MOSCOW, August 5 (RIA Novosti) – Drug users often report confusion and hallucinations, but it was Russia’s counter-narcotics watchdog that mixed up the pattern in the simple three-stripe design of the national flag, and then tried to blame the blunder on the wind when chided by bloggers.
The Federal Drug Control Agency’s headquarters in downtown Moscow hoisted a long banner supposed to depict the white-blue-red horizontal stripes of the Russian flag, to mark the agency’s 10-year anniversary in March, an agency spokesman said.
The banner’s colors were, however, actually white-red-blue, according to photos of the agency’s office, which made rounds in the Russian blogosphere and social networks.
“The mistake was caused by the wind, which turned the banner upside down,” the spokesman told RIA Novosti on Sunday.
He did not explain how this could have happened when the flag was printed on a large banner fixed to its walls, or the fact that turning the Russian flag upside down would make it red-blue-white, not white-red-blue.
The agency took the banner down on Monday, saying it did so because the event it was celebrating was four months ago.
Regional news website Pravdevglaza.ru, citing anonymous sources within the watchdog, claimed the mistake was reported by agency staff months ago, but ignored by their superiors who were reluctant to invest in a new banner. The report also said that the white-red-blue flag, which is not used by any country in the world, was dubbed “the flag of the Galaxy” by the drug police.