BBC apologises after Tricolour used to represent North during jubilee concert

Irish flag briefly appeared during montage in ‘error’ during event for Queen Elizabeth

The BBC has apologised for its “error” in using an Irish Tricolour to represent Northern Ireland during the jubilee concert in honour of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth outside Buckingham Palace.

Social media users poked fun at the blunder which was broadcast live to millions of television viewers during the Platinum Party at the Palace event in London on Saturday night.

In a statement to The Irish Times, a BBC spokeswoman said: “The incorrect flag appeared in a brief montage during Doc Brown’s appearance last night. We apologise for the error and the sequence will be edited on iPlayer.”

Lasting only a few seconds, the gaffe emerged when Brown performed a spoken-word poem celebrating UK sport and images of flags were projected on a screen behind him.

A video montage of the England and Wales football badge as well as the Scottish flag flashed up followed by an image of a woman carrying a Tricolour as Brown referenced the “the three lions”, adding: “Same with the red dragon, shamrock and thistle.”

DUP MP Gregory Campbell said: “It was unfortunate that in a very short video clip during the event when the four nations that make up the United Kingdom were visually represented by logos or flags that the Irish Tricolour was used instead of the Ulster banner.

“Hopefully those responsible will have realised their mistake and will ensure that in the event of any future occasion where the four countries of the UK are to be visually represented, more care is taken to ensure a mistake like this one is not repeated.”

Some confused online users took to Twitter to ask the BBC about the mishap while others made light of it.

Terry Brennan asked: “@BBCOne did you just include the Irish tricolour in a song about being ‘proud to be British’?”

One poster wrote: “Ummmm...did they just show the Irish flag in this segment?”

While another said “Irish flag is approved by Liz”.

Diana Ross, Queen and Rod Stewart were among the stars performing to more than 20,000 people during the extravaganza staged to mark the queen’s 70 years’ on the throne.

Seanín Graham

Seanín Graham is Northern Correspondent of The Irish Times