May 13, 2007

Welcoming the ‘Check’ Prime Minister

On your left is the picture of the flag of the Czech Republic. On your right is a 'Check' (or, rather, checkered flag; often used in car racing. The two should never be confused. Except for the fact that 'Czech' is pronounced as 'check.'

Ordinarily, this should not be a problem. But right now the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic is visiting Islamabad, and the Capital's PR people have adorned a number of (very) large banners to welcome him in the spirit of good hospitality. The only problem is that instead of putting the 'Czech' flags on the banners, they have 'Check' flags!

I saw these while driving back into Islamabad on the from the Airport. I rushed back to see if I would figure out who was responsible for this little gaffe and maybe alert them to the mistake before the Czech PM arrived. Unfortunately, it turned out that the Czech PM was already here.

I wonder what he and his team thought of this. Did they even mention it to their hosts or did they just keep politely quiet? I also wonder what they thought about the banner that read: "We Pray for the Czech Progress and Prosperity"?I am sure they liked the sentiment, but maybe they also wondered why Pakistanis are praying for Czech progress and prosperity instead of working harder for Pakistani progress or prosperity. On the other hand, maybe they do not think as hard about what is written on banners as I do!

I have no way of knowing this, but my theory of how this might have happened is this - Someone tells someone to find out what a Czech (read 'check') flag looks like; they look up 'check flag' on Google, and that is the one which makes it way on the banner.

Nice story for a chuckle? But how would you feel if the Pakistan Prime Minister goes to another country and they mess up the flags this way?



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