Tongan flag at half-mast ‘might be a mistake’

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The footage of the Tongan flag flying at half-mast in Nuku'alofa

Concerned Tongans lashed out at an image of the national flag being flown inverted and at half-mast on Facebook over the weekend.  

The footage was said to be taken at the Nuku'alofa waterfront.

The half-mast flag, an international sign of distress or a sign of respect for a person who has just died, was photographed and uploaded  to Facebook on Friday 24.

Tonga Deputy Commissioner of Police ‘Unga Fa’aoa said Police were unaware of the incident.

"I haven't received any reports from the public about this, but if it was the case,  it just might be a mistake", said Fa’aoa.

The footage was put on Facebook with the caption:

“I was driving down the waterfront and I saw this and I said to myself it must be a distress call since it's upside down and it's at half-mast. So I called the Central Police station that looks after this particular flag pole and reported it. Well to my surprise I was told off by the copper and asked for my name as if she was going to charge me. She told me it’s the responsibility of the Ports Authority and not theirs (Police). I think she's missing the point. Very sad,” wrote Sam Vea.

‘Ahongalu Fusimalohi, a communication Advisor at the Prime Minister’s office, also commented on Facebook.

“What a shame, my son Fonua pointed it out to me while driving pass this evening.”

The footage of the Tongan flag flown at half mast at it's upside down. Source: Retrieved from Sam Vea's Facebook page

The Tongan national flag flown at half-mast. Source: Retrieved from Sam Vea's Facebook page.

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