The Lebanese flag was spotted upside down and half-staff at the Grand Serail on Wednesday. While this violation of protocol could be shrugged off as a mistake, it most likely has a deeper meaning.
In the U.S. and in Canada, the national flag may be flown upside down to indicate a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property. Flying the flag half-staff signifies mourning, distress, or respect.
The headquarters of the caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab might be mourning early after August 4 was just declared as a national day of mourning.
It’s worth noting the flag was raised this way the day after protesters and Beirut blast victims’ families stormed the residence of the caretaker Interior Minister and were met with fierce resistance from riot police.
Reluctance from the government to lift immunities of officials to be questioned and probably prosecuted in the blast investigation is a clear sign that justice is a long way from being served.
Diab himself had resigned in the wake of the blast and expected a new government to be formed quickly and turn things around. Little did he know he would still be working in a caretaker capacity almost a year after resigning.
In addition, Diab, who recently warned that Lebanon was days away from a social explosion, might have wanted to send a message that that day has come.