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French flag gets revamped in Bastille Day air show mix-up

Plenty of red faces as red smoke clouds the airborne display

An air show spectacular to celebrate France’s national day ended with giggles on social media on Saturday when a flying formation messed up the nation’s famous blue-white-red colour configuration.

The nine planes were meant to streak across the sky belching coloured smoke reflecting France’s national flag, but an oversight meant that the leftmost plane in the formation emitted red smoke, instead of blue.

Viewers immediately picked up on the mistake and within minutes, photos of the mix-up were doing the rounds on Twitter.

“Excellent red-blue-white-red flag in the Parisian sky,” one user deadpanned. Others suggested the odd colour scheme was intentional, to symbolise the blood shed by wounded French soldiers.

A French air force spokesman subsequently debunked that theory and said that the red smoke was quite simply, a mistake.

“We have to find out precisely why the colour was wrong,” he admitted.

France celebrates its national day, Bastille Day, on July 14 every year. The event marks the day French revolutionaries stormed the Bastille fortress and prison in 1789. 

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