While reporting on the Euro 2008 semi-final football match between Germany and Turkey, the Tagesthemen news programme on German channel ARD, which is broadly comparable to BBC One, showed the wrong German flag for 23 seconds, according to Der Spiegel magazine.
The black-red-gold flag was represented as red-black-gold, and the culprit was soon found – a graphic designer who had put together the flag ‘by hand’.
He is thus single-handedly responsible for what is being described in the German media as ‘one of the biggest TV disasters in decades’. Will people now only welcome the label ‘made in Germany’ as long as it’s not handmade?
Of course, it’s down to using stock imagery, much maligned, but always useful – particularly when you don’t know your country’s flag.
Dr Oliver Haas, Eskbank, Edinburgh EH22 3BS