Why Meghan Markle's Painting Of The Ukrainian Flag Has Twitter Up In Arms

Meghan Markle left North America for the first time in two years to accompany her husband, Prince Harry, to The Hague, The Netherlands for the opening of the Invictus Games. The international sporting event that features wounded service members as the competitors was founded by Prince Harry — who spent 10 years serving in the military — after he saw the positive impacts on mental, emotional, and physical health that the U.S.-based Warrior Games provided for injured servicemembers (per YouTube).

At the 2022 Invictus Games, Meghan took the stage to introduce her husband, and in her speech, she said that everyone there was standing with and for Ukraine, which was met with great applause (per YouTube). She also said "Slava Ukraini," which means "glory to Ukraine" in Ukrainian, according to Town & Country. Prince Harry also brought up the bravery it took for the Ukrainian athletes to come to compete during the Russian invasion of their country. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have made their positions clear in support of war-torn Ukraine, but when pictures came out of Meghan's painting of a Ukrainian flag at an event with kids during the Invictus Games, social media had a field day.

Some think Meghan Markle painting the flag upside down is offensive

Meghan Markle went to a private kids event held by the British Embassy of The Netherlands at the Invictus Games, and in one of the pictures posted on Twitter by the embassy, she's seen seated next to kids painting a Ukrainian flag. What has social media up in arms is that the Ukrainian flag Meghan painted, which featured the horizontal yellow and blue bands of the flag with the word "peace" in red in the middle, had the yellow on top instead of the blue.

Some people saw the upside down flag painting as offensive. One Twitter user said, "This is nauseating," and demonstrated that Meghan does things just for show. Another user seemed to agree and wrote, "Meghan Markle better keep Ukraine out of her mouth if she can't even bother to learn what the national flag looks like." And one person tweeted that she should apologize to the Ukrainian people for the flipped flag painting. Meghan's upside down flag also made mainstream media headlines and was called a "gaffe" by both Daily Mail UK and Express UK.

Meghan Markle defenders said the upside down flag was intentional

While some thought it was an embarrassing mistake, others saw it as intentional. Coming to Meghan Markle's defense, people tweeted that an upside down flag is a warning that the country is under threat. That is definitely, and officially, true in America. According to the U.S. Department of Defense, the American flag should only be flown upside down in times of peril. One person noted that it wasn't just the U.S. that sees an upside down flag as a kind of distress signal, writing, "Yes, an upside down flag is alarming to us Filipinos. Blue on top is peace, red means war." There isn't currently any comment from Meghan or her team as to whether the upside down flag was on purpose.

Twitter users on both sides of the flag debate pointed out that Meghan majored in International Relations in college. One Twitter user pointed out that she should feel ashamed of not knowing which was the right way the flag should look because of her major. However, another saw her educational background as proof that she knew what she was doing.

The third perspective over how Meghan painted the Ukrainian flag is that maybe it was just a mistake and there's no reason to get all worked up over it. This take was demonstrated by this user who tweeted, "...some people will pick on anything to pull this lass down."

Others just like seeing Meghan Markle as part of the Invictus family

Other social media users ignored the flag hubbub all together and were more focused on how much they liked seeing Meghan Markle interacting and engaging with the kids at the Invictus Games. One Twitter user wrote, "It's absolutely amazing seeing Meghan with the Invictus family," while another called her the "people's princess." Meghan said she was happy to be at the event with the kids since she was missing her own little ones — Archie and Lilibet (via Instagram).

The 2022 Invictus Games will be featured in a Netflix docuseries called "Heart of Invictus." This will be the first project of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's deal with the streaming service, per Variety. While the couple will certainly be a part of the Netflix docuseries, it seems unlikely that the dust-up over Meghan's flag painting will be included since the focus of the show will be on the competitors and the challenges they've faced and overcome.