajanan at mahita.gajanan@time.com