Downing Street ridiculed after posting Tricolour on social media post celebrating Northern Ireland

Downing Street ridiculed after posting Tricolour on social media post celebrating Northern Ireland

THE OFFICE of Britain's Prime Minister has been ridiculed after posting an Irish Tricolour alongside a post about Northern Ireland.

The Instagram account of 10 Downing Street made the gaffe on Tuesday when it posted about a celebration of Northern Ireland held at Rishi Sunak's residence on Monday.

"Yesterday we celebrated the culture of Northern Ireland with a reception in Downing Street," it trumpeted.

"Businesses from across Northern Ireland arrived to showcase some of the best produce the country has to offer."

The original post that was swiftly updated (Image: Screengrab / Instagram / 10DowningStreet)

However, the post was complemented with an Irish Tricolour emoji, much to the amusement of some and the ire of others.

The official flag of Northern Ireland is the Union Flag, although the Ulster Banner is used by some sports teams, while the Tricolour is the national flag of Ireland.

The latter two are often displayed in Northern Ireland in unionist and nationalist communities respectively.

The post was swiftly edited to remove the emoji but it hadn't gone unnoticed.

David Blevins, Senior Ireland Correspondent for Sky News, likened the error to then-Home Secretary Suella Braverman last week comparing pro-Palestine marches to parades in Northern Ireland.

He said at the time that it showed she didn't know the difference between unionists and nationalists.

"She wasn't alone," he posted on Twitter in the wake of the flag faux pas.

"Number 10 doesn't know the difference between Ireland and Northern Ireland."


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A post shared by UK Prime Minister (@10downingstreet)

UUP leader Doug Beattie, who was at Monday night's event, said it strengthened the case for devolution when told about the gaffe during an interview with the BBC's Stephen Nolan.

"These people down understand us, they don't know us, we are better served with devolved government," he said.

"Somebody's probably made a mistake, it's just that they don't understand Northern Ireland — we understand Northern Ireland, we need devolved government."

Despite removing the flag in an updated post, some social media users suggested that the original hadn't been inaccurate at all.

"Well at least they used the right flag rather than the one that will be defunct in less than a decade," wrote one Instagram user in a comment on the updated post.

"Ireland will always be Ireland. Northern Ireland is not a country. Free the North," added another.

"Put that tricolour back. You know the deal," a third posted.