Is the EU now trying to recruit new member states in sub-Saharan Africa, or does the bloc just not know what the flags of its own member states look like?  (


Oops! EU mixes up Irish flag with Côte d’Ivoire’s in official publication


European Parliament officials were left red-faced on December 1 after it was discovered by Brussels Signal that official material published by the body appeared to depict the Irish flag incorrectly.

Included within online material detailing a visit by the Parliament’s Committee on Constitutional Affairs to Ireland, there is an image depicting the EU flag flying beside a national flag, presumably thought by officials to be the Irish tricolour.

Unfortunately, while the flag initially looks a little like the Irish one, both the colour order and ratio of the banner are incorrect.

Instead, the flag appears to bear a closer resemblance to that of Côte d’Ivoire, with the one depicted in the image flying – from the pole outwards – orange, white, green, instead of the correct green, white and lastly orange.

According to official Irish Government documents, the Irish flag, when flying from a pole as in the picture, should be displayed with the “green being next to the staff, the white in the middle and the orange farthest from the staff”.

The ratio of the flag also appears to be closer to that commonly flown by the African nation, being depicted in what seems the same 2:3 ratio as the EU flag, as opposed to the official 1:2 ratio that is outlined in official Irish documents.

Admittedly, the error is a more minor one, with flags often having their official ratios skewed for purpose, especially when flown beside other banners.

Responding to Brussels Signal, the EP appeared to acknowledge the error, with a spokesperson saying that the “publishing mistake had been duly noted” and would be “swiftly addressed by the relevant services”.

As of writing, the incorrect image is still live.

Although it is embarrassing for the EU to mix up the national flag of one of its own Member States with that of a non-member, it is not as if such a mistake has not been made before regarding the two.

Such errors over the Irish and Côte d’Ivoire flags are common. In July, anti-Irish sectarian groups in Northern Ireland accidentally burned the African nation’s flag.

There is at least one documented incidence of that flag being flown in Northern Ireland alongside a disclaimer insisting to passers-by that it was not that of the “Republic of Ireland”.

The similarity of the two banners has not always been problematic.

When the Côte d’Ivoire athlete Murielle Ahoure came first in the women’s 60-metre race in the World Indoor Athletics Championships in 2018, she was left without a flag to hold aloft in celebration.

That is when Irish fans in the stadium reportedly stepped in, throwing the runner one of their own flags, which Ahoure was able to reverse and celebrate with.